Have you ever considered the difference between faith and thinking positive? Is faith the opposite of reason? Do we fully understand the meaning of the word?
Christians believe that none of us can earn forgiveness and deliverance from our sins and sorrows. We are taught that we can be saved only by faith. So faith is a very, very important subject. If we believe in God, we should desire to grow in our faith. If we have questions about God, I believe it would be worth our time to come to a basic, practical understanding of the kind of faith that is presented to us in the Bible.
At first glance, faith might seem like a vague, abstract subject. But in fact it is something we exercise every day. In our experience we become persuaded in varying degrees to certain beliefs. We stop at the red traffic light because we believe in the possibility that traffic will likely cross our path. We move forward when the green light comes on because we trust that the vehicles coming from another direction will be stopped by the red light in front of them.
These are not at all absolute certainties, even though we take them for granted every day. One might ask what this has to do with faith in an invisible God? Well, why is it that we expect an invisible force like electricity to energize the starter in a car or the lights in our homes by a simple switch? These things were invented by people who had faith in theories about electricity which are believed to be true, however mysterious.
Some people act upon what is called “blind faith.” This is not the kind of faith that saves anyone. Blind faith could lead someone to trust that a frog could make them wealthy, or that a snail is wiser than us all.
No, while all of our questions might not be answered, God has always provided evidence to His existence, and to His plan for us. Faith as revealed in the Bible is a persuasion based upon certain reasonable facts. We are not talking about the kind of hard evidence that would hold up in a court of law, but evidence that is easily seen by those who look for it!
In my case, the strongest evidence presented to me from childhood was my mother. Without government help, and with very little help from my father, she courageously cared for the three of us children, trusting only in that invisible God who made Himself known to us through her patience, love, guidance, and hard work. The wisdom she was taught from the scriptures imparted into us a stability that our friends in the neighborhood could not quite understand.
From this beginning, the evidence began to mount in my mind of the validity of her faith. Along with the godliness I saw in our friends at church, I also began to see the wonders of the universe and specifically of our own bodies. These only confirmed the words of the Bible that she so often quoted.
After a period of teen-age rebellion and the desire to follow along with the crowd, I eventually returned to the faith that comforted and encouraged me from childhood, and today I am highly motivated to share it with others!
Some today deny the part that the senses play in knowing and believing in God. Why then did He give us minds to reason with and bodies to relate to the world around us? Why then do we have the stories that preserve for us the testimony of eyewitnesses? Because we are His creation, in spirit, soul and body!
Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans 10: 17: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (NASB)
For 2,000 years the story of Christ’s teachings, His death, burial, resurrection and ascension has been told, and strangely enough, millions have believed! Perhaps some have simply accepted the church and the doctrines about Christ, but no doubt many have trusted in Him to save them, and have come to know Him personally. This is the faith we are talking about today!
The smallest conviction for the truth about Jesus Christ has the potential to grow into a powerful and living faith. Our greatest heroes of faith all started somewhere. So what evidence have you seen for God’s existence? Are you willing to discover more? All of us have the opportunity to grow in our faith concerning the greatest Person of all time and eternity. All of us can also enjoy the benefits of that abundant Life He has offered us. Let us seek Him together!