12/16/08

Thoughts on Faith...

I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about faith. With all that is going on in the world today, faith seems to be the first casualty in our collective efforts to “turn the tide”, so to speak. We want to take charge of our future and storm ahead, making things better and overcoming the insurmountable problems of this world. We have been told “Just do it!”, and we believe we can do it on our own, with a little elbow grease and a lot of willpower – strength in numbers and all that…

On the surface, this sounds just great. We just need to buckle down, work together and weather this bumpy ride, and all will be better in the long run – you’ll see! There is hope: a light at the end of the tunnel. I know it is really dark right now, but if we work hard enough and long enough we’ll make it. Prepare for the worst – hope for the best. Isn’t that how it goes?

Well, maybe not…

We have heard that word “hope” used a lot in the past few months. Entire campaigns were constructed around that one, very powerful word. Hope is a great thing to have, but where is our hope coming from?

A few months ago, I wrote a piece about hope. In it I defined hope like this:

“Hope itself is the sure belief that something better is coming. As simple as that definition sounds, it implies that to have hope, there must be suffering or despair to overcome. It requires the one who is suffering to make a choice between despairing in today’s pain and grief and hoping for the better day that is coming.”

I still believe that this definition is true. The question that arises, then, is “What is this ‘something better’ and where is it coming from?” Good question.

This is where faith comes in. Faith is commonly defined as our belief system – our “religion”. While this may be one definition, the one I prefer is from the book of Hebrews. Paul writes:

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Another translation says it this way:

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

In other words: believing in something that we cannot see for ourselves.

That’s a tough one for most of us. We as humans are wired in such a way that we only believe that which we can see, hear, touch and experience for ourselves. Faith, then, goes against every logical bone in our bodies. How are we supposed to have faith in anything but that which we can do for ourselves? It doesn’t make any sense!

So here’s the rub: in order to have faith, we must overcome the innate desire to see, hear, and touch, and make the leap to belief in that which is unseen.

The very essence of faith - the foundation of hope, therefore - is believing in someone or something acting on our behalf even though we don’t know in advance what they are doing or how they are doing it.

OK…so back to the question of where does our hope comes from? The answer is: it all depends on where we place our faith. Not so simple, is it?

So...where do you place your faith?

For me, the answer is simple: Have faith in God," Jesus answered. Mark 11:22



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4 comments:

Lana said...

So well written! I, too, place my faith in God, for with Him (not anyone or anything else), all things are possible. Thank you for this thought provoking blog today.

Fanciful Expressions said...

I'm so happy to see that you're back to your blog.Missed you. And you came back with a wonderfully written piece.

Hugs,
Carolyn

Peter (Faith For God) said...

Hello! Wow! That is one of the best descriptions of faith I have ever heard. You really nailed it! When we place our troubles and hurts in His hands and trust that He is working for us even though we cannot see what is being done.....That is true faith. Thank You! Great Post!

Chris said...

Amen. And Amen!!
Where do I place my faith? Where is my treasure? Father God, may it always be in You. Forever and ever!

What a wonderful post~

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