“Faith” is one of those words whose meaning we in American culture do not appreciate. ‘Faith’, similar to ‘peace’ has come to be one of those words that we see printed in fluffy, dreamy letters on flip flops, purses, and pj’s.
If you get the chance to ask random people what ‘faith’ means to them, listen carefully, and what has struck me will probably strike you, too. To many people, faith is something gushy, but without meaning…..without Christ.
So what really is ‘faith’? Is it just ‘believing’? Is it our thoughts, our dreams? When we’re talking to someone about faith and they open up, does that automatically mean that he or she is a Christian? I have been in very confusing situations in which I am in a conversation where faith is mentioned, and the other person nods and smiles, saying that he or she has faith, too. However, I often find within the next twenty seconds that the person and I are not on the same page at all. Then when I try to really share where I’m coming from, I can tell I am not heard.
It’s interesting that when we say ‘faith’, it’s perfectly fine, but that when we mention the Name of Jesus, it’s suddenly different.
When we, as Christians, say we have faith, we should be talking about Jesus with confidence. What we say in confidence, the world doesn’t understand, because it doesn’t understand Jesus.
The real question is not how the world sees faith, or even how the world reacts to it. The question is this: do we, Christians, know our place when it comes to faith? Is it this feeling that an angel is in the sky looking down upon us with a smile, getting ready to throw down blessings like Cinderella’s fairy godmother when we’re ‘believing’? Or is it this ideal that we reach when we are perfect? I’d like to argue that if we’re talking about it, and preaching it, we need to know what it is, and not just from someome telling us. Not just from growig up in a Christian home. We need to know. We need to know from experience.
Because faith is something the Lord has led me to study a lot this year especially, I’d like to share Hebrews 11: 1:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.” (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2011&version=NIV)
The key words in this verse are ‘confidence’ and ‘assuarance’. When are we, as humans, confident? When we know something to be true. When do we have assurance? When we are ‘assured’ about something, it generally means that we trust someone enough that we believe what they have told us regarding an issue, and that our minds are at ease. We generally aren’t confident about mere feelings, and that’s not what faith is; not when that faith is in Jesus Christ.
We do have this confidence as Christians. Why? First, we have it because we know that Jesus Christ died to take away our sins. We are living in a life free of sin’s consequences, and in the Promise of eternal life. Second, we have assurance that when we are praying, the Lord is listenig. It doesn’t mean we’re going to suddenly have anything we ask for, but it means that we are being guided by the One that created us, and that we are putting our trust in Him. And we have good reason.
We have faith that the Lord is with us and that He will provide what we need, and also withold those things from us that are not good for us at the time.
We have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
When we say to the world that we have ‘faith’, is this what we are saying? Or are we too letting the flip flop and purse print version come from our lips just because it’s the cool thing to say?
In closing, I’d like to share a quote by George Muller, a Christian whose life story has got me thinking a great deal about what God can do when a man or woman allows the Lord to work through him or her:
“Faith is the assurance that the thing which God has said in His word is true, and that God will act according to what He has said in his word… Faith is not a matter of impressions, nor of probabilities, nor of appearances.”
In leaving a comment, please keep it Biblical or testimonial.