Wednesday, July 16, 2008

what is faith?

That's a quesion that has been rolling around in my head for the last few days. I was reading in Hebrews 11, the "hall of faith" as it is commonly known. And it got me thinking about what faith actually is. It's a word that I hear all the time, but I don't know that I've ever really thought about what it means. There are a few places in Scripture that talk about what faith is.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6

"He said to them: Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Mark 10:14-15

"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:17

"We live by faith and not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

"What good is ti , my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him? . . . Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by what I do. . . . As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2:14, 18, & 26

All of these verses talk about faith, and really are far from a complete list of what the Bible has to say about faith. Faith is a huge topic and it's a word that is used in many ways, both in Scripture and in everday life.

My understanding of faith is that it is choosing to trust that God is Who He says He is and that He will follow through on what He says. When Christ talks about having faith like a child, He is talking about the need to just trust, not to question. Not that questioning is wrong, but sometimes we need to just decide that we are going to belive something.

I think for me the key to understanding faith is that it is something we take action. Hebrews 11 repeats over and over that these people did things "by faith". They took what God said and acted accordingly, trusting that God was Who He said He was and would follow through on His end. The same it true of us. We need to take what we say we believe and act on it. Faith requires action . . . and sometimes that means we have to take a risk and step out in doing something.

Honestly, this is something I'm still trying to understand. If you have thoughts on it I would love to hear them.

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