Recently I was reading Hebrews 11, the great chapter that talks about faith, and got to pondering how often we misunderstand the nature of faith.
The rather wry comment has been made that “faith is believing something that isn’t true”. How many of us carry something of that around with us, that we have to try really hard to believe something that is somewhat improbable at best.
If that is our definition of faith, then I would suggest that we are believing a lie. Let me give you a better definition: faith is about trust and relationship.
I would observe that those who dismiss or deride ‘faith’ as though the one holding the faith was somehow mentally retarded, are blind to their own reality. For, it is almost certain that they themselves hold faith in one or more things. It is difficult, for example, to be married without faith. It is a requirement for a stable relationship to be able to trust that your spouse will not be cheating on you when your back is turned. Do you know this? No, but hopefully you have faith that it is so, based on experience.
Perhaps this is what we lack, in our fallen state – the experience of the loving goodness of our Father God. Having turned from Him, having not known Him or His ways, it is hard to trust or have faith in Him. That’s why faith in our living God is sometimes described as a leap, or as Philip Yancey put it: “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse”.
If you do not know God as a loving Father, and if you do not know the salvation of Jesus, and if you do not know the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, then I strongly encourage you to make that leap of faith today. This is a faith that leads to life, and life in all of its fullness.