By Faith: Faith Defined

Faith. When you really think about it for a human perspective, faith doesn’t make much sense because it is inherently risky. Faith requires hope and hope is simply a desire or desired outcome. Faith isn’t static, it is dynamic and by that I mean that there are levels of faith depending on the situation at hand. 

Let’s think about faith and hope in a practical terms. Every morning I come out to the living room hoping to sit in my chair and do my bible study. My hope is that my chair will hold me so I activate my faith and I sit down. My hope and faith in my chair is made possible and easy because of historical data: my chair held me yesterday, it will hold me today. I never have one ounce of doubt as I flop into my chair at any point in the day, I always fully believe it will hold me. This is easy faith for a few reasons: 1) history shows that my faith in my chair will be rewarded with comfort, 2) if for some reason my chair doesn’t hold me, the risk in the outcome is minimal and non life threatening. It doesn’t take much to have faith in my chair because if it breaks under the wear and tear, big deal, I’ve probably got a funny story.

Now, faith in God? Well, that’s a whole different story!! Or is it? The only reason we ever think God has failed us is because He didn’t act exactly as we wanted and so, we determine Him to be untrustworthy and therefore not worth the risk of faith and hope. Faith comes with a certain level of expectation and when that expectation isn’t met, we get nervous and leary of the person or object we put our faith in. However, if my chair breaks under me, does that mean I will never sit in another chair again? Of course not! How crazy would that be? So when God doesn’t act as our faith had hoped, when we feel let down and upset by an outcome we weren’t expecting, why do we turn our backs on Him? 

Faith in an object is easy to dismiss when it doesn’t meet the expectation because there are usually a ton of reasons that we can explain away easily. It was old. I didn’t use it correctly. I wasn’t paying attention. All of these justifications for why something broke down have elements of common sense and are easy to understand. Faith in God after a family member just died and you begged Him to spare them doesn’t have a list of easily explained reasons. Your faith says He could have saved them but didn’t and so you question His love. Your grief causes doubt that God hears or that God cares. You stop having faith because God didn’t act like you wanted Him to, you stop sitting in chairs. 

What if when our chair breaks, we flipped the script and said something like, “that chair has served me well and I loved the comfort. I will miss it!”, and then go buy a new chair. The same principle applies when we have prayed for something that didn’t happen as we wanted. What if when our hearts are broken under the weight of faith and hope that didn’t get the desired outcome, we blessed all of the good that took place, acknowledged the sadness or disappointment, and then went on to greater faith knowing that God’s perfect plan is always in action. He will bring you comfort, guaranteed. He will never leave you, guaranteed. He does know what He’s doing, guaranteed. He is trustworthy and worthy of the risk of faith, guaranteed.

Our faith should be placed in God, not in anything else. Faith is being sure of what I hope for…I hope for the perfect will of God to be active in my life and that I will never be a barrier to all that He wants to do. Faith is sure of what I do not see…I can’t see God physically moving with me and around me but like the wind, I see the effects of God in my life. When challenges come your way, don’t put any faith in the situation, put all of your faith in God and ask Him for help to hold your faith steady. Faith in God is about your surrender, not about your strength.



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