I thought (randomly … as usual) it might be good to talk a bit about faith, undoubtedly one of the misused or abused Christian or spiritual term. Let’s look at some examples.
Natalie is an international student. She is going to face her final exam soon. She has difficulties in study, she does not have enough time to study because she is busy doing many other things, including ministry. And when asked about how she thinks she will do in her exam, she cordially replied, “I have faith that God will see me through.”
John’s father is very ill. He has been fighting cancer for half a year now. Many friends have been visiting and giving him encouragement. A pastor visits and affectionately comforts him, “Just have faith. If you have enough faith, God will heal you.”
Leslie is a recent graduate. He applied for Permanent Residency, and thank God he got the visa rather quicker than everybody else. When asked about it, Leslie simply replied, “I have faith in God. If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Now, you sort of see where I am going, right?
In the name of Faith, we command God to do what we want. In the name of Faith, we ask God to grant our wish. And some well-meaning Christians attributed some of their fortunate situation to their faith, leaving other Christians who are not very fortunate questioning themselves, “What’s wrong with my faith?”
Now, let me ask you this.
When someone asked you, “What is Faith?” how would you answer?
No, I am not talking about the top-selling single by George Michael back in 1989 (many of you might not have been born then). I am talking about Christian Faith. “What is Faith?”
Many Christians might go to Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
But many of us stop at verse 1 and fail to read the rest of the chapter. And as a result, we take that definition, personalise it into our own situation, and then blame God when what we hope for or what we do not see does not come true.
“I hope that I get great result in my exam. So, I just need to be sure of what I hope for.” OR “I might not be able to see the future, but I am certain that I will get my PR.”
It might sound a bit absurd to your ear now. But when you are in it, trust me, you might just do the same. All of us have been guilty of defining faith like that.
Friends, the key to understanding that verse about Faith is that we must define what it is that we hope for, and what it is that we do not see. Hoping for something false is a false hope, and that’s not faith. Seeing something false is a blind vision, and that’s not faith.
Friends, Christian faith is anything but blind faith.
The Greek word for Faith really means the “Conviction of the Truth” (Wikipedia got it right). So, we need to know what the Truth is, before we put our faith in that Truth. Ironically, many of us put faith in our faith. Just think about that…
When talking about the conviction of the truth, we must know what truth is. We can choose to define truth as we want, or we can choose to believe the truth as it has been revealed to us. As a Christian, we believe that truth has been revealed to us in God’s Word. Therefore, when we talk about faith, we must then come back to what’s been revealed. God has said a lot about who He is, and He has revealed to us about what He has done and what He will do. That should form the basis of our faith and should inform our conduct.
Therefore, if I have to define faith, it would be this:
Faith is …
“Believing that God is who He says He is,
and He will do what He says He will do.
As a result, we do what He says we should do,
and we don’t do what He says we must not do.
(Read that again, if you want…)
So, in the next few posts, we will dissect that definition of Faith a bit more closely. And I hope that by the end of the series, we will know what Faith is, and will be able to apply it at least a bit more correctly. 🙂
Click here for the next part.