What is Faith?

What is faith to you? Go ahead, fill in the blank: faith is _________. How does it manifest in your daily life? These are questions I’ve been ruminating over lately. Faith means many things and often depends on to who/what it is being applied. The writer of Hebrews says:

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. ~Hebrews 11:1 NLT

The NIV version of this verse talks about faith being confidence…

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. ~NIV

Both versions are clear faith means believing in something that isn’t seen. It’s the proverbial leap hoping someone will be there for us after we jump. That can be scary and many shy away because of that sticking point of not being able to see or know the outcome ahead of time. But without faith, our lives are so much smaller.

Without faith, we’d always do what works. Without faith, we’d never drive a car, fly in a plane, get a new job, meet someone new, or do anything different. Some people live like this in at least one part of their lives. Others have faith in some things/people but limit it in others.

How tangible is your faith? Think about this again: faith is ____________. As I’ve been pondering this, I’ve come to realize some things about my own faith.

Faith is…

  • Trusting God even when I don’t understand.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6   

I’ve leaned on this Scripture often the last few years. So even when I don’t know the outcome, I’ve tried to act anyway and move forward when He says, even without knowing why. I understand I may not know what the future holds, but I trust Who holds the future.

  • Planning like I’m in control but knowing God is.

I’m a planner. I believe God has wired me this way to help myself and others. But I’ve also learned my plans are best if they are planned with God. So, I plan but hold them loosely. Or when I don’t have a plan, I trust God does and it’s better than anything I could dream.

  • Stewarding what I have well because it’s all His.

God has created everything, including me and all I am able to do, create, and maintain. If I don’t honor my body, mind, and abilities, then I’m not honoring the One who has given me all of it. Stewarding well is part of what we are called to as Christians. If I have faith God has given everything to me, then I can steward all I have, trusting God will provide all I need.

  • Releasing worry, anxiety, and control to the only One who is in control.

This one is difficult at times for me. But if I say I trust God, then why worry? I can release everything to Him and live each day to its fullest, trusting He’s in control. I can act in obedience, believing in Him.

  • Resting in his peace even if life isn’t peaceful.

Paul reminds us that when we don’t worry and talk to God,

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:7

I can live in peace and let go even if I don’t want to. I can go and speak or wait and hold my tongue if He says so and not worry what anyone thinks. I am trusting what Paul also said:

For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. ~Romans 10:10

So what is faith? For me, it’s walking forward with God knowing He’s ahead, beside, and behind me. Even if I cannot see Him.

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