What is Faith?
Throughout commentaries and articles about the Christian life and walk, you will undoubtedly encounter the word faith over and over again. In the book of Hebrews alone, faith is mentioned 23 times. Christ Himself even said to the woman with an issue of blood, that because of her faith, she was healed.
What does that mean, because of her faith or without faith? What, exactly, does “faith” mean? I know what my faith means, but because it’s something so deep inside of me, I don’t know if I could pinpoint it down to a simplified definition. FAITH feels so much bigger than what the dictionary says to describe it. It’s a state of being, something intangible that we can not point to and say, “THIS is what it is.” It’s also something unique to each individual.
Miriam Webster defines faith like this:
2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs the Protestant faith
In matters of this particular post and the word of which I’m speaking, faith is the belief and trust in and loyalty to God. In Hebrews 11 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
What I get out of that, is that faith means that I have a trust and loyalty to Almighty God, Creator of the universe, in whom I hope and believe, despite not being able to see Him. And yet, to me, it is so much more than that. Studying faith in the Bible, I encountered more to the word, more to the substance of my being.
Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith, it is impossible to please God.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
We must have faith in God — we must believe in, put our trust in, and declare a loyalty to God (thou shalt put no other gods before Me.) Having faith in God, pleases Him. In turn, when we have faith, the Bible is filled with promises:
And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing (i.e. with faith), you will receive. Matthew 21:22
Hope, Joy, Peace
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Access to God
…in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Ephesians 3:12
Power Over Satan
…above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:16
Power to Perform Miracles
So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
Knowing that faith (belief and trust and loyalty) in God brings us all of these things, then it makes whatever trials we face easier to take. We know that with access to God, answered prayer, power over Satan, and a flooding with hope, joy, and peace in our lives, we are able to build a firm foundation to withstand whatever this world throws at us.
Beyond knowing we can withstand trials, James tells us to face trials with joy!
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Through trials, God is perfecting us, completing us. So, even in the midst of the darkness of hard times, our faith allows us to celebrate them, relish in the way God is perfecting us, and to come out of them better, more than, and righteous. One translation I read said to consider trials a gift, because trials allow our true colors in our faith in God to shine.
This website is called “Faithful” – a ministry created to minister to people who have been broken by divorce, to encourage and support blended families who are coming together and seeking a new kind of wholeness. It’s beautiful to think that through the pain in our pasts and the brokenness and trials we have faced, God was using those times to create through Him His perfect work. Lacking nothing.
1 Timothy 6:11 paints a picture of a mature Christian as pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. The trials and struggles of my first marriage, the heartache and trials I talked about in my post on brokenness, did not take anything away from me in God’s eyes. Instead, through my faith in Him, He has given me a gift that allows me to look joyfully at those times and know that through it all, and through things to come, He has been, and will continue to be, perfecting me. Instead of allowing a bitter shell to form around my heart, I’m able to continue to pursue those qualities of a Christian in Paul’s letter to Timothy.
It isn’t a snap of the fingers change. Believing in God means to obey His commandments. As you begin to work through what the Bible says about how to live, your faith grows, and as your faith grows, you become closer to God. The closer your grow to God, the more steadfast you become in times of trials, and His work toward your perfection continues.
If you know that what you are lacking is faith, please reach out to someone here at Faithful, because it is our desire to help you grow closer to God and stronger in your relationship in Christ, so that you can be strengthened through the trials you’re inevitably going to face in this fallen world.