What is faith? What does faith mean to you?
To many in the world today, it is simply accepting stories that have been handed down to them. For others it is taking risks and hoping for the best. For too many, it is blind obedience to someone or something, without a good reason.
Many believe that faith is simply hope. But these are two very different things.
For example, we have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, because it has always risen before. Whereas, we hope it will be warm and sunny but, that does not mean it will be.
Someone once wrote, “For those without faith, no explanation is possible. For those with faith, no explanation is necessary.” Nice words but, are they true?
The real definition of faith is contained in the Bible, and it is very revealing;
“Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for
It is the evident demonstration of things not yet seen”
The Greek word used for “Assured” means a legal guarantee, an inheritance.
“Evident demonstration” means proof, evidence. The Bible is telling us that faith is not blind, naive or credulous. Real faith is based on a solid foundation of assurance and proof. Where can we find such things? In the pages of the Bible itself. There is no other written record that can build faith as the Bible does.
When we read how God protected Israel from invasion on the Sabbath days when they were forbidden to work or fight, or how God foretold the rise and fall of seven consecutive world powers in history, or when we see that following the Bible’s wisdom on matters such as relationships, work and health actually works and improves our lives – our trust – our Faith grows.
Suppose we had a friend who had always been honest with us, who was always right about the things they said, and who always kept their promises. If one day that friend told us something that we found a little hard to believe, how would we respond? Wouldn’t we give them the benefit of the doubt? Wouldn’t we put faith in them?
Jesus once told his Apostles to ask for more faith from God. That advice is good for us today. The Bible says “Faith follows the things heard,” that is the things written in the Bible. We can build faith, confidence in God’s promises for the future by regularly reading his word, the Bible. As our trust, our faith, builds, we will find that we can have complete, unshakeable faith in the promises God has made for our near future;
“God will bring to ruin those ruining the earth”
“The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will dwell forever upon it.”
“As regards the wicked, they will be torn away from the earth. There will be no-one to make my people tremble”
“Let them return to the days of their youthful vigour, let them become fresher than in youth”
“Death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry, nor pain”