What is the definition of faith? I guess the best comes from Hebrews 11:1:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Let’s face it; you are not going to grow spiritually without faith. Our spiritual journey mandates faith. You need faith to trust in the goodness of God even when you can’t understand His ways. You need faith to believe that you have a future and a hope even when your circumstances seem to go from bad to worse.
God asks a lot and yet so little when it comes to faith. I’ve witnessed a lot of people expressing a lot of faith that has led to harmful circumstances. A recent example of that was the faith that so many had that the world was going to end on May 21, 2011. Huge amounts of faith in lies only have disastrous results. The object of your faith needs to be in line with what God says.
Still faith consists of committing to the unseen. This is what leaves many lacking in faith. I may not understand all of Revelation and exactly how the Second Coming of Christ will play out, but I do have faith that it will happen in God’s time and in God’s way. When I teach on Revelation, I tell people to look for the Temple to be rebuilt. That is when you know the Second Coming of Christ is imminent. I read something the other day that made me sit back and smile to myself. It is a tiny little detail about this universe that others might consider insignificant. After reading about it, I experienced a huge surge of love and deeper faith in the center of my soul.
It is thought that historically the Religious Jews would make a blue dye from the glands of a Mediterranean Sea snail to make a blue thread to use in their religious garments. This practice of adding the blue thread became extinct as the sea snails were less abundant during the Middle Ages. In this century the snails have been showing up on the shores of Israel. Only those who study marine biology would have taken interest in this mysterious event or studied it if it were not a snail that is associated with the Jewish Temple.
These snails reveal the journey of my own faith. I cannot prove God with all certainty. My life with God involves the faith of not seeing. He asks me to believe what I cannot see. This is what it means to be a person of faith. Where people of faith go wrong is when they think they see something in God’s Word that He hasn’t said. The only remedy for this is to look more for intimacy with God as you look into His Word. The Holy Spirit will not lead you astray. I’m grateful for the church historians, the theologians, the Greek and Hebrew scholars, as they bring much greater understanding to my own faith. I would not want to err on the side of reason when it comes to spiritual growth. There have been many who have lost their faith by focusing too much on human reasoning. The purpose of studying the Word of God is to grow more in love and understanding of what a generous Creator made us. When we start judging Him by human standards we lose our faith.
God made us as rational creatures so He has given us His Word and wonderful tools to study and learn from. Faith is the key to unlocking the purpose of the universe. I would rather learn from someone who has grown intimate with God through studying His word in his own language than someone who has studied every nuance in the original languages yet lacks intimacy with the Almighty.
God asks one thing of us: faith in His love for us by sending His Son Jesus Christ to redeem us from our sins. For some this simple act of faith will remain a stumbling block. For others it will settle their soul and form an intimate connection to the Creator of the Universe.