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What is Faith?

Thomas Keating wrote: “One who has this faith simply opens his eyes and, wherever he looks, finds God.” Hebrews 11:6 describes what that means:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Faith is a leap into the unknown, the invisible and the incomputable. Faith is finding the light of God in the darkness of your circumstances. There is a darkness of faith that is illuminated by experience. Faith grows deeper when we learn how to see God where without faith all we see is darkness. God asks us to accept Him for who He is. This is where faith becomes faith. When we can see our faith growing in the midst of the darkness of seemingly insurmountable circumstances, we are moving towards real faith. Since God is infinite, perfect, and incomprehensible, faith in God believes that He is and that He rewards, if not here on earth, in eternity.

Faith deepens as we experience the peace of His presence even when we can’t see how it works. I don’t know how you grow in faith if you don’t face obstacles that you cannot see a way around. Deeper faith calls out of you certainty in the darkness. If your world makes perfect sense to you then you may not be growing in faith; rather you may be growing in self-reliance and predictability. That’s not at all what God wants for our souls. Our time on earth when we cannot see God is the greatest opportunity for pure faith.

Faith no longer needs spiritual experiences to confirm what the soul has chosen to believe about God. Mother Teresa’s journals, released after her death, reveal that God did not give her the spiritual assurances others of us receive. It wasn’t that she didn’t please Him, it was that He was drawing out of her the deeper faith her soul was capable of experiencing.

Faith is seeing the light where others only see darkness. Our lifetimes are an opportunity to develop deepening experiences of faith.
Darker passages create more opportunity for greater faith. Faith is like breath for the soul. What dark places is God allowing in your life? How are you seeing your soul transformed by faith? My faith is strengthened when I see God in the ordinary. It helps me see Him when times are extraordinarily rough as well as when the blessings come one right after another.

Life on earth is a walk of faith. Year to year we can have a deeper faith or make little spiritual progress.





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