What is faith? In Hebrews 11:1 we read that “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” Paul continues to tell us of the many Old Testament figures who lived out their faith in God in countless ways.
After Jesus suffered, died, and rose the faith of the early Christians was changed from what was possible to what actually happened. We will never have that same experience, but I believe we have times in our lives that point us to faith as the only possible answer.
God does not demand we have faith, he offers it to us. Our response is either yes or no.
Why do some have faith and others not? Does God only give it to some of his children? Why do some people appear to have weak faith and others a strong faith?
Since faith is a gift, we choose to accept it or not.
People who profess no faith usually fall into two categories: they do not need faith or they are afraid to accept it. I am speaking here of people raised with some sort of a religious background, not those who were never spoken to of God.
When I work with teens, I am often struck by how many of them say they don’t need faith. They believe faith is useless, made up, silliness to somehow force them to do things they don’t want to do. It is not part of the visible world, science can explain everything, and living out faith within a religious experience is just ridiculous.
Others want faith; they see in people of faith something that they do not have in their own lives. But they know that by accepting the gift, there are responsibilities that come with the gift of faith. Changes would have to be made and possibly difficult choices, so instead of accepting faith they are adrift, constantly trying to fill the emptiness.
As St. Augustine says, “Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in thee.”
Faith is the ability to see God at work in this world.
It is to believe in a power much bigger than you. With faith the impossible become possible.
It is faith that gives us the courage to bring children into this world. The desire to walk with another on their life’s journey is part of faith. It is the strength in our soul to say yes when every other part of us is screaming no.
Sometimes faith means trusting just enough to get out of bed believing that God will clear a path, knowing that when I fall, he will lift me up. Faith also gives us the ability to question the nuts and bolts of our religious beliefs and practices, knowing that God is there in those details and wants us to come to him using our intellect as much as our soul.
Faith is my reason for living as I do each and every day.
It forms me, colors my worldview and gives me passion to live as a person who is constantly experiencing Christ’s passion, death and resurrection.
Copyright © 2014, Deanna Bartalini