Day 36 – What Is Faith?

 

The Apostle Paul - “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

In 1987, singer George Michael released his song “Faith.” In the song, George is turning down a potential love interest because he’s “got to think twice before he gives his heart away…” So, how does he make it through this tough decision? According to the song, he’s simply “gotta have faith.” At the time, the late George Michael said the following about faith: “It represents the way I feel at the moment. It’s kind of another word for my hope and optimism.” As good as that definition sounds to the world, it’s far from a good description of faith.

Faith has been a buzzword in today’s world, designed to inspire people to feel good. However, it has been greatly misunderstood by many and portrayed in unusual ways. Faith is not a feeling nor is it an assumption. Faith is not positive thinking. Faith is not the misguided following of a hunch because it feels right. Faith is none of these things, though each one has often been identified as faith. 

So, what is faith? Faith works beyond the comprehension of the human mind because faith is spiritual. The Apostle Paul writes, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). Eugene Petersen paraphrases that scripture to say that “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” (Hebrews 11:1 MSG) Basically, faith is knowing for sure that God is real and His promises are sure; it is trusting in His integrity and words.

Faith is essential to the Christian life. Faith is what makes us Christians different from others. Henry David Thoreau once said, “If I seem to walk out of step with others, it is because I am listening to another drumbeat.” That is a good description of what it means to live by faith. As Christians, we should be walking in time with a different drumbeat than the one guiding those in the world. We should be striving to live and walk to the drumbeat of faith. 

Followup Activity - To help you gain a better understanding of faith, read Hebrews 11, sometimes called the “Hall of faith.” Then, in your journal or on a piece of paper, write out a prayer to the Lord, asking Him to help you live by faith, just as those in this chapter did. If you are leading your family through this devotion, read Hebrews 11 together as a family then discuss which of these faith heroes stands out to each family member. End your time together in prayer, asking God to increase the faith of each member of your family.

Prayer for Today - Lord, in all I do and say, help me to live by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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