Faith: Confidence in or dependence on a person, statement or thing as trustworthy;
Belief without need of certain proof; Belief in God or in the Scriptures or other religious writings.
Devotion for Faith
“All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet
“It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”
William James, American Psychologist, Professor &Author
We have here two opposite points of view. Reading both of these quotes, one after the other, sets my mind reeling. Most people, who read these statements together, will immediately relate to one or the other, making it is very difficult for the mind to comprehend both.
“All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” This is a statement of faith in our Creator and trust in his ability to provide. Our very first Scripture tells us, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” If you believe that God is the Creator, then faith will arise in the very depths of your being just by looking at the perfect balance and beauty of nature. Just because you did not see God create the world and do not know how he did it, doesn’t cause you to question whether he did or not. Faith is something you learn to depend on, it is something that grows and matures each time you use it. It gets stronger each time you receive the thing or answer you believed God to provide. You don’t have to understand how God provided it, you just know that he did, and your faith increases. Now, let’s tackle the next quote.
“It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” This statement reflects unbelief in anything or anyone without proof. The person has to see it or touch it before they will believe. Somehow, this life is one that the physical realm rules and not the spiritual. What a sad way to live but, unfortunately, it is the view taken by much of the world. I do not believe you can apply “always, everywhere, everyone and anything” to people, because people are created with great diversity, making each person and each life unique. There will be exceptions, and let’s face it, you cannot convince people not to have faith, if they do. However, we are alike in this respect: We are all human beings who each have a body, soul and spirit; we live together in this world; we will each face our Maker and give an account to him for the way we lived while here on earth. Hebrews 11:6 says; “And without faith it is impossible to please God,” I think it is clear which quote I relate too.
Whether you think you have faith or not, you exercise faith in various ways daily, without even thinking about it. You use your faith every time you get into your car. You have to get to work, you grab the keys to your car, and you put the key in the ignition and believe it will start. You aren’t thinking “I wonder if the key will start the car?”, unless you know your battery is bad. You can’t see everything that goes on under the hood or how turning the key starts the engine, you just see the result . . . you turn the key, the car starts. Look at a field of corn; it is a perfect example of how faith works. The farmer uses his faith when he plants the field. He carefully plants each kernel of corn, he waters them faithfully and believes that the soil, fertilizer, water and the sun will all work together to produce a harvest. He doesn’t dig the field up to see if the seed is changing and growing, he just waits patiently until he sees the little sprouts covering the field. It’s the same way with God; we don’t know how trusting and believing his word works, but we see the results in answered prayers.
Mark 10:14-15 says; “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth; anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Think about when you were a child. You are outside playing with your friends without a care in the world. Would you suddenly have an overwhelming fear that your parents were not going to feed you anymore? Would you run inside and ask mom, “Are you going to feed me tomorrow?” Of course, you wouldn’t, this is a ridiculous question, children trust their parents to provide all their needs and yet this is our attitude when we don’t believe that God will continue to take care of our needs. We pray, we wait and if the wait is too long, we start to worry: “Did God hear me the first time?”, “I don’t see any results yet.”, “I don’t feel any different!” or “We still don’t have enough money!” Our faith is just like the key in the ignition or the farmer waiting for his crop. We don’t have to see or know how our faith works; we just have to believe that it will. As Hebrews 11:6 says; “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.”
My final question to you is this; “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Only you can answer this question for yourself.
My prayer and decree for you is this: “Let no man, woman, child or circumstance dictate to you how, when, where and to what degree you will use your faith.”
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
I Corinthians 2:4-5
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”, and their sight was restored.
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
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.
But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith….and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God….not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”