In the world we live in, it is often not enough just to believe in something anymore. People like Richard Dawkins try to convince us that faith is nothing more than an unwillingness to accept rationality. Intelligent people don’t have faith in anything. This is utter rubbish. One of my friends has already written about this sort of issue (find his writing at http://moralessence.wordpress.com/) so I don’t feel the need to go into it at length, but the point is, we all have faith. Even trusting scientific evidence is faith: faith that the experimental results accurately reflect the real world and faith that there isn’t a malevolent god twisting reality and having a cruel joke at our expense (no one can prove that this isn’t the case).
Because so much has already been written about how everyone has faith whether they know it or now, this post is not just going to be a rehashing of that. In this post, I want to briefly look at some of the advantages of coming to terms with faith.
Here are some Bible verses about faith:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1
“Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.’” – Matthew 9:2
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit…” – 1 Corinthians 12:8-9
A key aspect of everyday faith that I want to highlight is the confidence and peace that it gives you. Hebrew 11:1 says that faith is confidence in what we hope for. Faith is an anchor in a sea of uncertainty. We all need it, otherwise we’d be overrun with paranoia and doubt, but by accepting that faith in an integral part of human existence, you are giving yourself a powerful tool against negativity. I pity people who think they don’t need faith, because if they truly believe that, then they can never rest. They can never accept something because they have no way of knowing if it’s true or not. Accepting faith is not an intellectual cop out, it’s a practical measure.
The kind of faith that I spoke about in the previous paragraph is everyday faith that all of us engage whenever we do something as mundane as sit on a chair. I believe that spiritual faith, faith in God, is more than that. There is a certain level of faith that all Christians would have to have in order to become a Christian (faith that Jesus died and is God etc.) but I think there is a further level that not everyone has, because it’s a gift from God given to certain people. This is the faith to trust God no matter what happens, to deal with adversity in a steadfast way and never be shaken. This is not just something that can help the gifted person; that person can be a rock for other people in their troubles, pulling people through the tough times with their unwavering faith. I don’t know if I have this gift or not, because I have to be honest and say that nothing that tough has happened to me yet, but it would be an amazing gift to have.
A final point is that I believe that Christians are saved through faith in God; faith that Jesus’ sacrifice was enough to cover our sins. Therefore, from my point of view, as a Christian, faith is an amazing thing because it allows us to draw close to God. The cliché ‘taking a leap of faith’ fits nicely into what becoming a Christian entails, because at some point, you have to take the plunge and give your life over to God without knowing exactly what will happen.
- We all have faith from day to day that things will work as we expect them to and carry on working.
- Accepting that such faith exists is a practical measure that allows us to operate from day to day without being troubled by pointless questions and paranoia.
- Faith is an essential part of becoming a Christian.
- There is another level of faith which is a gift: unwavering faith that can help you and others through tough times.
Faith is an amazing thing, so let’s not reduce it to an idiot’s defence against intelligence.