What is faith?

Let’s Talk About What Faith Is And Is Not

With the world in the coronavirus pandemic, many Christians are relying on misinformation about what faith is. What does scripture have to say on the matter?  These 6 points lay the groundwork for Biblical faith.

As of the writing of this article, the world is in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.  The numbers of infected, deceased, and cured people continue to increase and the world seems to be in several stages of fear as well as faith.  It is with the second part (faith) that I want to base this article, speaking to the Christian community with regard to how faith works, what it is, and most importantly, what it is not.  With that in mind, let’s begin with point number one.

Point 1.  Faith is not “blind faith,” it has evidence

What is Faith? Hebrews 11:1

I love the Amplified version of this passage (and I’ll continue to use it for the remainder of this post) as it is clear as to the definition of faith.  Christians today have it a lot better than the 1st-century followers of Jesus Christ as we have all the books of the Bible culminated into one bound edition, full of definitions, historical context, direct translations, and cross-references.  We can see the examples of faith spread across a 1500 plus year timeline and find the “evidence” of how faith in God yields its crop.  Faith is NOT blindfolded people walking off a cliff, hoping that God will somehow keep them safe.  Faith is built on evidence and confirmation of God’s Promises found throughout the Old and New Testaments.  With regard to the current pandemic, I rely on this passage found in the Old Testament (though there are many others).

Point 2.  You can’t please God if you don’t have Faith.

What is faith? Hebrews 11:6

This is the rub, isn’t it?  To see safety & miracles, you have to have faith in the power of God as well as the tools and promises He gave all Christians.  We know this passage and most of us want to grow our faith.  We must remember that we grow our faith through the Word of God.  Scripture is the water that nourishes the seed of faith that each of us has been given.  God is like a parent that is pleased when a child does something good based on the things you said he/she can do.

Point 3.  Are you listening to others or to God?

What is faith? 1 Corinthians 2:5

This is where the trouble begins for many Christians, including myself.  When we come across a situation, whether it’s this pandemic or any else, either small or great, where do we put our trust and base our actions, on the knowledge of humanity or on the Word of God?  With this pandemic, there are mixed signals in the area of faith.  We’ve seen the whole “Psalms 91 crowd” (of which I’m one) and we’ve seen the “faith is fine, but stupid is worse” people.  I get it, believe me, I truly do and the spirit of fear is a powerful motivator.  I, as well as others, am standing on what God says as I want to please him in areas of faith, but I won’t put Him to the test.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in God’s Promises, but I won’t purposefully plunge myself in a hot-zone to prove a point.  I won’t get the coronavirus because I abide in the safety of the Lord – that’s it, end of the story – and I don’t have to stand in a crowd of contaminated people to prove my faith to God or anyone.  In like manner, I don’t base my faith in the frightened words of men/women that tell me that we should be scared, as they have no faith in God, but in the limited knowledge of the world.  If I need to get out and pray/lay hands on anyone that has the coronavirus, I’ll do it, not having any fear for myself or my wife (her faith is quite strong) that we will catch it.

Point 4.  We GROW our faith.

What is faith? Luke 17:5-4

We have the faith we need, we don’t need any more of it.  We only have to nourish it and let it grow.  The tasks that we face that require our faith to be in full bloom can only be achieved when we (Christians) constantly tend to our tiny seed of faith each and every day.  There is a process by which we can grow our faith and it’s a pretty simple one if you do it.  We may think that things are impossible, but with God, everything is possible!

Point 5.  When we listen to others and not God, we won’t get anywhere.

What is faith? James 1:6-8

While this passage speaks directly to asking God for wisdom in the midst of trials, the consequences of not having faith that God will give you an answer is universal – your lack of faith in God will cause you to drift about the chaotic seas of this world like a rudderless ship.  I’ve been in this situation far too many times to count and it took me a while to learn the lesson – when God says that something is “this or that,” you turn your ship towards His Words and keep the course, even when the seas are raging around you.  Actions based on faith may take time to see, but it will happen because God has said it would and we have past evidence that we can find in the Bible as well as in our lives.  Being “double-minded” means that we start off on a course of action, then, in the middle of things, we do the exact opposite because our actions are based on the circumstances of the moment, like the raging seas.  Keep the course and have faith in God.

Point 6.  If you half-a** it, you’re not going to see anything.

What is faith? Romans 14:23

I’ve got to tell you that this passage blew me away.  Paul’s talking about the liberty that we Christians have and he’s using food as an example (read Romans 14 for context), but as we have read in point 5, universal consequences can be found here as well.

Here’s the deal…if you don’t have faith, and I mean rock solid, 100 percent faith in doing something, it’s a sin, EVEN if it’s within God’s Will!

God is not going to be a part of sin, nor does He want any of His kids (Christians) to do so.  If you have the smallest doubt in your mind that you won’t be protected from the coronavirus, God won’t protect you from it and you’ll get it if you’re around a contaminated person – that’s it!  This is why it’s important to grow your faith, exercise it throughout your faith-walk with God and build upon it.  It’s like going to the gym to get in shape.  If you go in and try to bench press 395LB without a day in the gym, you’re going to get crushed by the weight.  Likewise, if you come up against situations that are heavy (this pandemic being one) without nourishing, growing and exercising your faith muscles, you’re going to get crushed (doubt).

The final analysis

God wants us (Christians) to walk in faith with regard to everything – from coronavirus to finances, to health and everything in between, both small and great.  We have evidence found in the Bible of those who walk and don’t walk in faith as well as our own lives.  God’s promises are rock-solid and shouldn’t be doubted, but if you doubt, you won’t see anything in blessings or protection.  Don’t listen to the world, listen to God.

In a nutshell, if you say that “I have faith in God, BUT…,” well, anything before the “but” doesn’t count, does it?

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