Last Wednesday I was asked to speak on the subject of Faith, to a group of men that are preparing to return to society. The following is a brief segment of the what I spoke on.
What is Faith? Faith is one of those words that is difficult to tie down to one simple definition. If you ever Google the word faith, you will get many varied opinions on its meaning. Faith is a word that is often used to describe your particular religion or faith group. The dictionary describes faith as an “unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence. A belief with strong conviction for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust in or devotion to. Faith is the opposite of doubt.” A. A. Hodge suggests that, “Faith must have adequate evidence, else it is mere superstition.” Faith is not the opposite of fact or of scientific knowledge. The evidences of faith may operate differently than those of science, but they are there.”
Though there are many different opinions on the meaning of faith, may I suggest that today we look at Faith as something that you and I exercise every day in our lives. We’ve exercised it from the very moment we were born. I suppose it’s true that your mother even encouraged you to trust her when you laid in her arms. We learned day by day that was true, she would not drop us, that she was reliable, and we could put our faith in her arms. As we grew up and came to the age of two or three or four years old, your Mom might ask you to jump from a chair into her arms, and we would jump, because she had never let us fall before. Every time we had observed her, we had experienced the stability and the safety of her arms we have not been disappointed, and so we learned to put our faith in her.
It was the same when we began to ride on a bicycle. First we started to find out that the bicycle would carry our weight. Then as our Dad taught us how to balance, we found that it was possible to push the bicycle along on the ground in such a way that we could stay up even though it had only two wheels. We began to put our faith in the bicycle and in our ability to ride it and to stay up all the time.
So you see through out all of our lives we have gradually come to put our faith in all kinds of things. When you are driving along in your car and the car in front of you applies their brakes. What do you do? You automatically react and apply your brakes when you see their brake lights. We put faith in the fact that the car in front of us is going to slow down. You lift the phone when you hear the phone ringing, because you’re absolutely certain that you will hear somebody speak on the other side of the line. It’s the same when you hear the doorbell sounding, you’re pretty certain that when you go to that door and open it, you have faith that there will be someone standing on the other side. When we step into a plane, we put faith in the incredible theory of aerodynamics that assures us that the mass of metal is going to lift into the air and fly across thousands of miles of ocean to our destination.
But as we grow older we learn that brake lights malfunction, though the phone may have rung and the doorbell may have sounded ,not always is their someone on the other side. And that planes do crash. You see we are and will always be in pursuit of an object or person to place our faith in. Faith is possibly the single-most important element of the our lives. Sadly though a lot of us are where were at today because of what we have placed our faith in, drugs, alcohol, people, and it failed us!
As a Christian when I think of Faith I think of the many stories that are represented in Hebrews 11 of the Bible. How that these men and women regardless of their struggles and persecution they clung to their God and His promises. Why, didn’t God fail them by allowing persecution? No, God never said that there wouldn’t be persecution. You see these people trusted and believed God through the persecution because they knew that He was trustworthy, by what He had shown them through out their lives, He never failed them. His love for them was proven, and His promises were true. Some may say I don’t have that kind of faith, or I don’t have enough faith. You see our problem is not the amount of faith that we have, but the object of our faith. For example, if the object of my faith is in a airplane, it is going to fail me, but if the object of my faith is God, then I will be saved. I challenge you to place your faith in Almighty God the one who has created you and loves you regardless of who you are. You see the results of placing your faith in things that will fail. Our God never fails! Times won’t always be easy but He has never promised that. His promise is in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” As people who trust in God we know all things work together for the good. WE KNOW – when you lose a job even though you’ve worked hard. WE KNOW – when you make a bad decision and the consequences of it haunt you for years to come. WE KNOW – even if your appeal is shot down, even though you had good issues. WE KNOW – even if your parole is denied, and you get set off.
Notice the scripture doesn’t say everything will work out just like we want it to. But all things work together for the good.
Romans 8:37 In all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through him that loved us.