What is Faith?
Faith simply means believing that something is true, and then committing our lives to it. In the Bible, “faith” means believing in God, and in what Christ has done for us to make our salvation possible–and then committing ourselves to Him. In other words, faith has two parts to it, and both are equally important.
The first part is belief–belief that God exists, and that He loves us and sent His son into the world to save us. Faith isn’t a vague hope that God might exist; it is a definite belief that what the Bible says about Him is true. The Bible says, “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” (Hebrews 11:6).
The second part of faith is commitment–a definite decision not only to believe in our minds that Christ can save us, but to put our lives into His hands and trust Him alone for our salvation. True faith not only believes Christ can save us, but actually trusts Him to do it. The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
Faith involves bold action.
Most of the examples in Hebrews 11 involve a person acting boldly in accordance with the word of God. By faith Abel offered God a superior sacrifice, Noah built, Abraham obeyed by leaving familiar territory and later offered Isaac, Isaac blessed his sons and one of those sons blessed Isaac’s great-grandsons. And on the list goes. The author spits out action words in rapid succession in verses 32-34 of Hebrews 11: they conquered, administered, gained, shut, quenched, escaped, became powerful, and routed.
Faith acts out a bold confidence.
True faith is action taken in response to the unseen God and his promises.
Faith spurs us to act in accordance with God’s truth. Its boldness seems especially to do with the fact that people of faith are backed up by the Unseen. They step forward with eyebrow-raising tenacity and confidence and with no perceptible reason for doing so. Yet, God has spoken. God has manifested Himself, and this is reason enough. Therefore, we too are called to an active, bold faith which finds its reason in the unseen God.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
- Mark 11:22-24
Easy, right? All you have to do is have faith.....super easy indeed! Unfortunately, this is not always the case for us. Life, in all of its intricacies, will often have us meet mountains and stumbling blocks that shake our faith. However, in the midst of this shaking, keeping of the faith is still a critical necessity for every child of God. When faith fails, it is like a major organ in the body failing – it is like heart, lung or kidney failure. Keeping of the faith is necessary because a child of God depends on faith like the body depends on water to survive; faith is the oxygen of the spirit. When faith fails life is at risk (Luke 22:31-32)
"You ought to discover some principle, you ought to have some great faith that grips you so much that you will never give it up. Somehow you go on and say, ‘I know that the God that I worship is able to deliver me" - Martin Luther King Jr.
So how do you keep your faith alive?
Regularly Examine Your Faith
Introspection is essential. Take time to reflect on your faith and your journey. This can be accomplished through journaling or prayer. If, during this time of reflection, you realize you are currently feeling disconnected from your faith, ask yourself these essential questions:
What led you to feel this way?
Do your current feelings echo other times of disconnection in your life?
What can you do to get back on track?
Take Solace in Prayer
How often do you pray? If you're like many Christians, prayer comes as an afterthought. Perhaps you sneak in a short prayer at the end of a long day or maybe you pray before digging into your favorite meal. What about when you face challenges in daily life? The more you infuse prayer into your routine, the more connected you'll feel to your faith.
Prayer can feel intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Think of prayer as just a conversation with your father--start as slow and easy as you can
Instead of striving to deliver a perfect, extended prayer on occasion, opt for incorporating short, simple prayers into key moments throughout each day. There is no set number of prayers you need to strive for, but you should eventually feel as if prayer is a key part of your otherwise secular pursuits.
Praise and Worship
Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. Whether its singing unto Him, dancing in His presence, or making utterances of adoration and praises, spending time in the presence of God creates an atmosphere for you to have a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit that fuels your faith.
Fellowship with other believers
In Hebrews 10:24-25 the bible tells us
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another… And let us not neglect our meeting together…but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.”
Through fellowship as believers, we gain the understanding that we are not the only ones experiencing challenges in our Christian walk. We also acquaint ourselves with persons who may have previously been through what we may be going through at this present time. We are thereby encouraged and motivated in our faith.
Post your favorite verses up around your house or workspace to recite them as a reminder during the day. Have it framed and hang it as a nice addition to your décor, or have it as your screen saver on your PC or phone. Use a bible app with audio so you can listen any time.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
In the Bible story about Abraham and Issac, Abraham demonstrated his faith by first agreeing on a matter and then later following through. What areas of your life has God been asking you to show faith by agreeing and acting?
Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works . . . .” What good works has God been preparing you for?
How are recent events providing an opportunity for you to demonstrate faith through these works?
Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages:
James 1:1-12, 19;
2 Corinthians 5:7;