Faith is a popular slogan now. You can buy a wooden faith sign just about anywhere. But what is faith, really?
I believe in God
I believe in the power of positive energy (think good thoughts!)
That’s faith, right? The hope and almost-persuasive feeling that everything will turn out alright in the end.
This optimistic approach might work on getting a date or a pay raise, but what about the big stuff? Disease, death, and heartache? Lemonade isn’t usually strong enough for those guys.
It’s no wonder we’re an anxiety-ridden, obsessive-compulsive, medically-saturated population. Turns out, unwavering faith is hard to generate.
The writer of Hebrews defines it like this: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Think about that oxymoron for a second.
Evidence must be seen, or else it isn’t evidence. The principle of evidence is foundational to our American understanding of freedom and fairness. Maybe that’s why faith is so hard for us. We expect reasonable and expedient justice. Habeus corpus. (Without a dead body, how can you prove a murder?) Perhaps we carry our “unalienable rights” into our spiritual understanding, too. When it comes to faith, I demand more than circumstantial evidence–more than a cliche about making lemonade. I want the whole story, from beginning to end. I need to know the verdict. I’m okay with a due process of faith, as long as the outcome is fair. And fair is something I can see and prove.
And yet, faith in its essence lacks visual proof. Somehow, faith entwines believable conclusions without supplying any tangible evidence to the conclusion. You have to hold on until the end without knowing what will happen before then.
Faith is the belief that I can’t comprehend or control the magnitude of a situation, so I will let someone more capable handle it. I won’t micro-manage. I won’t nag. I won’t freak out.
In fact, if I really have faith, I’ll pray, because prayer vitalizes faith. Prayer dares an omnipotent being to step up and take charge while I simultaneously back into the unknown. Prayer says I’m okay with the process because I know the decision isn’t mine to make, and I’m okay with the outcome because I lack the wisdom to manipulate a better one. Prayer commits to the long haul of an ordeal.
So if you find yourself praying, sending hopeful requests into the cosmos, stop to consider the evidence that Someone truly powerful must exist out there. He must care very deeply, or else why trouble himself with such a creation? And if that be true, then what else might be?
Maybe anything and everything is possible. A world of see-able evidence, when you turn around and look from the other direction.
1 Cor. 13:8-13 “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.”