“If we only have enough faith, then miracles can happen”
“Faith can move mountains”
“You just need faith”
But faith has no certainty about it whatsoever. If it does, it’s not faith. Many people want certainty when it comes to God. They need a God who they can control. A God they understand. A God they know will deliver.
Scripture does say faith is being certain. But it’s being certain of only something we are not certain of. The unseen.
This God unseen is uncontrollable. A God of mystery. He is not fully known, and cannot be. And He is a God who doesn’t always heal – though none of us really know why.
But yet, He invites us to trust Him. He invites us into relationship with Him.
For me, true faith is not about believing in miracles. Jesus more than once becomes frustrated at people around Him constantly asking for signs – miracles – to prove He was who He said He was.
Not that He didn’t – and doesn’t – want to heal. Far from it. Jesus loves to heal. In fact, in many ways, healing was the heart of His mission. His purpose was the reconciliation and restoration of all things, the healing of the world through the cross.
But Jesus didn’t want faith in Him to be dependent, or conditional, on healing. And whether someone is healed cannot simply be a matter of faith.
Isn’t that a reward based faith?
We trust God and only then He heals? That’s not grace. That’s not a gift. That’s a reward. It’s like a contract. Faith = healing.
And anyway, God doesn’t always heal does He? The ‘unresolved sin’ argument holds no water either, because there isn’t one person in history outside Jesus Himself who doesn’t have unresolved sin.
So, the questions remains: What is faith?
Here’s my thoughts:
Faith is holding on to God when we have no reason to believe.
It’s trusting when hope seems to be gone.
It’s clinging on to what we believe is true even when our circumstances tell us it can’t be.
It’s believing in the truth of Jesus even – or especially – when He doesn’t heal the one we love. (you can tweet that here)
And it’s being willing to ask the questions we feel too afraid to.
Surely, if God is who He says He is, and we want real relationship with Him, then there is no danger in questioning. In exploring. In diving deeper beyond anywhere others have gone.
This, in my experience, is how we gain more intimacy with our creator. And as we go deeper, the challenges can become greater.
Because we don’t know all the answers. Only God does.
And we don’t fully know God. No one does.
There is mystery, unknown and unseen when it comes to God. Or He’s not God.
And the deepest faith we can have is when we trust and believe in God when He doesn’t answer our prayers. When life goes against us. When God seems absent.
Because He does sometimes doesn’t He?
It’s not always happy ever after. It doesn’t always work out how we hope. We all wonder why God allows such suffering in the world. Why He didn’t heal our loved one.
But if we can trust God when feeling Him absent from our lives, then we have found real faith.
And miracles? Well I believe in miracles. I believe God can heal. I believe He can raise people from the dead. But I don’t believe these are necessary for a life of faith, or for us to believe in God or His nature.
They are merely demonstrations of love, grace, mercy and power. Of a good and perfect God who wishes to lavish His love on His people. And they are signs of a great restoration which will come on Jesus return.
And that is something all of us can hope in.
What’s your definition of faith?
Have you ever doubted your faith?
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