As I plummeted to earth and toward the Atlantic Ocean at breakneck speed, I pondered this question:
“What is faith?”
Fair question, right? I mean if you think about it we all put our faith into lots of things everyday. On the highway today you’ll be putting your faith in the other drivers to stay where they belong. On that narrow backwoods road, you’ll be putting your faith in that oncoming driver not to drift into your lane when they look down to text a message, change the radio, or light a cigarette.
I’m putting faith in the chair I’m sitting in right now. You put your faith in the neighbors who live around you not to shoot you when you step out your front door. (Remind me later to tell you the story of when I got shot by my next door neighbor.) I put my faith in the dentist when he gives me that injection that its actually Novocaine and not mercury because he’s secretly part of the Taliban and is killing infidels one by one in his suburban dentist office. You put your faith in your coworkers to give you a heads up when the boss is passing by so that you can stop reading this blog and instead look over that spreadsheet the boss asked you to put together by the end of the day.
Yup. Faith surrounds us.
You want to find yourself in an interesting conversation? Ask the next person you see what they’re definition of faith is. Go ahead.
Hebrews 11:1 gives us God’s definition of faith. Feel free to look it up here, but let me give you the Cliff notes version (or Spark notes for those born after the mid nineties): Faith is trusting the invisible. Faith isn’t in the chair you’re sitting on, the drivers who surround you on your commute, or your dentist. Faith isn’t in those things. Faith is the silent transaction you make that drives fear far enough away for you to operate.
All that is admittedly generic and quite frankly pretty benign. You might find similar sentiments in a greeting card.
So when we talk about faith and the invisible, we can’t not talk about the spiritual realm you and I are actually swimming in constantly. The Bible teaches us that the visible is temporary and the invisible is eternal (2 Cor. 4:18). In other words, if you can see it, it won’t last. If you can’t see it, it will. I’m not trying to insult your intelligence here, I’m just trying to re-calibrate our thoughts correctly.
Faith says to fear “You’re not the boss of me.” Faith allows you to rest when questions are unanswered. Faith stands you up when your knees want to give way under you. Faith assures you that despite the present conditions, literally nothing is now as it will be later. Faith stands on the crazy idea that God is working things out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
So where is fear present in your life? Where has it elbowed its way in and declared presidency? Let faith speak up. Let faith have the floor. Let faith in the loving God of heaven show you how powerful He is and what depth of peace only He can establish in the midst of chaos.
Faith isn’t blind. Quite the contrary, actually. Faith sees clearly. Not in the present conditions, the tangible, or the visible details we can see; but in what God might be up to for our benefit and how in His good time He is going to prove Himself faithful as long as we hold tight.