What is Faith?
What does it look like to have faith? Faith is one of those words as an atheist is similar to belief. Something you might hope or put stock in without evidence. Again, this was my thought as an atheist. After coming to know Jesus as Lord, many categories and definitions have changed. One of the categories and word is faith.
The word faith has been forever changed for me thanks to Peter Enns. A Christian writer, Enns proposed the word faith be translated as trust. (I believe this is in his book The Sin of Certainty.) I have begun reading the word faith in the Bible as trust, and it has brought me deeper into my relationship with God. You see, faith can mean loyalty, confidence, support but I think at the heart of faith is trust. It usually is about the relationship of the people and God. Time and again their faith is tested, but the root of the story is trust.
I think the best example of faith as trust in the Bible is Abraham. Abraham is promised time and time again that he will have a child and decedents as numerous as the stars. Yet, Abraham continually puts that into jeopardy. He either tries to lie to save his life, as he perceives it, by saying his wife is his sister. Leading to a few powerful men trying to make Sarah their wife. Another example of Abraham’s faith is when he and Sarah decide to have a kid. They recognize Sarah is at the age where childbearing is impossible, so they take God’s promise into their own hands by impregnating their slave Hagar. These stories are great examples of faith, or lack there off, in the Bible, but what about the most famous Abraham story involving his son.
The story of Abraham and Isaac going up on a mountain is also a story of faith. The story becomes a two-way street of trust. God is trusting that Abraham will listen to him and finally trust him with his son. Abraham has to believe now that he has the promised son that God will uphold his end and make him have many decedents. In the end, Abraham is credited as faithful.
I genuinely believe at the foundation of Christianity is trust. Trust in God and his promises. Trust in Jesus and his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. Trust in the words that what is true of Jesus is true of us. Trust in the Spirit that guides and holds us in the presence of God. Trust is the foundation of a relationship. We are called into relationship with Father through Jesus.
My question is then how are we living out this trust? In Mark chapter 12 we hear the story of a widow in poverty giving he last bit of money to the temple. I believe the story of the widow is a story of her trusting relationship with God. So again, how are you trusting in God? How is your relationship with Jesus?