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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Faith: What's it all about

Merriam-Webster defines faith as a "firm belief in something for which there is no proof."

Obviously the faith I'm going to talk about today is the faith we have in God. Yet faith, in my opinion, is not just a religious word. I think we all practice faith, in one way or another, on a daily basis whether we believe in God or not. We put our faith in a lot of things, including people, money, jobs. A lot of non-religious people put their faith in science. When discussing evolution vs. Creationism with a non-believer I learned that they have just as much faith in their beliefs as I have in mine. They can't "prove" it anymore than I can, but they sure believe it.

Faith in God, however, is different. To have faith in God, you have to come to a place in your life where you accept certain things about yourself and about the world around you. Things that you will never, ever be able to fully understand but you believe them anyway. Take our human bodies, for instance. There is absolutely no way I can look at the complexity of my body---from my brown eyes that see in beautiful color to my ever-beating heart keeping me alive---and not fully and completely understand that there is no possible explanation for it other than a thoughtful, brilliant Creator. I can't go to the grocery store and see the mind-boggling variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, meats, fish, etc. and not wonder at the imagination of the One who created so many different kinds of yummy things to eat. I can't go to the zoo and look at all the crazy, beautiful, interesting animals and creatures and not know Someone had to have designed every single one of them. I look at the earth with so many kinds of trees and plants and rocks and minerals, fresh water lakes and salty oceans, breathtaking mountains and beautiful deserts.

Could all of that be here just by chance?!

The answer to that question lies in one word: Faith.

From the beginning of time there was a plan in place. Read Genesis 1 and you get a true vision of that plan. God created the earth and set it up with everything we could ever possibly need or want. In the same way an expectant mother prepares for her precious baby, God prepared the earth for us. When sin entered the world (Genesis 3), God once again had a plan.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Faith gives us the assurance that all of that is true. Hebrews 11:1 tells us exactly what faith is:

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Hope and certainty. I can't see God, but I can see his handiwork all around me. Does my lack of visual contact mean he doesn't exist? Absolutely not! It simply means my eyes have not been allowed to see him yet, but Revelation 21:3 tells me I will one day. That's hope. The evidence he gave us on earth of himself is certainty.

If you keep reading in Hebrews 11, you see example after example of men and women who lived out their faith. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham. Can you imagine the amount of faith Noah had to spend years and years building a huge ark when the only water he'd seen in his lifetime probably came from springs, rivers or wells? Noah had hope and certainty. Hope for his future and certainty that God had asked him to do a specific job.

Faith comes down to one simple question: Do you believe what God says or not?

Noah believed God. I do to. My faith is firmly planted in the Word of God. The Bible is God's communication with us. It tells us his story. It tells our story. Some people will call me foolish and ignorant because of my belief in what many refer to as an "ancient book of fairytales." Let them. Only one opinion matters:

God's.

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This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Russia, Germany, France, Indonesia, Italy, Romania, India, Japan, Honduras

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