What is Faith?
by Trish Overby
In my previous article, I talked about what we all might perceive as faith. For example, I mentioned about travelling over a bridge on our way to work on Monday morning. We put our faith or trust in the architects, engineers and builders to have made that bridge safe and sound for the traffic going over it every minute of every day. We put our trust in a lot of everyday objects, people and institutions because we believe in the characters of the people who made those objects or institutions. Not that we know the character of these people (as some are long dead now) but we trust that the work they have done is well made and will not go wrong for us. This is the same trust we can have in our heavenly Father who created this earth with all its beauty and diversity. He's made this earth for us to work, play and live on. He cares for us in a very intimate way that no other person can. But how do we get to know more of what He is like? How can I find out more what His character is like?
One way to get to know our Creator is through the Bible. Both the Old and New Testament have people interacting with their God in everyday situations. In Genesis Chapter 1, we looked at how God created us and why He created us. He created us different from the animals and plants. He created us in His own image. He made us so He could have a relationship with us.
This friendship with our Creator can be seen in other men's lives in the Bible. One of them was Abraham. He was chosen and called by God to a new place of residence. (Genesis 12: vs. 1-3) In response to what God said, he left where he grew up with his family and took his wife to another place that was chosen by God.
Abraham was also promised a son or heir. (Genesis 15: 4) God promised him this when he was very young and it wasn't until he was a very old man (and his wife just as old) that they did have a son. (Genesis 21:2) Yet Abraham never wavered in his belief in what God said would become a reality. He trusted in the loving character of his heavenly Father and that what God promised would become a reality even when it looked like the opposite might happen (no son because they both were so old). God promised and Abraham heard it and responded by believing in his Heavenly Father.
As in any relationship, two people need to communicate with each other. For instance, I need to tell my husband when I am hungry or tired or need to go shopping. He won't always know it by looking at me. Once we have told a person something, we need to listen or hear what the other person is saying in response. We need to understand them when they are asking a question or giving an answer.
The same applies to my relationship with God. I must let Him know my needs, desires and thoughts. I also must take time to listen to him reply. His answer to me could come in an unusual place. It could be as I am reading the Bible. Or,reading a book or article someone wrote a long time ago about God. It could also be a story a friend tells me about a situation that happened to them. Or it could be a question someone asks me. These may cause me to think about what I asked my Father for and why I asked Him for it.
So, there seem to be two attributes of faith. The first attribute is a trustworthy person who promises or tells us something. This is a person who as we get to know him, we find he cares about us and we can depend on him. The second characteristic of faith is a person who will listen to that dependable person and will respond by believing what they have been told. They adjust their thinking, attitude and actions accordingly to what has been said. As this friendship continues to grow, the two people become very close and very much alike in their thinking. Their perspective on life and the world around them becomes very similar and the love and joy they share can be expressed to others around them. This sounds like a heavenly life of faith. Let's go for it!
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