What is Faith?
The subject of Christian faith is in itself a vast topic that many men of God have explored. Writing about faith is a way for me to enrich the subject, as well as to contribute something new to its understanding and practice. Belief is at the core of the Christian life; we cannot speak of an almighty God, a Creator God, without mentioning faith. God, being at the center of creation, has always desired that mankind can worship Him, have an awareness of His presence, and acknowledge His omnipotence, even though He is invisible.
So, what is faith?
What do we understand by this word, which forms the basis of our relationship with God? Let us turn to the Scriptures for guidance. The word for faith in Greek is “Pistis,” defined as the conviction of the truth of all things, a belief, a conviction or trust regarding the relationship with God and divine matters, generally with the idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and closely related to it.
It is the conviction, firstly, that God exists, that He is the creator and master of all things, the one who provides and grants eternal salvation through Christ. Secondly, it is the strong and welcome conviction that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith this way:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.“
This well-known verse provides us with an insight into what faith is. To gain a deeper understanding, let’s examine the keywords from this verse.
<< Assurance of things hoped for >>
Assurance can be defined as having complete confidence in someone or something known. This unwavering confidence remains intact, regardless of the circumstances. We understand that having a firm assurance is the foundational element for acquiring faith because, without it, it is impossible to achieve great things. Consider the major decisions you’ve made in your life; you’ll notice that they were all guided by a sense of firm assurance, such as choosing your academic path or your career.
By eliminating hesitation and doubt, we made decisions that have since provided direction to our lives. Unlike choices made by individuals alone, which can sometimes turn out to be poor decisions over time, the firm assurance we speak of involves God, as believing in Him has never been a loss for all the people of faith mentioned in the Bible.
<< Of things hoped for >>
Our faith in God is tied to promises and blessings. Likewise, faith generates in us a firm assurance from which hope in our God arises. This hope is the confident expectation and desire to receive the promised blessings, especially for righteousness. Scriptures often speak of hope as the anticipation of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
In our daily lives, hope is often associated with events that do not occur as expected. Take, for example, a rainy Monday when you have an important errand to run. Faced with the capricious weather, we may say things like, “I hope this rain will stop soon because I need to go out,” or “I’ve been waiting for this rain to stop for an hour now! I’ll give it another two hours, and we’ll see!”
However, after a few hours, the rain continues. It becomes more persistent, and we lose patience, ultimately canceling the important errand we had planned. These statements illustrate the hope we often place in situations that, unfortunately, do not come to pass. But the things hoped for, as written in the verse from Hebrews 11, originate in God’s promises.
What God promises always comes to pass. The strength of our hope derives from God’s word, so the things we hope for do not come from the word of a human but from the word of God, who created the heavens and the earth.
<<A conviction of things not seen >>
Through faith and the testimony of creation, we believe in God, who is invisible and a spirit. For most people, we place more faith in the humans we see rather than in a God we do not see, even though He created the earth and everything in it. What a paradox! Today, God’s children put their faith in the visible over the invisible “who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and invisible.”
Having faith in God requires a belief beyond the physical aspect, regarding the invisible things mentioned in the Scriptures. Faith gives us the certainty of their existence, allowing us to act with full conviction of their reality. That’s why in Romans 4:17 in the Parole de Vie version, it is written:
“He is the God who gives life to the dead and who calls into existence what does not yet exist.“
Faith leads us to believe in things that do not exist but will eventually come into being through the power of God manifested in human life.
Ce texte est un extrait du livre “The Faith that Never Fails: Living Palpable Faith ” écrit par King Emmanuel MENIE