Defining Faith

A friend commented on my earlier “It’s Time” entry (I sometimes write the same entry on multiple blogs):

Faith is in your heart and soul, you don’t have to shout it out loud for it to be known. As long as I have known you it has been a struggle for you at times, but each time you come through. I remember when you wanted a baby so badly…and now you have Thomas. Seriously the good deeds you do in your life speak volumes about how your faith is evident. Don’t worry.

Profound thought with much truth. It also made me think about what faith is. How is faith defined?

Turning to my Bible’s concordance, I found passages such as  “. . .faith even as small as a mustard seed . . .”, “. . . Daughter, your faith has made you . . .”, and “. . . hold up the shield of faith . . .”

Faith is an act, that much is certain. Without acting with that faith, miracles cannot happen. We cannot hear God’s voice, and without it we soon despair that God is even there, let alone hears us.

Okay. How does one gain faith? What actions are required to gain a mustard seed’s worth of faith?

Included in my concordance is a “See also”. One of them was the word trust.

Ah. Now things are getting a little clearer.

Let’s bring things a little down to earth, and look at some things we put our trust into. We trust that the sun will rise in the morning. Nah. Too abstract. For most of us, we  trust our spouse that he/she will not stray, and will comfort or protect us when we need.

How is that trust gained?

Through building a relationship.

Trust and faith in God comes through building a relationship with him similar to that as with our spouse. There is a saying I’ve heard multiple times: “If God seems far away, guess who moved.”

When I struggle with my faith, it’s usually because I allowed my relationship with God stagnate. I become complacent in my life, and no longer talk to him and give him even an hour’s worth of my time. It’s not about going to church (although it helps) or reading the Bible (although it helps). Those are outward consequences of my desire to actively seek God’s company.

The more I give him my undivided attention, the more my faith grows from barely the size of a hydrogen atom to the size of a mustard seed. I can’t expect my relationship with my husband to remain strong if I don’t talk to him about the things that matter, and the things that don’t, or even share moments of silence where holding hands is more than enough. Nor can I expect my relationship with God to grow if I don’t spend time nurturing it.

Thankfully God is everlasting and unchanging. I always know where to find him — since he didn’t move — and I know he will always welcome me back home. All I need to remember is to always treasure that about him, and not take it for granted.

4 thoughts on “Defining Faith

  1. I always enjoy it when you probe these tough subjects, Andra! You write so gently and quietly, never shouting or screaming, just nudging and prying through all of the complex layers. I take issue only when you write that faith is an act. Does that not seem too “active” for what might be considered more a condition? At any rate, I’m happy to once again read what you write and hope that you continue to probe and question.

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  2. Spoken like a true linguist, Dona. It’s true that faith is more a condition than an act. Thanks for pointing that out. I guess I was trying to say that faith requires action, otherwise it can’t grow.

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  3. I’ve been experiencing some of that stagnation lately. For me reading my Bible is really important, but I just seem to be finding other things to do. 😦 So, thanks for the reminder. I have to put forth effort on my part if I expect to feel in relationship.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I’m glad to see you back online. 🙂

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  4. Thanks, Jessica. It’s sporadic at best, but at least I’m not four months between each entry. For now. It is amazing how many “reasons” we come up with to not interact with God more.

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