The Faith Factor

Has anyone ever said to you, “Just have faith,” when you were dealing with a problem? The phrase sounds nice but it is vague and certainly uninspiring. Have faith they say but in what? God, yourself, your family, friends, the government…what exactly? Faith is an important factor in our lives and who or what we have faith in will make the difference in our present circumstances and will eventually determine our eternal outcome.

I don’t know about you, but for me to have faith in myself is a little unnerving. After all, I recognize my own shortcomings and deficiencies. Same with my family and friends. For all the love I have for them, they are just as mortal and flawed as I am. And the government…well, there is nothing there to inspire any faith, that’s for sure. So what or who can I have faith in that will really give me the security I need to stay grounded in this life?

For me, that faith resides in the Father and in His Son, Jesus. The faith I have is not a vague faith in some myths or fairy tales from the past. As we enter this most Holy Week, it is a historical fact that Jesus came to earth, was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. There are extra-biblical sources that record this including the writings of Flavius Josephus. Flavius Josephus was a Jew but was NOT a Christian. He served the Emperors Vespasian and Titus and was their historian during the conquest of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and later served them in Rome. There was no Christian bias in his writings when he wrote about Jesus. He was just recording the facts as he knew them to be.

Ask yourself where or with whom are you placing your faith? Is the faith you have enough to carry you through the present and into eternity? These are questions that are imperative that we ask ourselves. It is not enough to blow through life like a leaf in the wind hoping that you will land in the right place. Hoping that your vague faith will get you where you want to be will bring you to a disappointing end.

There is Someone you can have faith in that will provide you with the security you need…why not give Him a try? The Faith Factor, it makes all the difference!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Photo by TC Perch, Courtesy of Pixabay.

15 thoughts on “The Faith Factor

  1. One problem with saying, “just have faith,” comes in the understandings of what “faith” means. The person who says “faith” may mean that word one way. The one who hears “faith” may understand it to have a different definition. In the New Testament alone (in Paul, Hebrews, and James), one can read three different understandings of “faith,” for example. Therefore, although Paul and James agree, they seem to disagree superficially.

    But to your main point…

    I define faith in Pauline terms: faith and works come as a package deal. Furthermore, faith, defined as such, kicks in when no evidence for or against a proposition is available. Affirming that Jesus had a pulse does not require faith. Neither does affirming human depravity. Certain doctrinal points are not articles of faith for me; I have evidence for them. Evidence precludes the necessity of faith.

    However, I accept other doctrines on faith. For example, I accept the resurrection of Jesus on faith. Reason and evidence take me far; they take me as far as the cross. That is as far as they can take me.

    Related to this post is another word people bandy about: “believe.” One of my fellow parishioners has a fine answer to whether he “believes” in female priests. He replies, “I’ve seen them!”

    Whenever someone asks me if I “believe in God,” I ask that him or her what he or she means by “believe”? It is a crucial question; my answer depends on the person’s intent. In creedal terms, to believe is to trust. When I say, as in a creed, that I believe in God, I say that I trust in God. By this definition of belief, I usually trust in God. If however, one thinks of belief in God as affirmation of the existence of God, I always believe in God.

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    • “I ask that him or her what he or she means by “believe”? It is a crucial question; my answer depends on the person’s intent. In creedal terms, to believe is to trust. ”

      I agree with your words above in that the meaning of the word “believe” is subjective to each person. The Bible says, “even the demons believe.” Oh my. In what way do they believe? Because they will certainly not be saved. So, to me, believing means trusting Jesus – every day – and surrendering my will to his.

      Yikes. Faith. Belief. These are extremely important topics to discuss.

      I’m sad to say there are many, many people in the world who think that merely believing the gospel is enough. There’s so much more to faith than believing a fact.

      Jesus, please open our eyes to the things we believe that are, in fact, untrue. Open our eyes to the things we don’t believe that we ought to. Open the eyes of unbelievers all over the world so that they can not only believe the gospel but also dive wholeheartedly into a life-long journey of trusting and obeying and loving you more and more! Amen.

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  2. Yes. There is always a perception of believing in self to the exclusion of belief in God. I believe that I am capable, worthy, loveable. And that God believes in me to do his will and follow his voice. I believe in God as He has shown be time and again that He loves and values me…

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  3. Good truths!! Misplaced faith is the same as having none! Faith in God equates to moving mountains!! So glad we don’t have to rely on ourselves, carry those heavy burdens, solve every problem alone!! Thankful for life in Christ!! 🙂

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