“Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
(Hebrews 11:6, NRSV)
Faith is the glue that bonds the relationship between ourselves and God. Said another way, without faith we cannot have a relationship with God.
Faith is not a mental assent that God exists, nor is faith assent to a religious set of rules and regulations. Faith is not the act of going to church, taking communion, belonging to a particular denomination, worshipping in a prescribed way, adhering to traditions, or adhering to a particular set of biblical interpretive patterns.
Rather, as Hebrews puts it, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of that which is not seen”-i.e. God. We do not “see God” but by faith we believe that he exists. This ability to believe, without seeing, is at the very root of faith.
In our Western, enlightenment, modernistic thinking, we “know” something because we can see it, touch it, feel it, count it, and explain it rationally. This is not faith. Faith is “knowing” precisely without the ability to see, touch, feel, count, and explain in completely humanistic and rational ways.
Faith has to do with a deeper kind of knowing-a spiritual knowing, a knowing that is at once a gift of God through the Spirit, and a choice on our part to put our trust in God based on the evidences of God all around us: creation, love, compassion, justice, righteousness, and the “small miracles” that happen every day.
Where in our lives do we need to make a choice to trust in God?