Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Power of Faith

Joe said to me once, “Believing in God is easy. I can do that with the thinking part of my mind. Trusting God is harder, because trusting God requires faith.” I asked him how I could get that faith and he smiled. “I would suggest,” he said, “that you ask God to give you that gift.”

You see, faith is not something that we can do for ourselves. We cannot think ourselves into it, create it with discipline, or have it by wearing the team shirt. Faith comes by being in the company of those who have faith and allowing that faith to flow into us through them.

That company might be a twelve-step group, or a church or whatever. The source of faith is ultimately God and the people through whom we receive it are but the instruments.

And faith has great power.

I was channel surfing one night many years ago and don’t know why I stopped to watch this preacher, I never watch that sort of thing on television. This guy had a kind of cheerful expression, though, and looked like he was enjoying himself.

He was talking about faith and asked, “What is faith?” Answering himself he went on “Webster,” he said “defines faith as ‘belief without proof’.” He then got a puzzled look and allowed as how that didn’t tell him much about faith. “What role does faith play in my life?” he went on, “What does it do for me?”

He took out a bible in which he had marked passages and turned to one of them. He named the book, chapter and verse and then quoted,

“Faith makes us certain of realities we do not see.”

That powerful statement has been a guide for me from that day to this, and I have quoted it often.

The guidance and direction that God offers to me on a daily basis, the strength to live my life, are realities. They are not figures of speech. They are not metaphors that are written in books to make me feel good. I cannot see them or touch them but they are realities, and it is faith that makes me certain of them.

Certain not only in the sense that I know they are there now, but certain in the sense that I know I can rely on them, I can trust that they will be there tomorrow.

Certainty that says that with guidance and strength from God as my constant companions I can live my life free from fear.

That is the power that faith has.

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