What Does “Faith” Mean?

Christianity isn’t worth it from an earthly perspective. It never has been and never will be.

I know this because of Hebrews 11, which talks about many people of faith who held on to something eternal through much earthly struggle.

“Faith” means any number of things to people. Here are some definitions of faith I’ve gathered from people who claim to have faith.

1) Faith means agreeing intellectually with the facts (or at least some of the facts) of the Bible.
2) Faith means getting emotional at appropriate times–appropriate times are the times when the guy leading you tells you to feel the right emotion at his appointed time.
3) Faith means ignoring natural law. I’ve heard faith expressed by not filling up the gas tank and believing God will get you there, not wearing a seatbelt, money will magically multiply (and not by compound interest either), etc.
4) Faith means flying by the seat of your pants. Planning, thinking, paying attention, discipline or any other regulation is thrown out the window as we “trust God.”
5) Faith means happiness. Whatever happens in life, greet it with a smile, convincing yourself “God has a plan” and all your sin, bad choices, reaping the fruit of the bad seeds you’ve sown, is met with thrills, happiness and much pride.
6) Faith means superstition. If I rub God the right way I will get what I want. If I pray so many hours my prayer will be heard. If I go to church Sunday, God won’t mind if I go to the bar Monday.
7) Faith means chucking common sense. I believe if I never leave my home God will deliver my perfect man to my house and we will be married. I believe that if I never discipline my kid he will turn out fine because God is big.

You get the idea. Faith actually means living by God’s Word and not by sight. It’s a word directed at the senses–hearing over seeing. Most of our life is driven by sight–what we can see, touch and experience. The bills in front of us carry more weight than God’s talk about some future “day of judgment” that we don’t know when will arrive.

Hebrews 11, all about faith and people who lived their faith, says the essence of faith “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith has to do with the unseen. If you can see it, you don’t need faith.

Faith is proved, evidenced, by looking at what cannot be seen. Note that this makes no sense!

Faith is not proved by sight. Faith goes on what is heard to decipher what is seen. Faith comes by hearing. We walk by faith not by sight.

If you prove your faith by a display of emotion, a full gas tank, a smile on your face, or any other temporal, physical thing, it’s not faith!

Yet I hear many “Christians” say they know they have faith because their knee was healed, they conquered drinking, they got unexpected money, they felt a tingly sensation, or beyond all odds, they sold their home in the worst housing market of all time, aint God grand?!

He is grand, but not because you sold your house. He’s grand because He tells us our houses are worthless piles of dirt that waste our money on stupid stuff and distract us from eternity, which is where we should be living for.

Hast thou faith? Then prove it by not living for what you see, but by listening to God.

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