In all of Christendom, perhaps nothing is a as simple or as complex as faith. There is a vast amount of belief and purpose summed up in that one tiny word.
I used to think I knew a lot about faith – after all, I had faith, and it had been a familiar concept throughout my childhood. I met people who didn’t have faith…and that taught me a lot about faith too.
And yet for all I thought I knew about faith, events of the past year or two have taught me an important lesson. In fact, somewhere along the last 10 years, faith became a spiritual gift of mine (according to my spiritual gifts test…if you believe those type of things).
I found that there was faith in God — believing He exists — and then there was faith IN God. Faith in everything He is – his mercy, his wisdom, his justice, his omniscience.
I used to think that faith was believing beyond all odds that things will be all right – that God is just, that his power prevails.
This is true, but only partly true.
The heart of faith is not believing that everything will be all right in the end.
The point of faith is knowing that even if it doesn’t, even when you are crushed beyond what you can stand, even if things don’t add up to anything good, you will still believe.
We’ll call it Faith 2.0.
When Jesus roamed the earth, he was searching for faith ….Faith 1.0. Earnest belief in his power and identity. But he ultimately wound up asking for Faith 2.0 from the 12 people closest to him – a martyr’s faith. The kind of faith that sees you crucified upside-down like Peter or beheaded like John. There was no happy-ending rainbow for the 12 apostles – not in this life anyway.
And while it is unlikely that anyone reading this blog is about to be crucified upside-down (I realize that), it is certain that there are many of you facing insurmountable objects…that may never move.
Children that may never be healed, marriages that can’t be repaired, loved ones who leave, lives that are ruined, chasms of heartache and heartbreak that last for decades, struggles that last….until you die.
It is precisely at these moments that you either lose your faith, or graduate to Faith 2.0.
When your faith in the character of God outweighs the earthly hope for his blessing, there is a bridge in the soul formed between faith and trust. It’s a bridge you can cross over and over, and it gets stronger every time you cross it.
The more I think about it, the more I think the secret of life is, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”
In short, I used to think faith was believing. But now I think faith is knowing.
There’s a difference.
I thought faith was hope for things unseen. But the Bible tells us faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
We all know if you believe in the things you see, it’s not faith. If you can believe in things unseen, you are hopeful…confident. But if you can be certain of them, your soul is at rest. It is steadfast, immoveable.
I once thought faith was my gift to God.
But now I think Faith 2.0 might be his gift to me.