“For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” -1 Peter 5:5
This past off-season was the first time in my life that I ever really started thinking about faith, what it really is. And I learned a lot, because I really delved into the concept. The best part about this is that what started it all was small, minuscule doubts that constantly rise up in my mind. Not necessarily larger picture of life doubts, per-say, but definitely in basic, “easy” concepts that other Christ-followers don’t seem to have trouble grasping. Things that I’ve never heard other people express. I’m not too surprised by this, as I’ve always been a person who asks “why” and has trouble accepting things just because they are. I like answers and proof and the sense of control that knowledge brings. I don’t like feeling like I’m being kept in the dark. And I spent my whole life not realizing that that is the very definition and point of faith in God, or at least where faith thrives.
A journey of faith
So. My off-season faith discovery journey officially began when I Googled the word “faith.” Many definitions appeared on my screen, and among my favorites were: “Complete trust or confidence in someone or something” and also “…faith…based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” I loved that last one because it perfectly mirrored my emotions. These definitions also reminded me of definitions I’ve heard for hope: “A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” You get the point. You want the thing, but you have no way of really being sure of the thing. It sounded frustrating to me, to put it simply.
My conclusion upon completing a preliminary, kindergarten-level word-search? I don’t need proof for any of these things that I struggle with, because if I did then I would have no need for faith. Faith becomes laughable, obsolete, and completely silly in the face of absolute certainty. That’s just the way it is, every religious and scientific debate that we could listen in on confirms this. I am not unique in my desire to know that I know that I know something, and prove to others that it’s true. It’s just a thing we do as humans. But our relationship with Christ can be so much more beautiful in that we can give Him the simple, loving act of taking Him at His word. I can believe that He is good and what He says is true based on what I’ve seen Him do in my life. Similarly to the way I trust a friend when I can’t see what the future holds. I have no way of knowing for certain that they won’t let me down someday, but instead of thinking that way I choose to remember how faithful they’ve been to me in the past. They’ve given me enough reasons to trust them now.
And the best part is that God is infinitely more reliable than our most trustworthy friend. And He requires so little of us except our trust.
Joy in Uncertainty
So here is my conclusion now, having spent much time in thought on the concept since my Google search. Faith in God trumps certainty, every time. Because when we demand answers right now and spend our lives looking to convince our brains that He is real, or good, or what have you, we easily distract and distance ourselves from the humble, sweet opportunities to get to know Him personally, as He gently and politely reveals Himself throughout life. To trust Him just because He says He is. And is that scary? And uncertain? And will you feel ridiculous half the time? Yep. I still have my doubts, and I always will, because I’m human. I don’t get to physically see God in this world. And I’m thankful for this reality, because it’s not easy. It makes me closer with Him out of necessity, because I get to exercise faith and run to Him in my confusion and uncertainty. This is an amazing way that I can worship God in my doubt, and probably one of the best God/life related lessons I’ve been blessed to receive so far.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation.” -Hebrews 11:1-2