Tuesday, June 19, 2012

knowing, believing, and having faith

Until earlier today, I had a misconstrued idea of what these words meant. And since these three words are used a lot when believers talk about their faith, I think it's very important that we know exactly what we're saying when we speak this way.

Dictionary.com defines the words this way:

verb (used with object)
to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty
verb (used without object)
to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so
confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
belief that is not based on proof
I always assumed that believing and having faith required proof, which is why I was sometimes hesitant to use them when describing my faith. I tend to get discouraged, sometimes because I feel that in order to believe or have faith, I have to have it all figured out. My assumption was that I had to be 100% sure about everything, all the time, before I would dare to use such terms as these.
But God doesn't expect us to have it all together. If He doesn't require us to have proof before we believe, why should we? Dictionary.com says that belief is simply having confidence in something, even when we don't have proof that we're right. Faith is defined as belief that is not based on proof.

The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1 that "faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see."
When I actually took the time to look at these words I realized that I was coming at it from the wrong angle. Belief doesn't require proof, and neither does faith. They both simply mean that we make the choice to trust God, even when there isn't substantial proof. Choosing to trust in Him, choosing to believe even when we don't get it. Jesus knew we'd struggle sometimes, which is why he prayed specifically for us (those to come) in John 17:20-26, why he blesses us before doubting Thomas in John 20:29.
And I'm having trouble finding a good place to end this post (maybe because it's so relevant to me personally?) so I'll just finish by saying that God never said it would be easy. He did say that we'd never have to go it alone.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." - Matthew 7:7
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." - James 4:8

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." - Deuteronomy 31:6
Currently reading Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ," and Dr. Michael Green's "But Don't All Religions Lead to God?"

**Can also be defined by the Bible in Hebrews 11:1, as shown above**


  1. I was literally JUST talking about his at camp training the other day. Lovely post!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Maddy. :) It's something that's been on my heart lately...I'm glad the post made sense. ;)

  2. This is an amazing post. You could be a preacher! ;)


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