In one sense, I’m probably a great person to talk about faith in God, because it’s been a huge part of my life for…well, most of my life.
For that same reason, I realize that doesn’t make me very objective. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God, or believe it was important to learn to trust him. I’ve always thought he was there. I’ve always thought he cared. I’ve always thought he was guiding and directing my life.
Have I doubted God’s existence? Oh yeah. Plenty of times. Sometimes very seriously. But at this point, I’ve seen him lead me through too much to give up on him very easily…it would take a lot for me to look back at a lifetime of experiences that God seemed to be orchestrating and working through over and over, and re-interpret them without his involvement.
It’s possible. I remain open to the fact that I could be wrong; I think that’s being honest. It would just take a lot to dismiss what I’ve gone through and seen.
At the same time, I don’t really think I could explain too many examples of how I’ve seen God work in my life, that would convince anyone else that he’s real. You could probably chalk up any of my stories to coincidence or the rhythms of life if you wanted to. My God is often subtle, and he seems to like to work through ordinary things.
And this is pretty maddening to me. If he’s real, I just wish everyone could see him. I wish he’d show himself to everyone. But no, for whatever reason, he wants to be subtle…and he wants me to spend my life telling people the truth about him that I’ve become convinced of, and how he’s made a difference in my life. I guess he’s God, and he can make that choice. He can work that way. So, okay.
And that’s a major reason that faith is a thing for Christians at all. If our God was completely undeniable, there wouldn’t be a need for us to trust that he exists and that what he says about himself is true. There wouldn’t be much faith involved. We’d just see it.
But the longer I live with faith in the God of the Bible, the more I realize my own faith isn’t really the point. God is the point. His love is the point. His work in the world is the point. Faith is just the thing that helps me live in line with those realities. It’s what allows the truth about God, to make a difference for me.
So like I said, faith is a big part of my life. But it’s not. If all I had was faith, and that faith just made me feel better about my life, that would be pointless. If faith is merely a coping strategy based around beliefs I find convenient, I don’t really want to waste my time on it. But somehow, I’ve become convinced that God is real and he matters. I think “faith” is just a way to describe that.
This post reflects the views of the author, and is intended to start a conversation. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Or, if you’d like to hear some overall thoughts on faith from Christians at THRED, you can find those over here.