In a recent conversation with a trusted friend, the subject of faith was introduced. The introduction had to do with faith speaking directly to daily life. Faith in the midst of life is all too often ignored in favor of faith’s other meanings.
Faith in popular parlance tends to be associated with believing the unbelievable, or believing something without evidence. While faith has this connotation, I think it misses the real core of the Gospel. The scriptures offer a more nuanced view of faith.
The Letter to the Hebrews describes faith as, “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This well-quoted line illustrates the multivalent nature of faith. Faith is part investment in a future hope within the context of the unrealized present.
The Letter to the Hebrews goes on to list many examples of faith. Abraham is chief among them. Abraham leaves all that he knows, family and land, to embrace a promise made by God. Abraham wasn’t stepping off a cliff into nothingness, but was moving into a future that he couldn’t completely grasp. The obedience of Abraham is a sign of his trust in God for his life and the future generations of his family. Abraham’s faith is manifest in his trust that his life is intertwined with the life of God.
Our practice of faith is not unlike that of Abraham. We are not promised that every moment will be bliss, if we believe in God. We are not promised an easy or successful life, if we follow Jesus and keep his commandments. Faith is trust that our lives are bound to the life and love of God.
Faith is seeing life in the security of God’s love. Faith is recognizing and appreciating the moments of obvious intersection, when our lives collide with the life of God. Faith is trusting in the midst of the uncertain, unfolding future that we are inextricably bound to God and the Kingdom. I need that faith, everyday.