Faith, What is faith?
The dictionary defines faith as “a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny”. Faith is also an English word which is thought to date from 1200BC–50BC. It comes from the Latin word fidem or fides, meaning “trust”, derived from the verb fidere, to trust. So then the word meaning “trust” is actually the same word that describes a belief in God. If the two are really one, then our “Belief in God” should truly be our “Trust in God”.
But do we as humans really trust God?
Most of us don’t.
There are countless stories in the Bible that tell of the faith/trust that God’s people had. Abraham certainly did when he was willing to leave his family and his home to travel across the desert to an unknown land. And again he had faith/trust in that same God as he was about to sacrifice his only son on God’s command.
On the other hand there are also stories in the Bible of the times when God’s people didn’t put all their faith/trust in Him. Such as the Israelites and their straying from God whenever they were afraid of starving or when Moses took too long to come down from the mountain. They foolishly did not have faith/trust in God, who had already freed them from Egypt and brought them safely to that point.
We in our society today are more like the Israelites than Abraham. They were happy to do what God asked but only when it looked as though it was going to help them. Equally with us, if the situation looks rough or unpleasant then we stray from God and ask why isn’t he helping!
The famous poem of “Foot Prints in the Sand” is a wonderful example of how we as people don’t even notice God in our lives. The man in the poem didn’t even realize that God was really carrying him though those tough times. He pessimistically only noticed the lack of the extra footprints. But are we that same way? If we have faith/trust in God and follow his examples at all times, even when the path seems unfriendly, it will bring us to a greater point in our lives.
But will we keep that faith/trust in God as we live even the hard times of life?
To have true faith/trust in God we need to work at it and that’s where most of us go wrong. When having a bad day at work do we optimistically say “Your will be done, God.” or do we grumble (like the Israelites) and say “God, I’m a good person, why are you doing this to me?!”
Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” so why would he let me get hurt? The symbol of the “Good Shepherd” has more depth than most people know. In the times of Jesus, shepherds would break a leg of a sheep that had repeatedly strayed away from the flock. This way the sheep could not stray and it would be fully depended on the shepherd for food, water and to carry it from place to place. This created a closer relationship between the sheep and the shepherd, so when the sheep was healed it would not want to leave the shepherd. Like the shepherd, God allows bad things to happen to us so we can grow closer to him.
We need to have faith/trust that sometimes God is allowing bad things to happen so we can grow closer to Him and so we can grow stronger as a person. But we must try to remember everyday that bad things are God’s way of bringing us to a greater point of faith and trust in our lives.