What a word. There’s so much that can be said, and that has been said, about faith and what that means. I’m not going to attempt that here, despite the title of this post. Ooops?
But I chose “defining faith” as the title of this blog post anyways.
I also chose it as one of the main themes I see tying together a lot of my experiences over the last 8 months in the Sahara. God has taught me so much over that time. One lesson that stands out from the rest is His redefinition of faith in light of my life there. He didn’t redefine faith in its totality – not even close – but faith in certain lights, and through that He strengthened me to continue on His path.
He showed me what faith is when it’s in the face of disappointment and discouragement… what faith is when I’ve heard His voice but then wonder where He went… what faith is when doubts threaten my joy about what He has called me to.
And, much to my surprise, He taught me this through a verse He brought to my mind as I walked to a friend’s house.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
It seems like this verse is always used when someone wants to talk about faith. It hasn’t hit me particularly hard any of those times (and I confess that sometimes I get a little tired of hearing the same message about it again and again), so I was amazed by the way God used it to encourage me.
He didn’t just use this verse at that moment, though. At the same time, He reminded me of His promises in scripture. He reminded me that His Kingdom is upon us, that Christ already conquered death, and that one day all nations will worship before him. He reminded me that these things, His promises, are all true even as they remain unseen.
So while I live my life in service of Him, and while I may see dry patches – it might even seem like one big dry patch – I’m called to have faith. When I hope for His Kingdom, when I am convinced of His promises, despite what I see, I have faith. He overwhelmingly told me that day that those assurances in His Word, His plans for humanity – they will happen. Whatever He calls me to do, then, is leading toward that glorious end as long as I am obedient to Him. When I am discouraged, I have to remember that what is in front of me is not final. The results of anything I do are in His hands, and He has already promised a triumphant ending.