Thursday, March 02, 2006

What Is Faith?

Russ and I just walked in the door from our Bible study. (It’s after 9:30 and we have yet to eat dinner, so this will be a short post!) Several of us have been going once a week to study with a group of “kids” that range in age from 15-22 and are all connected in one way or another. In the girls group tonight I found myself wanting to explain something but not having the words in English, let alone in Portuguese. I know that all kinds of people read our blog, so I’m going to ask for your collective wisdom. Please take a minute and answer this question in our comments section.

What does “believe” feel like?

BTW, we open our doors in one month from today. It's a little overwhelming!


Ginger said...

Jason's response was "confidence without insecurity". He did not seem to have a problem with this, but I have to say, Val, I am in the same boat as you. I do find it hard to say what "believing" feels like. I will consider it and comment later.

Ginger said...

after giving it much thought, I came up with the same conclussion Jason did. It feels like you have absolute confidence, a sense of relief, closure and freedom.

JenniferReinsch said...

complete and total comfort with complete and total certainty.

dave said...

the above responses seem reasonable. but if they're true, i'm not a believer. i'm not totally comfortable, and i'm not always totally certain.

from my experience, belief is messy and imperfect.

i'm not sure what tangible sensation to relate that to. the first thing that came to mind was running. belief is like running. but i don't know if i agree with that.

hmm. what a messy answer. oops.

Bethany said...

I don't think there is an answer to your question, Val. Believing feels like different things at different times.

Sometimes believing feels like certainty and a sense of calm. This is my personal favorite feeling....

Sometimes believing is the reassurance you give yourself when you're uncertain about your direction.

And there are other feelings to that aren't just jumping into my mind right now, but that's my best shot at a description!

Love Ya!

Valerie said...

Thanks, everyone, for what you've shared so far. I'm glad to have a diversity of opinion, because I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Or maybe it's something different for every person. What do you think?

(If you are feeling sheepish, you can post anonymously. I probably would.)

Jason & Nicole said...

I hadn't thought about it before, but if faith has a feeling Dave's first thought of "running" sounds good to me. Faith in the Bible sounds like "going out on a limb" which would obviously would make your heart beat faster. Jesus praying in the garden seems like faith and the feelings would be intense. I guess now that I think about it, "running" doesn't sound as good as "running to win a marathon". That might be the intensity.

Thanks for letting me ramble on your blog. I was glad to find you guys on here. My wife, Nicole, and I are preparing to join what God is doing in Australia. I remember when you two and a bunch of others stayed in my apartment in Campbelltown.

Anonymous said...

The bible ansers us:
"7By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith"

Faith, then, is a sort of certainty. But an irrational certainty. A certainty that would ignore a whole world of alternate possible (but equally unproven) conclusion.

The certainty that ignores the tiny voice of doubt. Because, of course, you can alway doubt. There is always this last shred of possibility that says "this is not real" and "here I do not know". And if we accept that doubt, no matter how small that doubt is, then we can never rid ourselves of it. So faith is that last *bit*, that last tiny piece, that says "you have ventured this far; here is your proof. We will continue without certain knowledge because that is how it must be."

This is what faith is to me. The last shred. The last piece. The point of acceptance. The joint between the inherently unknowable physical and the eternal spiritual. The part of the equation that must be to reach a conclusion.

It may not make sense to anyone else. But if you search deep enough you find *you cannot know* and there you accept faith, and that acceptance is faith.

At least to me - that's how I feel it.

TamaLa said...

Wow, cool discussion. Everyone's comments have sent my thoughts in several directions. The 'running ' thing seems like a good picture, but perhaps only at the beginning, or in times of confidence. I don't always have the vigour and gusto needed run a marathon.
Believing often feels like holding someone's hand and following them through a dark place, on an uncertain road. Why do you hold their hand and follow?
Believing requires trust... sometimes in large amounts, and sometimes not.
By faith I have to trust God to lead me through this life...b/c I sure can't do it on my own!