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Faith in God

imgres-14Hebrews 11:6 says, “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him. This seems like a simple concept at first glance but the greatest struggles that most of us face when approaching God are contained in it. Does God exist? Can we get near Him? Can we please Him?  Will He bless us if we do? Some or all of these questions go through our minds at some time. Let’s talk about these questions and explore the idea of faith in God.

A practical definition of faith is to place an applied trust in something or someone. Faith in God is basic to any understanding of Him. It is impossible to encounter Him in a conscious way with out a rudimentary faith in his existence. However, this is a major hurdle for all of us. We struggle with anything that can’t be experienced with our five senses, or at least we think we do.

If we back up and look closely we will find that faith is an integral part of every aspect of our lives. Every decision we make is somehow relying on faith in something. If we didn’t have faith that our heart would take another beat or that there would be oxygen for our next breath our entire thought process would change. We would be in a constant state of panic. We place faith in our automobile every time we take a trip or we would never leave home considering the consequences of a catastrophic failure. Most people make financial decisions based upon faith that they will be paid as expected by their employer even though this isn’t always the case. We tend to find it easier to put faith in things that we have experience with over a period of time. This does not however, guarantee that it will be reliable in the future.

We also have strong beliefs in things that we can’t experience with our five senses. It is hard to find anyone who does not believe in courage, anger, hate, friendship, good, evil or love. We sense the affects of these and base our belief on that. God is usually experienced in the same way. It seems that faith is actually a concept familiar to all of us and much of what we believe has nothing to do with our senses. What we have faith in seems to always come down to choice and is often influenced by experience. We must have faith in something to function.

The Bible gives us examples of how God affects our environment as evidence of His existence. We find examples of this in: Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky proclaims the work of His hands, Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it—He is Lord of heaven and earth and Acts 14:17 although He did not leave Himself without a witness, since He did what is good by giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons and satisfying your hearts with food and happiness. The Holy Spirit is telling us that we can find evidence of God in the things He created and the goodness that we experience in life. Many people will try to repudiate this with other explanations such as evolution or random chance but these explanations require more faith than the concept of God because they do not account for the order of the universe or the difference between living beings and inanimate objects.

Faith of any kind will always be a decision and faith in God is no different. If we desire to look we can find much to support a belief in God and we have a multitude of experiences to help us. What we choose to believe often has more to do with what we want than what we know. If we want to know God, we will take the leap of faith to believe and as we travel that road, experience will accumulate to solidify our belief.

Can we get near to God? We will examine this question in the next installment of Mind of the Spirit. I hope you will join us.

*All scripture is from the Holman Christian Standard Bible

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