A simple word about a complex subject!! I have used this word in the context of explaining things like Spirituality and the Holy Spirit. BUT, what is it and how easy is it to explain?
Webster defines it in many ways, but the easy one is— where there is a belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion. This could be in reference to any religion of course, so I will go where he expounds on it further—- the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved. The second one is under the title of Christian Theology, which makes sense to state it that way.
I could stop right there and say it is that easy. I will stick with the doctrines or teachings pertaining to Christian religions for now. As a point of interest, not all religions use the concept of faith in their practices, but let me stay with Christianity for now.
Because the word itself includes Christ faith is based on His workings in His lifetime and His teachings. I would think that Christians are not distinguished by the word faith itself, but instead by what Christians look as the examples of His life as written in the scriptures. If someone does not have faith, I would think that person does not have the basic confidence as of what is written in the Bible.
That is not hard to understand. If that person of non-faith does not have the trust in believing in what is written, or thinks that the Bible is not reliable, then the faith may not be there. I wrote a history of the Bible a few years ago for Sunday school. To read the history and to know how it morphed into what is seen today is so very interesting.
I will not go into that now, but needless to say, it, the Bible, had its slow progression to what it is now. The King James Version is what most other versions take from and what was used before then was difficult to read and understand.
So, the Bible is where I said the trust begins. I think that you would have to trust that what is written was inspired by God, even though it was not written by Him. I know some religions look at it as the absolute word of God, and they can do so, but I will use “inspired by God” instead for now.
It takes believers, scripture, traditions, personal experiences, a community foundation of belief to be assured about God and Jesus Christ. There is more written about the man names Jesus, than any other historical figure from the past. There are more manuscripts telling about His life than any other person from history, so that is part of it.
All well and good, but what is faith again? It still comes down to a feeling!!! I wasn’t at the crucifixion, I did not see the miracles occur or hear Jesus pray and teach. So, I have to trust in the work or stimulation of the Holy Spirit where He endorses the Scripture writings, which comes about by the divine inspiration of Him. The finality of these dealings is what faith is all about.
I remember when someone I know had problems believing in God, and was basically a doubter and not really an unbeliever. I told him so, and he did not agree, saying he did not have doubts, just not enough hard facts to support his believing. I understand that thought process. There are some things that are difficult to believe in, and without concrete, absolute, engineered, scientific evidences, it is not easy to come to terms with in life.
The Sun comes up from the East and sets in the West. The planet Earth is round, not square or flat. The word –faith comes up when the desire to substitute emotion for evidence is pronounced. If there are emotions by many people, faith cannot be rationally made into fact and friction can occur in the process. So, faith is— believing without evidence. So, by my saying I have faith, I am saying to you, I think I know something or believe something that some may say I really do not know for sure. That is my faith, believing in the Father, the man God Jesus ,and the Holy Spirit of God, that has no physical proof laying around. Except, I know there is a God, and perhaps I will tell you why some day.