Three Thoughts on How Faith Works in our Lives
My first thought is the obvious ‘go to’, where Hebrews 11:1 perfectly defines faith, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is not something like math or science which is based upon fact. We cannot see it; we cannot prove it. When it comes to trying to tell others of the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15), all we can do is show the evidence of it. We can pray that they will listen to the voice of the Lord and let it grow as Alma compared the word unto a seed in verse 152 in Chapter 16 of Alma.
I think of it as a court case where you put forth your argument, and the other side (in this case Satan) puts forth theirs. It’s up to the person or persons to make up their minds based on who they chose to believe. How do we show our faith? Where does our faith come from? I think the key word is evidence. We have a Bible and Book of Mormon full of evidence. Word after word of evidence. We must believe those scriptures are the word of God. I believe we are commanded to study the word of God is so that we will have and know those evidences. (2 Timothy 2:15) We have testimonies of Gods blessings, revelations, dreams, etc. that we can tell others. All of these things are evidences, and as the definition suggests, we cannot prove them. As long as someone is willing to see or hear, we should help them understand our faith in God.
For thought two, Hebrew 11:6 further stresses the importance of faith: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” This one doesn’t take any definitions to understand why we need to have faith. Do we not want to stand before God as His good and faithful servant? We obviously need faith, we need to believe, and we can never ever stop working to please God.
Finally thought three, one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon, Moroni writes the words of his father Mormon, speaking on faith, hope and charity. This is necessary reading and Moroni expounds on attributes for all those who would desire to stand before God at judgement day. However, I want to key in on one statement and one topic, in particular, regarding faith. Mormon stated in vs 35: “And Christ hath said, If you will have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.” It was the word ‘expedient’ that stands out to me and I had to look up the word to make sure I knew what it meant. Expedient is defined as “suitable for achieving a particular end in a given circumstance.” Christ is asking us to have faith so that we may do anything He asks us to do. How many times in your life have you struggled to do what is right because you couldn’t overcome your own weakness? Have you felt led of God to do something and you didn’t do it? I know I have. I had not looked closely at that word expedient before now, but in defining it, I think of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” If we can just have faith and believe in Christ, we can do anything we need to do.
I was reading a book recently where the author quoted Patrick Henry who said, “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past”. How true is this? I think most of those who know of Patrick Henry was, like most individuals of that time, had a great belief in God. Those men of that time period believed God was leading them, and they looked to God for that leading. Thus, I also don’t think the use of a lamp to guide him was meant to have a single meaning. We have a lamp in us to shine forth, and the greater our faith, the greater it will shine in a world of darkness. It doesn’t matter if we struggle or if we fall, we will always have our studies, experience, and trials to look back on. We can know how much better life we can be as a believer. I can look at my past and my experience, and I know I can hope for a better future by my faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.