Quite often we hear people exclaim, “Faith is a private matter”. It is not! Faith is, rather, both personal and communal. As a personal act, faith is our free profession of belief in the truth revealed by God. But faith is not merely a private act. As Christians, we profess our faith together when we unite our hearts and experiences as the Body of Christ. It is through community that our faith in God finds it meaning. Please read more.
As Christians, we walk by faith not by sight. Faith is our navigational beacon: however, its light often seems dim. Although we are enlightened by Jesus Christ, in whom we place our belief, our faith life is lived out in a dark world, and it is constantly put to the test. This world seems so distant from the one we have been promised by faith. Evil, suffering, injustice, and death stand in stark contrast to the “good news” we hear about in the Bible. Faith is that key that unlocks life’s mystery.
What do we know about faith? We know that faith seeks meaning. Through faith we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the totality of God’s plan for our life. Faith does not come in some magic formula. Our faith journey is unique to each of us, but through faith, we unlock the ability to understand our relationship to God, to others and to the world around us.
Faith, science, and reason work in concert to guide us. They can never be in conflict. God created everything in existence. Therefore, both the laws of nature and moral laws come from the same source of truth. Truth cannot be in conflict with itself. Through faith we pursue truth. In fact, faith is more certain than all human knowledge because it is grounded in God’s words and God cannot lie.
Faith also requires us to know ourselves. We cannot know ourselves by simply looking in the mirror. We discover our true self when we discover our place in the world around us. Our interactions with other people help us find our meaning and potential. Jesus taught us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Faith is a free gift from God through grace. Through grace we are given the ability to respond to God. But faith requires action. God never forces anyone to accept His love. We have free will and we can reject His gift. Therefore, to have faith means we must freely choose to accept God’s love, and we must place our trust in Jesus, and we must follow His teachings and commands.
Once we accept the reality that faith seeks understanding and truth, and once we begin to understand ourselves and our role within the Body of Christ, then we have established a foundation on which we can build. Faith is much more than merely a system of knowledge. Faith ultimately leads us to a personal encounter with Jesus.
Our encounter with Jesus is paramount to all of the encounters we have with others. Even with all of our communal interactions with other people, we are still left with life’s big uncertainties, namely, where am I coming from and where am I going. Jesus alone shines light, meaning, and understanding on these mysteries. Through our faith in Jesus, we gain insight into our mission in the world. Through our faith in Jesus, we discover that we are not only called to orient our lives toward God, but we are also called to bring others to Him. Through our faith in Jesus, we find the conviction to respond to others as He did.
Faith moves us to action. It is only with eyes of faith, filled with the truth of Jesus Christ, that we can understand our interconnectedness to the greater community at large. With eyes of faith, we see the pain in others’ lives. With eyes of faith, we see our brothers and sisters in need, With eyes of faith we gain the courage to venture outside of ourselves. With eyes of faith, we can bring healing and comfort to the wounded and hurting people we encounter along the road of life.
Indeed, through faith in Jesus Christ, life’s mysteries are revealed. Through this faith, the unknowable is made known, hope replaces despair, joy replaces sadness, love overcomes hatred, and we truly begin to realize that faith is so much more than a private matter.
Heavenly Father, I place my faith in Your Son Jesus Christ. Please open my eyes to the world of those around me. Convict my heart to act and grant me the courage to reach out to those in need. Amen!
As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.