Have Faith In Your Faith
Updated: May 25, 2020
By sis Sara Ong
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? - Matthew 6:30
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. – Matthew 17:20
Besides the book of Matthew, there are other accounts in the bible when Jesus would point out the disciples’ lack of faith. Jesus also encouraged them to have “faith as a grain of mustard seed”. But what exactly does it mean for us to have faith? When is our faith deemed too little and can we even have too much faith? How do we, as Christians, demonstrate unwavering faith as we experience life’s ups and downs? And when others disparage that our faith is blind, how can we remain resolute in holding fast to our spiritual convictions? In the paragraphs that follow, I will briefly explore the topic and hope that it will thereby pique your interest and provoke you to examine what having faith means to you personally.
Etymology of Faith Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1
The word faith was derived from Latin fides and from Old French feid. In the New Testament, the English translation for the Greek noun pistis or the Greek verb pisteuo is the word "faith" and it means "to trust, to have confidence, faithfulness, to be reliable, to assure". Within the context of religion, faith can either be defined as a particular religion (Christianity in this case) or having complete trust and confidence in God. The latter definition of faith will be used in this article.
Dichotomy between Rationalism and Having Faith Being a part of this physical world, we are conditioned to rationalise things based on factual knowledge and logical reasoning. This affords us control over our human lives and enables us to draw up plans for the foreseeable future. However, to exercise faith means that we would invariably need to trust wholly in God’s providence which can be said to be neither empirical nor logical (in the secular sense because faith is an intangible belief in someone or something not grounded in hard evidence). This naturally causes us to be rather conflicted because it entails relinquishing a considerable amount of control with the hope of influencing outcomes. A simple analogy of having faith would be placing God in the driver’s seat of our lives as we take the back seat and throw out the GPS.
Hence, having faith means that we would need to learn to be comfortable with living with ambivalence and unpredictability in our lives. It involves us acknowledging that the world does not revolve around us but instead we should offer our lives into God’s hands, without a shadow of a doubt in our hearts.
The Practice of Having Faith It is easy to preach why and how we should have faith but the actual understanding and practice of it is difficult because it is immeasurable, intangible and abstract. As a start, the seed of faith must first take root in our hearts (“the good ground”) and it must be cultivated in order for it to germinate well. The parable of the sower illustrates this, “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” - Matthew 13:23. I think as with most things, we only truly learn, value and understand something if it was borne out of times of trial and tribulation. Our faith is no different and it will be proved in times of hardship throughout our lives. The test of whether we have faith can be psychological (anguish), physiological (infirmities) or environmental (adversity). Since we all have to face trials of varying degrees in our lives, we need to fortify our faith so that when the storm hits, we can withstand it and proudly emerge unscathed because we had a strong faith.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. – Psalms 28:7
May this article spur us to ponder and implement more measures to increase our faith, so that we can say with conviction the words echoed in a famous hymn, “Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory! O glorious victory, that overcomes the world”.