What is faith?

That has troubled me a lot. I often find myself praying for Jesus to reveal himself to the world, becoming frustrated when it doesn’t happen, and then suffer pangs of guilt for putting the Lord my God “to the test.”

Putting God to the test is expecting God to manifest himself in our lives according to our whims. Faith in God has nothing to do with that. I think faith in God is believing that He reveals his presence among us unwittingly and mysteriously–in ways beyond human comprehension.

I think Jesus sums up faith in him pretty well: “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

A child is always overflowing with curiosity about the world. He inquires indefatigably about worldly phenomena , but is easily satisfied with any semblance of the real explanation. A parent or a teacher will not attempt to explain the principles of aerodynamics to a 5-year old asking why birds can fly. Something along the lines of “birds fly because they have wings” suffices for all intents and purposes. Will there come a point in time when we should let the kid know a little more, so that when he tapes paper wings on himself and tries to jump off a building to hang out with his favorite bird friends, he can be persuaded otherwise? Sure. Hopefully that’s what the educational system is for. In the meantime, let’s just keep it simple and tell the kid that wings only work on birds.

A believer is, in the eyes of his heavenly father, an innocent but stupid child. The scriptures  tell us only what we can comprehend, leaving out the rest that our earthly minds cannot grasp. We trust in the Word, not because we want to stay stupid and unable to understand God, but because we want to grow to know God beyond our understanding of the flesh.

Recognizing that we are the children of God is the beginning of our faith. Faith reminds us of our limitations and beckons the day when we are no longer children, but one with Christ, our father.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.” (Psalm 111:10)

 

 

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