Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and heaven—on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we receive the promise? (from Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening)
In the Faith Wears Combat Boots? posts, I tackled the topic of faith: defining it, describing it as having feet, as wearing boots, as being able to work for us and through us, as an outward sign of our belief. But what happens when we feel we have lost our faith? What are we to do then? Can faith be lost and found again?
FAITH by DEFINITION: 1) confidence or trust in a person or thing;
2) belief that is not based on proof; 3) a belief in anything: God, a
religious system, a code of ethics, etc.
Faith and belief are bound together tightly when we say that we have faith in someone or something. The basis of our faith is a deep-seated knowing, a confidence we possess in our hearts and minds which may allude understanding or logical reason. When our faith is put to the test, we rarely welcome that opportunity with open arms. And yet, in order for us to truly KNOW that our FAITH is REAL and VITAL, it is sometimes necessary that we LOSE our FAITH, if only for a while. This loss can seem to us as a death; to lose faith is to feel as one who has been betrayed; or as one who is suddenly orphaned from everything and everyone which gave us sense and reason, trust and security. But maybe we haven’t really lost our faith, perhaps we have simply misplaced it…like our keys…or like the widow’s coin.
Luke 15:8-9 “Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses
one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every
nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can
be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me!
I found my lost coin!’
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language)
Maybe our loss of faith is necessary to birth a more perfect understanding of faith into our hearts and minds. If our deeply held convictions fail to support us when we need them most, maybe we need to dig around the recesses of our inmost soul to determine what exactly we were believing in the first place.
“If your faith is never tried then your faith can never be trusted!”
To lose faith, may indeed be a gift if the loss causes us to clean the cobwebs out from our initial belief. If the loss moves us to do the work of discovery, of asking ourselves again what we truly believed and had confidence in, then we should not fear the temporary displacement, but rather welcome the occasion for introspection. We should not fear losing the specter of faith which masquerades as authentic ~ a phantom belief must be allowed to blow away when the winds of adversity challenge it. An authentic faith is like the widow’s coin, it can be found when diligently searched for.
Luke 11:10 Everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches
will find, and for the person who knocks, the door will be opened.
(from GOD’S WORD Copyright © 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations
What is faith? Dictionary.com defines faith as 1)confidence or trust in a person or thing; 2)belief that is not based on proof; 3)a belief in anything: God, a religious system, a code of ethics, etc. So faith does not require scientific proof to make it true for a believer; either one has faith or belief or confidence or trust or not.
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. Thomas Aquinas
How do I get faith? In order to exist or be real for us, faith requires something from us; it is not something that happens to us in passivity; faith does not descend upon us like an ethereal mist; Faith requires action and input from our conscious mind and heart to believe that something is true. We get faith and we empower faith by our continued belief. Faith is very personal; it is a knowing belief which we, the believer, hold and possess as our own. For most of us, we must have some initial life circumstance or experience to help us decide whether or not something is worth believing or trusting. Instincts alone do not help us have faith; we are not born with a slab of faith, but we are born with the capacity to test, choose and adopt beliefs which seem right and trustworthy to us. So to get faith, we practice believing. But wait, PRACTICE implies work! And this is where the combat boots come into focus. If we want evidence that a belief or faith is REAL, then we would expect our faith to work its way out of us…a REAL FAITH has LEGS and FEET and ARMS and SHOULDERS. It must be put to work to be of any real value to us and others.
A body that doesn’t breathe is dead. In the same way faith that does nothing is dead. James 2:26 (from GOD’S WORD Copyright 1995)