There are diverse explanations of what faith is from the pulpit and the laity alike. Some of these explanations are based on the scriptures while some others border on outright falsehood.
The intention here is to take on just one of these myriads of faith theories; and that is the idea that faith, in relation to our living in this three dimensional world, is like a blind man looking for a needle in a 50 hectare space of farmland. Someone once gave voice to this school of thought by quipping quite enthusiastically that ‘faith is a leap in the dark’!
If this were true, it implies therefore that a man living by faith is neither able to perceive nor understand the working mechanisms in his or her life nor is he or she able to utilize such knowledge for his/her benefit. That would be like trying to drive a car without having ever seen one before not to talk of knowing what it is used for! This why some people who are claiming to be walking by faith either come out as lazy, mediocre or just plain confused. The problem is not with the concept of faith but their understanding of it.
Logic can be understood as valid reasoning; that ability to verify facts and to investigate the principles governing correct or reliable inference. In simple terms, that which is logical to us is that which makes sense.
Now is there any ‘logic’ to faith? Does faith makes sense? Put another way, are there principles that can be understood in relation to how faith works?
This leads us to the next question.
What is faith?
Let’s use the very same verse of scripture that has been used for decades to explain this.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1 KJV)
The scripture says that faith is the substance [that is, a physical reality that can be touched or felt] of things hoped for, the evidence [something that gives a proof of the existence or truth of another thing; the substantiation of a thing] of things not seen. I am tempted to just assume at this juncture that this is clear enough but I know from interaction with fellow Christians that many people don’t just get the gist!
First, faith is not the things hoped for or not seen. It is not the house you want, that college admission or the healing in your body you been praying for. Rather faith is what shows us that you have access to and therefore can experience what you are hoping for. The valid point here is that the evidence of a thing is only required if that thing cannot presently be experienced at that point and therefore there is a requirement to give proof to the existence of that which is being verified. This evidence gives us the assurance that that which we do not presently see, we have access to and therefore can experience. I hope I have not lost you here! Please follow me closely at this point.
Now if what is hoped for is not yet seen, the evidence of its existence cannot at the same time be abstract; do you get the point? So if faith is that substance [or more accurately the substantiating] of what we hope for, it means that faith therefore can be touched, felt or seen. It means that faith is ALWAYS a physical reality, in the sense that you can relate to it three dimensionally.
How do we know that we have what we want? By faith. Faith is the physical reality of that which we have not yet seen or experienced but which confirms that we have access to and therefore will take hold of what we hope for.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17 KJV)
So this is how we know what we have access to; God tells us! The beautiful thing here is that the bible actually states that what God tells us is what gives us faith. Again let’s make sure we do not mix it up; faith is not the promise God tells us rather what God tells us is what brings faith to us. It is therefore your action based on the information you have that can be likened to faith not the title deed itself! This is why we are told that:
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (Jam 2:18 KJV)
This is the point: Faith is the evidence and substantiating of what you desire but do not yet have and this faith is brought to you by the word of God so that you can act on the word to possess what it says you have. The specific word of God does not prove you have faith, it only proves you can have what you want IF you act on it! Your actions based on God’s promise to you can be seen, felt or touched. The ‘logic’ of faith is that faith is a physical tangible reality of our expectation. What you can see, feel or touch already has some sense of logicality to it, at least as opposed to what you do not see! Do you get it now?
To buttress this let’s take a look at one of the examples of faith in Hebrews 11.
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. (Heb 11:11-12 KJV)
Abraham and Sarah were barren for a long time till Sarah was 90 years of age. She had not just reached menopause, she was at ‘menostop’! Then God came around and gave Abraham his word;
‘I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him’ [Gen 18:10].
Remember faith comes by hearing God’s word, so faith came to Abraham and Sarah through God’s word to them. However, no matter how much faith Abraham claims to have if he did not have sex with Sarah based on his confidence in God and therefore his word, Sarah would still have remained barren! You see, the logic of faith here is the ACT of sex Abraham and Sarah had based on the promise recieved.
In conclusion, living by faith involves getting God’s word AND acting on God’s word to you. So if God tells you he will bless you financially, the logic of faith states that he will do it through verifiable tangible means [He will bless a business you have, instruct you to start one, open your eyes to a profitable investment, etcetera]. Don’t think you can just be lazing around and expect God will make bags of dollars land at your doorstep!
Get this instruction from apostle James:
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (Jam 2:17-23 KJV)