Faith- an essay
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see," (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). This verse, written around A.D. 70, found in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews in the Bible, perhaps defines faith in one of the simplest ways possible. The unknown author describes a transpersonal relationship with God or a higher power, however, depending on the interpretor, the word faith can take on many different forms. To have faith means to believe in the truth of a person or idea, regardless of whether or not there is logical proof or physical evidence of existance.
In their song "Never Alone," BarlowGirl sings, "...And though you're invisible, I'll trust the unseen." The word trust means, "a firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing." (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language). The pop-rock trio refers to this trust in their song, and finishes the line, "...so I'll hold tight to what I know; you're here, and I'm never alone." The words belief and confidence also go hand-in hand with faith. Both of these words represent characteristics in people who rely on a person or idea, physical or non-physical which may or may not be proven with material evidence. The Apostle Paul wrote, in the New Testament of the Bible, "We live by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV). Without faith, people wouldn't have hope for the things they couldn't physically see or feel.
Defined as "undecided or skeptical about; to disbelieve or distrust," (Merriam-Webster online dictionary), doubt is probably the most obvious antonym of faith. In my own experience, most of the time it's easier to have doubts in an un-certain siuation than it is to always have faith in a positive outcome. Unfortunately, feelings of doubt seem to over-power faith in most cases. Although we start out with good intentions, sometimes our faith falters but this doesn't necessarily mean we have failed. Jesus questions the faith of Apostle Peter in Matthew, chapter 14, when Peter walks on the water. Because of his faith, Peter took courage and, believing that Jesus was who He said He was, stepped out of the boat and onto the water. It only took a few steps for Peter, however, to begin doubting, and because of his doubts, he began to sink. "...When he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!'. Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said. 'Why did you doubt?'" (Matthew 14:30-31 NIV)
Those who have an un-compromising faith are essentially stronger than those who allow doubt, skepticism, distrust and unbelief to permeate their thought pattern. Of course relying solely on one specific idea or person and putting all your confidence into it never proves easy, but those who don't take the negative thoughts of doubt and skepticism captive only endup with a broken-down faith and even more doubt, distrust and unbelief. Faith is powerful. "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20 NIV)