What is Faith?

“Faith is believing in what any old fool knows is not true!” Mark Twain.

Shocking as this statement may at first appear, there is also a great deal of honest truth in it. Churches have a tendency to be riddled with all of the worst kind of clichés and anecdotes about faith, and after listening to them all, often you are none the wiser. So in keeping with this ignoble tradition, let me attempt to add to your woes and offer up another! Faith is one of those things that is difficult to pin point. As soon as one attempts to explain it, it becomes elusive and just beyond our grasp.

Essentially faith is not about heavy rocks and quick set concrete – instead it is a fluid thing, that moves throughout our lives just as we move. It is like a river that plots a course through hills and valleys, peaks and toughs. Like the river, faith is adaptable to its surroundings and embraces its obstacles. Our faith should never shy away from doubt which is the basis of all true and genuine belief. A faith set in concrete can only ever result in an intellectual suicide. The sooner we realise that doubt is not a sin, but a God-given right, the sooner we can begin to construct a real and living faith with a deep honesty and integrity. If faith is to be a living faith it can never be concrete and self assured, as something so unmoving quickly becomes both ineffective and utterly irrelevant. But ultimately faith is indeed a matter of believing what any old fool knows is not true. It is about hoping for the very best for our world and for humanity – hoping against hope. It is about holding out for the glory of the world that is to come that we cannot yet see, and about believing the seemingly ridiculous; that God is in fact there despite all the best evidence!

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