From one end to the other, the Bible tells us that it is only FAITH which pleases God (cf. Hebrews 11:6). But if we are honest, FAITH is an old word which does not get used much outside of religious circles anymore. So what does it mean to have FAITH, & how do we Live By FAITH?
For the religious & the non-religious alike, FAITH is most often understood as the basis of belief in a particular set of religious dogma. Often the word is accompanied by the adjectival use of the word Blind with the intent being to convey the idea that this is belief without evidence, belief in opposition to reason, belief based solely on emotionalism or existentialism and the primal psychological need to explain the unexplained which humans have not yet been able to evolve past. However this is an error, in at least two important ways.
First, the word FAITH simply means to put trust in or reliance upon. In all truthfulness, everyone Lives by FAITH in something – religious or not. We place FAITH in ourselves, in our families, in our jobs, in our homes, in our cars, in our health. The United States government, of the people, by the people, for the people, is predicated on the FAITH that a constitution written on paper can establish limits on government. We place FAITH in medical professionals to take care of us and our families. We place FAITH in our teachers and administrators to educate our children. We place FAITH in our neighbors to respect our privacy & pursuit of happiness.
When we do not understand this about FAITH we tend to live in ignorance of our personal assumptions about what is Trustworthy and are thus completely unequipped to handle the inevitable challenges to those assumptions. This is why we are so often shocked when education fails our children, when our jobs are downsized, when medicine gives us a cure worse than the disease, when scientists pervert facts to sell their theories, when religious leaders fall, so on & so on.
The second problem with BLIND FAITH is that blindness does not denote in anyway a lack of evidence. On the contrary, those who are blind employ a number of methods to obtain the knowledge that they need to live their lives. Sound, physical feeling, braille reading, seeing eye dogs, patterns, memory; all of which allow the blind apprehend the information they need to make decisions. Only a fool would assume that the blind act irrationally, in fact it could be argued that the blind must be more rational than those with sight because they must be to survive with one less sense.
So when the Bible calls us to LIVE BY FAITH we are being challenged to intentionally align our Actions with what is Real & True… Based, not on sentimentality or traditionalism, but on the evidence that is all around us and within us. For God reveals Himself in Nature, in History, in His Word & in His People.
So let us live, & let our lives be Substance & Evidence of FAITH!