What is faith? What does it mean to you?

For some, it is a means of coping, for many it is a belief, for others, it is a lifestyle. Faith requires believing in something or someone. It is this undeniable belief that requires no evidence. For Christians, our faith is what distinguishes us from others. It is a part of who we are and the community we belong to.

Faith only exists because we believe in it. We defend it with our actions, words, and sometimes with our bodies when we realize it is under attack. It drives the decisionsthe things we watch, listen to, and even eat. Sometimes it seeps into the lives of those we love, helps us pick the school we want our children to go to, the neighborhood we want to live in, or the businesses we frequent.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him. –Hebrews 11:6

Ultimately, our faith becomes most critical when we experience turmoil, pain, and fear. It is during these uncertain times that we must lean into our faith. It is also at these moments that our faith is most tested. During these moments we scream out for evidence of this faith. We ask God to show himself as though he has not been present all this time. We find it harder to answer when asked, “What does faith mean to you?”

Faith for many of us is an expectation that God will wipe away the suffering that we may go through. What if we looked at faith in a different way?

What if we accepted that the turmoil, pain, and fear may come but God will help us through it. After all, so much of our faith is determined by timing. We look to God as though he were some magical character in a movie where he appears and disappears as needed. We forget that he is ever-present and like a family member he gives us free will. As a parent, he sits back at times and watches our actions sometimes shouting out a warning as we try to ignore him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

 And do not lean on your own understanding.

  In all your ways acknowledge Him,

 And He will make your paths straight. –Proverb 3:5-6

What if we looked at faith as the beginning of our relationship with God? Where we started with trust as the foundation and built from there. Where we accepted that he would be there for us even in the midst of these challenges. That we would understand that our relationship with God had everything to do with us accepting him into our lives and being devoted and not about where he was when we needed him.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – Ephesians 2:8

True faith requires complete acceptance and trust. It is powerful in that it is unquestionable. It does not seek outside reassurance or acceptance. A person of faith is unwavering in their belief and will not be moved. A faith like that transcends relationships with loved ones. It opens doors even when others would think the door has closed. It transforms lives after heartache and pain. True faith is rare but achievable for all of us.

How has your faith changed your life? Share in the comments below.