Many question the value of faith, as it is often associated to religious and superstitious beliefs. But is faith really just a feeling?
Faith is putting one’s trust in a thing separate from oneself. For instance, one may have faith in a person, such as when a father and mother allow their son to use the family vehicle; or one may have faith in an idea, like those who believe that the Bible is entirely reliable; or one may have faith in an object, such as when one trusts a bridge to carry his weight.
In any case, a characteristic of faith is that it first demands the reliability of its source. For instance, one would certainly be more willing to opt for the modern clinical cure to an illness rather than to follow an ancient remedy, because modern medicine has yielded many positive results, whereas ancient surgeons sometimes picked most unhealthy solutions. Another characteristic of faith is that it is easily lost. When the bridge falls, or when the son loses the car keys, faith can be long negated.
The reliability and volatility of faith both result from the necessity of the establishment of trust before faith may follow. For that reason, faith is never blind. Although it may believe what it does not see, faith always ultimately occurs because the trustworthiness of its cause posits that its promised outcome is likely to occur. And ultimately, that is the reason for the existence of faith: the hope of a certain result. Therefore, if we were to define it through two words, faith would be named Trust and Hope – trust in the object of faith, and hope that faith will bring forth its promised reward.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
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