‘Belief and trust’

by Mark McDonald

Faith is not easy to define, and it’s even harder to keep.

Merriam-Webster defines faith as “belief and trust,” which implies that it is a combination of things we can see (and believe in) and things we cannot see (but have to trust). Sometimes, faith is defined through something that is based on what we can believe in because it is realistic.

For example, we have faith in our leaders if they follow through with their word and keep their promises. At other times, faith is defined through something that is based on our trust. Even before we see a new building built, we trust that it will be built because we hear it was approved. Faith can involve a great deal of evidence with a little trust or a great deal of trust with very little evidence!

Spiritual faith is no different. One biblical definition is that “faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see” (Hebrews 11:1, CEB). Jesus even said that it only took faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain (Matthew 17:20), which implies even the smallest amount of faith can bring great change in the world.

With thousands of churches in the 501, it would seem that living a life of faith would be easy! We have hundreds of opportunities to experience faith, but our doubts often overwhelm us from taking even the first step of faith.

There is a powerful story of faith in Matthew 14:22-33 that helps us see three simple steps we can take to live a life of faith.

When Peter saw Jesus walking on water, he asked if he could walk on water with Jesus. Jesus invited him to step out of the boat and walk, and he did! The first step is simply that: Step out in trust, even if it only requires a little trust!

Once Peter was actually walking on water, he doubted he could do it and started to sink. He cried out to Jesus to help him. The second step is asking for help when you need it. Get involved in a faith community and have people you can ask for help.

Finally, once you ask for help, take it! When Peter called out for help, Jesus reached out and took his hand to keep him from sinking. The third step is to take the help that is offered so we can all find faith together!