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Faith: The meaning

The true definition of faith, what it means, and what it represents

By: Chris Czach Hidalgo
Thursday October 2, 1997
This information/essay is copyrighted and protected by copyscape
 

What is faith?

 

An ancient history book states that faith is:

"Being sure of what you hope for and
certain of what you do not see."

 

Count Leo Tolstoy said:

"Faith is the force of life"

 

A line from "Miracle On 34th Street" says:

"Faith is believing in things that
common sense tells you not to."

 

We all have "faith"

FAITH, I believe, is something we all have, but to varying degrees.  Do you have the faith to believe that there can be an all-powerful creator, or do you put your faith in science?  Or do you believe in a combination of several things and/or ideas?

Do you have the faith to believe in yourself?  Do you have the faith to believe in your significant other, a family member or a friend?

I believe we all do.  The question is "how much faith do we allow to become reality in our life?"

Consider this

Faith stagnates unless you expose yourself.

Faith is not a noun, it's a verb.  Action is a critical part of faith.

Faith is in action when you make yourself vulnerable--practicing what you believe.

Faith is similar to a guidance system that NASA uses regularly.

When the space shuttle is on the launch pad, the guidance system is not activated because it's not needed.  BUT, when it breaks free from the launch pad, then the guidance system kicks in.  Everyone involved has to believe the guidance system will successfully guide the shuttle to the end of the mission.  They have faith in the guidance system.

We have to rely on faith when all else tells us we're crazy...when there's no evidence what-so-ever...and when everything points to something else.

When you practice faith, you can count on others thinking you're out of you mind.  Many times you will be ridiculed for your faith (in religion, science, others, etc.).

An Understanding

Simply put, the definition of faith--the meaning of faith is nothing more than an understanding, a belief, a thought about something, someone, some situation that cannot be proven.

Inherently, faith allows for no tangible evidence to be made available--that you know of--which would back up or support your claim, idea, theory or thought.  It is simply an overwhelming understanding that, to you, is convincing. 

Other words to consider

  • trust

  • reliance

  • assurance

  • conviction

  • devotion

  • loyalty
  • faithfulness
  • commitment
  • dedication
  • observance

Dissection of the word "faith"

Let's take the first phrase apart and find out what it means.  We'll go section by section and slowly consider each of those sections and look back at the whole phrase again when we're done.

Being "Sure"

"Being SURE" of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. 

Merriam-Webster.com says:
Firmly established; steadfast; reliable; trustworthy; marked by or given to feelings of confident certainty; admitting of no doubt; indisputable; bound to happen; inevitable; destined...

What are you "SURE" of?  Are you sure that you'll wake up in the morning in good health, in a home with a secure roof over your head?  Are you sure that your next trip in a car will be a safe one? Can you really be sure of anything?

"Hope"

Being sure of what you "HOPE" for and certain of what you do not see.

Merriam-Webster.com says:
To cherish a desire with anticipation; to expect with confidence; trust.

What do you "HOPE" for?  Do you hope that you will live a long and prosperous life?  Do you hope you will have good health all your life?  Do you hope that you will go bankrupt and live a life filled with pain and suffering?  Is Hope always positive?  Personally, I hope so.

Being "Certain"

Being sure of what you hope for and "CERTAIN" of what you do not see.

Merriam-Webster.com says:
Fixed; settled; of a specific but unsettled character, quantity or degree; dependable, reliable...

Certainty seems to be similar to "being sure" of something, so let's just reconsider the section on "Being Sure" we previously discussed and move on (unless you want to add to this section by posting your comments below)?

What you do not "see"

Being sure of what you hope for and certain of "WHAT YOU DO NOT SEE."

Merriam-Webster.com says that "to see" is:
To perceive by the eye; to perceive or detect as if by sight...

If you're reading this, you can see.  Let's not talk about what we can see, but what we cannot see to highlight the benefits of sight, or the ability to see.

Air

What are things you (and I) cannot see?  For example, do you see air (if there was no such thing as pollution, etc.)?  NO, of course not. Yet, we all know it's there, right?  Would we see air or know it was there if science didn't convince us it was there?

Sound

What about sound?  Can you see sound if you don't have the technology creating visualizations for you to see sound in motion or action?

Concepts

Can you see, with your eyes, concepts such as the love of a family member or friend, a never-ending universe, an all-powerful creator or the aspirations of a young child to change the world?

Prayer

What about prayer?  Do you have the faith to believe that prayer is a force that can change the world around you?  What tells you, convinces you that prayer works?  Why believe in prayer--especially when there is such little evidence to prove it's effective at all? (personally I believe in prayer, if you're wondering)

Over 90% of people around the world believe in the power of prayer and yet there is little proof that can be provided that would "hold water" in a court of law.  Now that's faith!

There are many things we cannot see but believe are there.  Why?  What is it that has convinced us?  Science?  Science taught the whole world that the world was flat... and we probably would have bought into that too if we lived back then.  We're all followers, no matter what anyone thinks.  We're all subject to peer pressure and want to be accepted.

Recap

I like to look at faith this way: Faith is trusting in what may not exist compared to what we have been convinced exists.

That is to say, if you have the faith that something is true or is real, then you believe it's possible for something to exist despite what knowledge says is or is not true.

Inherently human beings want to know, and the idea that there are things that exist that cannot be proven with science (yet--or if ever), messes with our heads.

Religion, a common denominator for more than 90 percent of the world's population is based on faith.  Not all of the 90% believes in the same type or worship, commitment, devotion or observance, but they all require some degree of faith to belong and/or believe.

Faith is blind
"Faith is something you believe that nobody in his right mind would believe."

- Archie Bunker (TV situation comedy character - "All In The Family") 

 

Click here for Martin Luther's
comments on faith

 
The definition (without all the extra detail) was taken from a history book.
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C. Czach Hidalgo 1996+ webweevers.com
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