Every woman who gives in to the temptation to chase after more and put herself in charge of every crisis and opportunity within reach quickly becomes the creator, producer, director, choreographer, executer, and consumer for every holiday, milestone, church event, and family plan. No wonder we’re exhausted!
So when you find yourself trapped on the hamster wheel, spinning for all you’re worth, faith becomes your exit ramp.
Not faith in your own abilities, but faith in a God who sees you, hears you, knows you, understands you, and loves you.
- This is the God who will walk with you and talk with you and hold your hand through the dark valleys.
- He will cover you, protect you, and bring you higher to the mountaintops of unspeakable peace and joy.
- He is the God who has conquered all that frightens you.
- He is the God who will return to bring you to Paradise.
- He loves you with an everlasting love.
He has given His all so that you can share in the amazing promises for those who return His love.
So what will our lives look like when we let faith in a loving, caring, actively involved God guide our days? What does faith actually mean?
Well, as an English teacher for ten mostly fulfilling years, I taught kids in a New York public high school how to talk and write “good.” Along the way I developed a habit of referring to a most excellent source of the meaning of words. I give you Noah Webster, an American patriot, a renowned scholar, a strong family man, a music lover, and an earnest fellow of deep faith. His dictionary offers concise and helpful information, and I highly recommend it. Here’s what he says of the topic at hand:
Faith, n. unquestioning belief, specifically in God; confidence or trust in a person or thing; a belief that is not based on proof; loyalty; fidelity to one’s promise; allegiance.
In other words, faith isn’t just a matter of acknowledging God’s existence. It involves actively placing our confidence in God to keep His promises.
It also means demonstrating our allegiance, or commitment, to the purposes toward which He is working in our lives. Romans 1:17 states: “The righteous will live by faith.” In other words faith is not just a noun but a lifestyle. It must penetrate every facet of our lives, not just what we believe or what we do on a Friday night or a Sunday morning.
Genuine faith permeates our thoughts, words, and actions from day to day, from moment to moment. No amount of wishful thinking or “I hope so” mentality can substitute for unshakeable faith in a God who has promised to deliver us safely to Paradise.
Of course, if you’re a strong, opinionated woman you may balk at the part of Webster’s definition that says, “a belief that is not based on proof.” What is that about? You mean we’re supposed to trust our lives to someone who hasn’t proved His loyalty to our best interest? Fuhgeddaboudit!
The writer of Hebrews offers a bit of insight into this aspect of faith: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (11:1). Reason alone says “you have to see it to believe it,” but faith asserts that “you have to believe it to see it.” Saint Augustine said it more eloquently:
Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that thou mayest understand.
Faith means being sure that God will come through for you, and in fact is already at work on your behalf, even when things seem completely hopeless.
At the same time, however, faith doesn’t require you to leave your brains at the door. The Bible is jam-packed with examples of God’s faithfulness, and those who are willing to watch with an open heart and mind will find evidence all around that God has not withdrawn to some distant place but is actively, lovingly at work in our world.
Sincere faith is beautiful, rare, sacred, and intriguing in those who possess it.
But it also is sometimes threatening to those whose spiritual eyes are closed. Not everyone is pleased when you seek and draw close to God. You can hear the whispers:
- She’s getting weird since she found religion.
- She’s off on a tangent, reading the Bible too much, going to prayer meetings.
- Doesn’t she care about having fun anymore?
To this day, some relatives still refer to me as “a born-again.” Every Christmas, one of them inquires, “Hey, are you still a born-again?” to which I lovingly respond, “Yeah, are you still a heathen?” Although my family knows I’m joking with them in love, the fact remains that faith often transforms us in ways our family and friends may not understand.
In truth, we ourselves may not always have a clear understanding of where our faith is leading us.
Thankfully, we do know who serves as our trustworthy guide.