Once upon a time, a much younger me stood in a hospital gift shop in Dallas, Texas and bought a small plaque that had this verse engraved on it:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” —Hebrews 11:1
After much deliberation, interviews all over the country, changed specialties along the way, and the family business that was in a different town, we made the decision that this was the best place for me to do residency. It was a decision made after much prayer, and we felt God’s guidance and provision in arriving at that place, at that decision. It was a step of faith.
I’ve kept the plaque all these years and I think about this verse often.
Faith is the cornerstone and linchpin of Christianity. In the same breath, it is necessary but hard to fully explain. I cannot show you my faith with a social media reel or an Excel spreadsheet. I cannot build or buy your faith for you.
How do I know the Tooth Fairy and God aren’t part of the same magical childhood troupe? Well, I’ve been one. And I’ve tried – and failed – to be the other.
It’s like love. Or gravity. I cannot hold it. I cannot literally see it. But I cannot deny that they are real. I’ve questioned God at times, and He has been gracious to reveal Himself to me, repeatedly. Doubt is not necessarily the enemy of faith. It’s great to know the Sunday school answers, but sometimes questions, doubt, and disbelief can make you dig deeper and wrestle longer until you build a solid faith of your own.
So, why do I have faith? How do I know God is real?
There is a whole world of Christian apologetics that defends and proves the Christian faith. There is historical proof of biblical prophecies that have come to fruition. There is unmatched historical preservation of the Bible. The scientific, literal side of me likes hard proof.
There is a side of me, too, that believes in God and has faith because of what I’ve experienced.
I know it by the freedom I felt when I asked Jesus into my heart, how my guilt and my shame rolled to the shore.
I’ve witnessed it in answered prayers.
I see it in the mercy of a new day and the beauty of a sunset.
I’ve been sustained by it when I felt like collapsing but the dam held within me through a storm.
I’ve held it in my rainbow babies born after loss.
I’ve stood in hospital halls where people survived unsurvivable things.
C.S. Lewis summarized it well as he wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
Week 4 Challenge:
This week, take time to meditate on the gift of faith. How is faith a gift? In what ways has your faith been a gift in your life? How can you be sure of your faith when you cannot see the object of your faith?
Week 4 Reading Plan
Week 4 Memory Verse
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