Dictionary.com defines faith as "confidence or trust in a person or thing." Each day we exercise faith. We have faith that everyone will stop at the red light. We have no idea where our food was grown, raised or processed, yet we are confident that it is OK to eat.
But there's more to faith than these.
From the scriptures we learn:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1).
Faith that the Word of God is indeed God speaking to us and that it is true. Faith that Jesus exists, that He is the Son of God, and that He loves us. For a person to be saved, he or she must have faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Faith is more than just mere belief. Faith is not passive, it involves action. When a person has faith, he or she chooses to act, either mentally or physically. "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (James 2:17)
Some examples of acting in faith are to pray to God even though you cannot see Him; to repent of your sins, and to be baptized, to forgive, to give of yourself. For faith to exist it must be nourished, it must be exercised, it must be used.
If faith is not put into practice it will wither up and die. Faith is a beautiful principle of the gospel and must be developed over time.
Don King is pastor of New Beginnings Church in Palos Hills. http://www.nbcph.org/