Will Your Faith Cause You To Leap?
It was a typically beautiful Saturday here in Southern California and I was working out in my garden. My five-year-old son who loves to climb was perched on top of my work shed about 9 feet above the surrounding concrete slab. “Will you catch me dad?” he asked. Upon seeing me nod my head, without hesitation he leaped off the roof into my outstretched arms. I caught him of course (however in a few more years I may not be so confident). But it was his confidence that intrigued me. “Derek, why do you trust that I will catch you?”, I asked. His response was simple but powerful. “Dad, I have been jumping into your arms my entire life and you have never dropped me.”
That statement from my 5-year-old son embodies the true definition of faith! His faith was based on evidence. He simply trusted me based on his personal experience. I had never let him down, so he had all the confidence in the world that he could fling himself into the air without fear of splatting on the concrete below. It was really an active trust that I would continue to do the same. So how strong is your faith? Is it strong enough to cause you to leap?
Unfortunately, many have the wrong concept of faith, including Christians. Many criticize Christians of having a “blind faith.” The Bible does not ask us to make a blind leap of faith. In the example I provided, it was not a blind leap, but a confident leap because my son trusted in the evidence that he had experienced in the past.
I believe an accurate definition of Biblical faith is trusting what we have good reason to believe is true. It is active trust based on evidence. God never asks for us to have blind faith.
Scripture gives us a powerful definition of faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Christianity is a faith full of evidence. It is based on things we can know. In 2 Timothy 1:12 the Apostle Paul said, “I know whom I have believed”, and Jesus Himself said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” All Christians are commanded to have answers:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15) So we are to have answers that are backed up with evidence.
I believe the case for Christianity is very compelling and persuasive. I believe there are many good reasons and overwhelming evidence that points to the existence of God. Because of the evidence, I believe in the reliability of Scripture. My faith is not about denying reality, but discovering it.
I believe that Christ Himself saw the importance that we would be convinced by the evidence. In the book of Acts, we are told that He showed Himself by “many infallible proofs” over a 40-day period. This resulted in a passion and fire in His disciples that even caused them to die for what they believed.
The Scriptures are full of examples of men and women who possessed a fearless faith based on evidence. Among the many historical events that sets Christianity apart from all others was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Now some will say, if you have all this evidence then why do you need faith?
How can you have faith in something you know is true? This statement indicates that faith is opposed to knowledge. Again, this is a misunderstanding of faith. Faith and reason are not opposites, rather they are complimentary. Reasons assesses the facts or evidence, and faith trusts considering the reasons.
This does not mean that I do not have questions. There are many things that I do not understand and cannot explain. However, the things that I do understand help me trust in the things that I do not. This is much different than believing blindly. It is trusting in the best inference of the evidence. My son trusted me based on what he did know. This is what I call a Fearless Faith!
There have been many times I have had to rely on the many promises in God’s Word. I have experienced some heartache in my life as I am sure many reading this can also relate to as well. I have had to leap into my Heavenly Father’s arms many times. He has never dropped me.
So, I have a faith that will cause me to leap, do you?