Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. Hebrews 11:1 HCSB
What is faith? The dictionary says it is a complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Mark Twain once said that faith is “believing in something you know ain’t so.” I suppose there is some truth to each of these definitions but genuine faith goes beyond either definition. According to the writer of Hebrews, the true exercise of faith involves the unknown. It is the belief, the substance, the confidence, in that which we hope for, and it is the proof or the evidence of what we cannot see. We may not be able to explain faith but we know it when we see it. And, according to John Ortberg, we only know our faith when we use it.
An adventure is any experience with an unknown or uncertain outcome. Sometimes adventure is spontaneous and unplanned. Remember, the passengers and crew of the Minnow? Who can forget the Skipper, Gilligan, a movie star, a millionaire and his wife, the Professor, and Mary Ann? They set sail on what was supposed to be a three-hour tour and they ended up stranded on an uncharted island for three seasons from 1964-1967 (not to mention syndication). Other adventures are more planned, like hiking the Appalachian Trail. Although there might be an end goal what happens along the way to get you there is totally unknown and uncertain. If this is true about adventure, then faith has to be a vital aspect of any adventure. Life in general is an adventure but the lives that Christ has called us to are even a greater adventure. As Christians, we are called to rely on God to determine our destination. This often means being led in directions we do not understand, in ways that don’t seem possible, toward a goal we cannot see, and to do things that might go against our nature; and all of this without a certain outcome. Faith believes in an end result that we cannot possibly see but anxiously anticipate. Faith is what gives you the courage to take the first step on the adventure God has called you to, is the fuel that will get you to where He wants you to go, and is the confidence in knowing He is going to take care of you along the way.
Faith is not always easy. To have faith is not the absent of doubt for it is that doubt that makes our faith all the more real. Rather faith pushes us beyond our doubt. It moves us beyond our hang-ups, uncertainties, apprehensions, and anxieties; it does not necessarily eliminate them. Faith is believing the outcome to be bigger than our worries and that our God is bigger than anything.
John Ortberg was right; we will never know our faith until we use it. The adventure won’t even begin until we exercise our faith; for without faith, there is no adventure.
Take the first step.