Faith vs. Belief
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” Hebrews 11:1-2
Have you ever heard of a faith walk? This isn’t a new term for me, but when I sat down to write this article, I decided to look it up just to make sure that I was referencing it properly. You know what I found? Not much. Wait. Let me clarify that. I found churches, Bible studies, organizations, devotionals, blogs, groups…tons of things. But none of them was a specific definition or description of origin. So let me say that I’m not a theologian. At this point, I’m just sharing what’s on my heart about faith walking.
A faith walk, as I understand it, begins in that moment that nothing about moving in a certain direction makes any sense, but you know that you have to do it. You remember Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? It’s that moment where Indy needs to step out into something he doesn’t understand.
Now let me say this. Indy’s first step was no easy feat. It’s that moment where you’re putting everything on the line and actually acting on something you have to do. Whether you want to or not, this is your next step. But once Indy has made that first step, it’s relatively easy for him to get across the chasm. From that point on, he can see everything he needs to do and he once again is in control.
What Indy did wasn’t a faith walk. It was a faith step.
I believe a faith walk is when you keep pressing forward through the messiest of circumstances. Each step, each breath, each second you press forward is that same first step Indy needed to take. But it happens over and over and over again and usually when it feels like everything around you is either crumbling or being thrown in your direction.
The last five years of my life have been a faith walk. These years have contained overwhelming moments of anxiety and depression. People around me spent a lot of time saying they didn’t know how I managed it and they would never be able to do that. When asked, I always just said that I was pressing on and that’s what I needed to do. One foot in front of the other.
Looking back now, I can clearly see the lessons God sculpted into every moment of my life. He taught me perseverance and dependence and praise in the midst of trial. I believe in God. I believe His word. I know that He has a plan for me.
Belief does not mean faith though. I can believe the sky is blue or a what a text book says or the final outcome of a science experiment.
Faith is something different. Faith is where belief meets trust and love. These three things weave together into a deeper, stronger, richer journey than simply believing something. Faith is when I employ the love I have for God and put it into action. Faith is when I hit my knees and scream that I don’t want to go on and I don’t want to do this anymore, but I do it anyway. Because I know that the God that I love, serve, and trust is worthy of that. He’s worthy of the love. I believe in God. Many do. I have faith that He loves me in return. That faith gives me strength. I trust that He has the best in mind for me. That trust presses me forward into His plan even when I don’t understand it.
At the beginning, of this article, I included Hebrews 11:1-2 from the NIV. Now, let me share those same verses from The Message:
“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”
Maybe you’re going through a faith walk right now. Or maybe there’s one in your future. I don’t know. But if you feel alone, lost or that you can’t go any further, that’s when your steps – each step – is vitally important. Press on toward the goal. Run the race to the end. And know that our God is worthy of the faith we put in Him.
*Note: This article originally appeared at Wonderfully Woven, where Lori Twichell is a contributor.