Have you ever really thought about faith? It's mind boggling. What is it really? Just believing? In something? In what? I hear the word used in conversations where it could be interchanged with the words "positive thinking"...like in the phrase "have faith" meaning "believe in yourself and you can do it." I've seen it defined as believing that something is true without seeing it...that just sounds foolish really. I've also heard it illustrated with a chair analogy...if you go up to a chair you have never sat in before, and just sit down without examining it first, that is supposed to illustrate that you have faith that the chair will hold you up. I have a problem with this one, because unless your name is Goldilocks, you have probably had a pretty positive experience with sturdy well built chairs. Also, the fall from the height of a chair to the ground is not that far. I know, because I've done it before, and all that happened was a little soreness and embarrassment. It was pretty funny actually, but that's another story.
Faith is different. I've never seen God in human form, lying in a manger. Nor, an innocent man hang on a cross, raise from the dead and ascend to heaven...but I believe Jesus did those things. I've never seen a transaction between God and Satan where Jesus' sacrifice paid off the debts I owed, but I know that happened as well. I've never seen God crack the sky open and carry someone to heaven, but I am confident that will happen to me someday. This is my faith.
While I'm at it, lets go one step further...If you were raised anything like me, having faith that God is God, is a non-issue. It is pretty easy for most of us to believe God is REAL. I think what we all seem to struggle with from time to time, myself included, is believing that God is GOOD, when everything around us is going wrong. That's the rub... where I really start having to exercise my "faith muscles" and have to pluck up the courage to ask the tough questions...This is where faith really gets hard and messy. I thought about all these things while I painted this.
Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.