By Dr. Enoch Kwan
Everyone has faith in something.
Even non-religious people have faith or belief in something. For example, people believe in money, self or pleasure, etc.
I find this statement very true, not only for our relationship with God but true in general with people: Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is (God) and believe that He (is so pleased to) reward (with many good gifts) those who seek Him (diligently). (Ref Heb. 11:6)
All human relationships require faith, which is, believing in each other. It is impossible to establish a meaningful relationship if two people do not trust each other. Another example, If we sign a contract, the signature carries a commitment, and that is a sign of having faith, and there is a trusted relationship. Conversely, taking no action to sign ends the relationship between the two parties in a contract. Likewise, verbal promises also need faith.
When two people are dating in love, the trust between them will astonish everyone, especially their parents! The dating couple trusts each other much, even more than relying on their parents! Before long, they will be willing to give each other a lifetime promise. Yet, relationships wither once mutual trust is damaged or lost. Today, too many couples live in tension and risk breaking up because their mutual truce is bridged or unfulfilled. Sadly, many did break up in utter pain, hating each other and even being unwilling to forgive for the rest of their lives. Marriages had become an elusive dream in too many cases. For couples in relationships with drying up trust reserves, they find themselves only tolerating each other in seemingly endless misery.
We walk in faith in our everyday lives.
For instance, gasoline is in certain gas stations, and meat and vegetables are at the grocery stores; using the same key to go home, the company will accept you for work the next day. In every way and matter, we apply faith. At the same time, we also exercise prudence and do not believe in many things. I hope you have learned not to trust those scam phone calls and emails. We pass over many advertisements each day in disbelief. We process countless decisions based on our faith in something and lack confidence in others.
People who do not have enough faith would fear rejection and will avoid starting a relationship. For example, a man should not make a marriage proposal if he does not trust the girl would say: “Yes!” Why invite yourself to feel rejected? Courtship, dating, or any interpersonal relationship, in business or even in international relationships, all need faith. Flourishing Trust, mutual acceptance, respect, and treasuring each other nurture friendships and bring enjoyment to any relationship. It is joyful to be accepted and trusted.
On the other hand, people do feel hurt when they feel rejected or humiliated. Some hurts from rejection or a bridge of trust may cause hurt or even emotional damages that last a lifetime. Therefore, a wise person with a treasured relationship should protect their mutual trust at all costs. He will not offend his friend easily by withholding trust but persist in offering confidence in faith.
Mutual trust and treasuring are like a whirlpool. When two people enter it, they stir up this whirlpool with confidence. The bonding between them will build momentum, and the relationship will become more robust, secure, and treasured. It is particularly so between husband and wife and people in courtship. A kind of presumed trust makes the relationships among teammates, classmates, colleagues at work, or people who share similar origins enjoyable.
Our faith in everything is not absolute and may not always stay the same. At times, we find that we have misbeliefs concerning things or people. Stable things strengthen our faith, and shaky matters destroy our faith. People’s faith or convictions change because of new evidence on what was trusted. Some examples may be brand name faithfulness failure – say, between brands of devices, believing in one politician or another. We become who we are because of the collection of trust in changing things and changing people.
Many people are unaware that faith, or the ability to trust and enjoyment of trust, all come from God. The realm of trust is a part of God’s nature and image, which He graciously shared with human beings during His design and creation of the world and human beings. God built humans like this: trust needs to work along with logic, wisdom, and freedom of choice, which are also gifts He gave from His image. When properly exercising these gifts from His image, we live out and reflect His character. That is a good, precious, and sacred thing.
God would not have made humans this way if He did not trust humans. Thus, God was the one who, by His free choice, initiated the trust. Yes, God believes in you too! He had created you and me this way so His relationship with you and me may be established in free will. This way, the relationship is made meaningful, of value, and mutually enjoyable. I am so thankful for God’s wisdom and love in giving us the gift of faith.
The Christian FAITH – Believing in the Lord Jesus means counting God as trustworthy – that His claim of loving us by giving us His beloved begotten SON to deal with our unholy state. It is a trusting response to His call of love. It is not trusting a religion or conceding to a set of denominational doctrines but entering into a loving relationship offered by the Living God! It is a welcoming response to the Infinitely Holy PERSON! Again, it is essential to emphasize that the one who reaches out to us is the most honorable and trustworthy person – the Creator! As we encounter God, our positive response is a choice that recognizes His supremacy, dignity, a claim of love, and offering of a gift – Salvation in Jesus Christ. Matters like doctrines, the Bible, Creeds, and even the churches are only in the auxiliary role and not the target of our faith. We enter into a relationship with the personal God, and that’s all.
Once we have entered into this crucial and core relationship, we would find the doctrinal matters helpful in understanding God more, establishing a more vital trust in Him, helping us appreciate and worship God more healthily, and increasing our thanksgiving to Him. It is like a newborn baby coming to its family. He has become a family member before he grows and learns in time to know and appreciate his parents and how he can be a family member properly.
Thus, when we open our hearts to God and trust Him, He accredits us freely to the gift of salvation, which God has accomplished all by Himself without our effort. There is not much else to do or know at that time – just open our hearts! Go ahead, just be born as a spiritual baby! The theories concerning how God is justified in effecting the Salvation He prepared, is God’s business. He completed the work behind the scenes a long time ago. Our lack of such knowledge does not affect God or much about our salvation in His plan. Our knowledge of them later is good for us to see God’s wisdom and power.
Without faith, it is impossible to please another person because he who enters a relationship must have faith, trusting that the other person will treasure your outreached hand. When the outreaching hand is from God – the Great Creator, lover of our souls, how much more should we respond positively?
Just open your heart and say “Yes” to Him!
Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.
What a remarkable statement! Amen.