In Scripture, faith is radical trust in God, especially when the outcome is not obvious or even rational. This is the kind of faith that would cause three men to walk into a burning furnace, that would cause a teenager to stand up against a giant warrior, or that would cause many of Jesus’ followers to continue to profess his death, burial, and resurrection while standing before an executioner.
Today, many have reduced faith to a series of statements or a theological doctrine. Christians often trust what they can explain or codify. In other words, they are leaning on their own theological understanding. They create a faith that is reasonable and logical.
Then, based on that faith, they make decisions that are logical, practical, and expedient. The decisions may be big decisions, and the plans may be described as “God-sized,” but the plans are often accomplished with human effort. The fact that these plans succeed (much like a good business plan) convinces many that God has blessed them and approves of their decisions.
Scripture’s faith caused people to place their lives in God’s hand, even when death seemed imminent and apparent, while today’s “faith” exhorts Christians to give a little more, build a bigger organization, stop watching some television programs, or teach a Sunday school class.
Today’s “faith” is a far cry from trusting God with all of our being and leaning on nothing else, not even leaning on those things that we think we understand.
Trusting God does not mean that we do the best we can with what we understand or what we can figure out.
Trusting God means refusing to trust what we think we understand.
But, while this requires a radical trust in God, in Scripture this kind of faith is not radical. No. This kind of faith is the normal faith of the normal Christian.