Faith is far more gritty than grandiose. It is forged on the rough terrain of life’s experience, not by clinical calculation and theorising in comfortable surroundings.
The danger with a formulaic faith is that it lulls us into a false sense of security. As long as the formula seems to work, everything appears fine. But the moment it falters, that’s when trust is shaken and a crisis ensues. People’s lives then get rocked to the core because of their mistaken concept of ‘faith’ which bears no relation to what the bible actually teaches. Problem is, this kind of shallow ‘faith’ will always lead to disillusionment because it is flawed at the root, more of a superstitious pastime than a spiritual pilgrimage.
Don’t put your faith in faith. Anchor your trust in God, especially during the storms of life.
While faith is simple, it is not simplistic. Glib answers to tough questions are not credible. Authentic faith doesn’t yield to challenging circumstances, but it doesn’t deny them either. The latter is something which has too often been missed by an erroneous theology that refuses to acknowledge the very existence of suffering. This is more akin to fear than faith, a way of living which is bereft of the courage to face life’s issues with integrity. It’s no good.
True faith is not formulaic, but has confidence in God’s grace. It doesn’t understand everything, but chooses to believe Him no-matter what. Yes, it will have questions & concerns – and these are important to address. But the healthiest relationships can withstand the rigour of difficult questioning, and still emerge strong. Read the Psalms, and you’ll see how they powerfully illustrate this.
Perhaps the greatest definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1. It says, ‘Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see’. Notice the paradoxical language of this verse, using words which don’t normally appear together (‘sure’, ‘hope’, ‘certain’ ‘do not see’). There’s nothing formulaic about faith here. It’s messy, it’s real, it’s gritty, it’s authentic. As believers, we root our trust in God’s ultimate goodness. Now that’s faith.