Dawn and I have been visiting our daughter, Haley, in a place that rhymes with pants ;). In our absence we’d like to re-share a few posts from our archives on a theme that is very important to us:
What are the facts and fictions about Christian faith and how can I trust it?
In addition to the post below on the difference between faith and wishing, here are links to several other posts on this theme that we believe you will find helpful for better understanding Jesus, the Bible, and Christian faith. You can pick and choose, or bookmark this page to read each at your leisure. If something resonates with you be sure to leave a comment or question. We love to hear from you.
Thanks so much for being a loyal reader. Grace and peace to you.
- What Makes Faith “Christian?”
- Treating Prayer Like Magic
- Why WWJD Isn’t WJWD
- Is Christianity a Superstition?
- The Religion About a Relationship
- Crazy Stuff Christians Believe
- Knowing You Are a Christian
The Difference Between Faith and Wishing
During my early years as a young Christian, I gathered some wild ideas about faith. The first influencers in my young Christian life were the TV preachers of the late 70s – yeah, I know – and the pentecostal movement from which I first heard the gospel about Jesus (well, sort of anyway).
From these two influencers, I heard all sorts of things about the words faith and believe. I learned that if I truly believed I could heal people, or be healed, I could rebuke the devil, I could tear down strongholds (some of you non-pentecostal types are wondering what that means), I could speak God’s will about people’s lives, I could even “take dominion” over mosquitoes.
(Okay, that last one was said to me by a friend who was irritated that I was complaining about the mosquitoes, and technically, I didn’t ask if she was serious…)
But anyway, my point is…
That what I learned about faith from these folks was that if I wanted it, I could have it, if I had enough faith. The key verse here was Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Never mind that what the Apostle Paul was talking about in this passage was trusting Christ for the ability to endure hardship and hunger, what I learned from those influencers was that human faith was a power unto itself.
My earliest influencers taught me the power of positive thinking, the power of passion, the power of wishful thinking. I had been taught to wish, to hope, real hard that what I wanted could become a reality by the power of my wishing.
Hardly a Christian notion. And in this sense, what they taught was no different than any secular, self-help guru.
Thankfully, other influencers came into my life. I studied the Bible and read good books. That’s what cleared up my confusion between faith and wishing.
Faith Rests. Wishing Wants.
Biblical faith is Jesus-centered. It rests in who He is and is satisfied with what he has done for me on the cross. Faith sees in Him the answer to my greatest need and is willing to lose all as long as I belong to Him. Biblical faith hears specific promises in the gospel of Christ recorded in Scripture: forgiveness of sin, reconciliation with God, eternal life in God’s eternal kingdom, and trusts that Jesus will make good on them all.
The modern notions of faith, or wishing as I now call it, doesn’t listen to anything but it’s own desire. It is object-oriented, not Jesus-centered. It never rests. It is never satisfied. It always wants what it promises for itself and needs no reason to wish other than it’s desire for comfort or power.
Unreasonable Wishing. Rational Faith.
Contrast this with biblical faith, which is immanently rational. God does not command us to believe nonsense in spite of reality or reason. He gives us, in Scripture, reliable historical accounts of all that Jesus did and said via the pens of multiple eye-witnesses. So when you and I say we believe in Jesus, we can mean that we have read about a real person and that we trust our fates to Him. We mean the Jesus written about in Scripture: The Jesus who really lived and taught and healed and loved and died and really rose again and is enthroned on high. We believe in what He said and did, and not least, why it was necessary.
Faith rests in who Jesus is, what He taught, and what He has done for us. Wishing only wants Him to do more.
Like the crowd Jesus miraculously fed with a few loaves of bread and some fish, wishing isn’t interested in why He performed that miracle; it just wants another free meal.
Is your faith at rest in all that Jesus is and has done for you?
Thank you for spending the last few minutes with Average Us. If you enjoyed this post, please share it or follow us. Thanks!
2 thoughts on “The Facts and Fictions About Christian Faith”
hello i am a new christian and i believe that jesus still heals today through people . i have seen it and im not sure where exactly i read it in the bible but , it says that all that believe will have the power to cast out devils and such. isnt that right? and it also says that we will do the same works jesus did even greater , i dont know how we can do greater lol because he is amazing but i just want truth real truth ,and where it says that babes get tossed back and fourth by the waves i forsure believe that ,anyways thanks for your post let me know if i understood what you were saying was right if what i just wrote made any since.i believe laying of the hands and healings if it is gods will but then again isnt it gods will for us to be in good health . what i got from this blog is that healing and breaking strongholds and casting out devils isnt real . i have heard other people say that them things are old time pentecost. but i have seen so many amazing things happen. and everyone that i have heard and seen do these things say it is not about them has nothing to do with them that it is jesus. and one man ive seen says that its not about a man its not about a ministry that it is about jesus . in his meetings amazing things take place and he will say he cant heal a fly its all jesus because he is the healer. not man . i was skeptical when i first attended and i didnt believe it was real until i fell to the ground with warmth all over my body and i told myself i wouldnt fall and it was fake …can you explain your article to me and what you meant exactly . i am only 20 and a baby christian so i could have took you totally wrong.:)
Nikki, Dawn and I really appreciate the genuine honestly of your questions. Thank you so much for reading and trusting us enough to provide an answer. We do want to answer in the same genuine spirit as your questions, but that might take longer than the comments section deserves. Would you give us permission to write a new post quoting your questions so we could provide some helpful answers? Just reply to this comment to let us know. Thanks, Lon
Comments are closed.