Dimensions of faith
There are at least two dimensions to faith.
First, do we believe that there is an infinite-personal God who designed and brought into existence the universe and everything in it, including the dimensions of time and space? Do we believe that we owe our existence and every moment of our lives, not to impersonal stuff, but to the wise and awesome God, in whose plans we have a meaningful place?
Some people say there is no God. Does this mean they don’t have faith? No. It means they believe that life as they experience it can be explained by impersonal, finite processes. They believe the foundational questions that people have asked from ancient times can be adequately answered apart from a Creator; questions like: Why is there something instead of nothing? Why is there life instead of non-life? Why is there motion instead of everything being static?
When the Apostle Paul spoke to Epicurean and Stoic philosophers (see Acts 17), he brought up these three questions. He noted that existence, life and movement can only be explained by the supernatural. Speaking of the Creator, the Apostle Paul said, “In Him we live and move and have our being...”
Do you have enough faith in nature/stuff to be an atheist? I don’t. There are too many things that chemistry and physics can’t explain: love, morality, beauty, duty. And what about the copious amount of information that’s encoded in the DNA of living things? Information is always a sign of intelligence. So if we by our intelligence didn’t encode our own DNA, by what Intelligence did it arise?
A second dimension of faith is trust. If we believe there is a God who created us, how much should we trust our Maker? That depends on whether or not God is good and faithful. It depends on whether or not God keeps His promises.
One of the things we see in the Bible is that God has an excellent “track record” of being true to His Word. Repeatedly and through many generations, God followed through on words of blessing and warning. When the time was right, God kept His promise to our fallen first parents. He sent the Savior, the seed of woman, who would crush the tempter’s head. “When the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law...” (Galatians 4:4). In this most notable way and in thousands of others, God has proven that He is worthy of our trust. That which God has promised, He provides.
So what has God promised us? An easy life? No. But to all who trust in Him, God has promised to supply what we genuinely need. Jesus emphasized this in the Sermon on the Mount when He argued from the lesser to the greater. Does God care for lesser things like birds and flowers? Yes! He feeds the birds of the air though they neither sow nor reap. And just think of how beautifully God dresses lilies when they bloom! Therefore, said Jesus, we can trust God to care for us, His children since we are far more important to Him than birds and flowers.
What’s the point of trusting God? We can be patient when things go against us. We can be thankful when things go well. And for the future, we can be confident that God will provide.