Is Faith a blind leap?

 EigerTo someone who does not believe in God, or to someone who is undecided, it would seem that believing in God is like taking a leap into the unknown – “the blind leap of faith“. People require proof. Without proof it may seem foolish to stake all on something without evidence. But is that really true that faith is a blind leap?

Some Questions

  • Can we, who have put our trust in God, prove to others that we are right?
  • Can we prove to ourselves that what we believe is true?
  • Does an atheist need faith to stake all on his belief that there is no God?
  • Is there more to human existence than what we can experience through our 5 senses?
  • What about love? Can we prove love? Is it sensible to drastically alter our lives and commit ourselves to another human being because we believe that person loves us?
  • Is faith the opposite to reason? Are we expected to have faith without the belief being reasonable?
  • Does being religious automatically mean that we have faith?
  • What is the difference between mental consent, believing and faith?

As a child, I was brought up in a Christian family and in a Christian environment.  I had a simple faith in God and a child-like experience of His reality. When I reached 15 years old, I found that many of my friends were leaving Sunday School. It was decision time. I could accept the fact that I could know God, or I could reject it.  It was a completely free choice I had to make. I decided to follow Jesus, and that decision was for life.

Evidence

We may not be able to prove to others that God exists, but we can prove to ourselves. Applying logic alone does not prove, or disprove, the reality of God. People are seeking evidence.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (NIV)

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (AV)

Hebrews 11 talks about faith being substance and evidence, being sure and certain. I believe that faith is available to anybody, and that faith provides substance for our hope and evidence for things we cannot experience through our 5 senses.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Romans 1:20).

Reasonable

We are made in the image of God, and it perfectly reasonable to believe in Him. But our Western mind-set, and simply life itself, prevents us from “seeing” what we were made to see.

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17)

It is through the message of Jesus that we can have faith, and spiritual insight can be restored. Once we choose to believe, what is reasonable to believe, then faith produces the certainty which we have longed for. Is faith a blind leap in the dark? No, it is the evidence we need to put our whole trust in God and act out our lives with certainty.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”

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Comments

  1. I hold the (perhaps unconventional) view that God has already set out for us in creation, models or images whereby we can understand issues with which we might otherwise struggle to get to grips with intellectually. This is very much the way with parables, of course, particularly those about the kingdom of heaven.

    With the question of “what is faith?”, I tend to use the analogy of the relationship between husband and wife (“being in love”).

    If I try to describe my relationbship with Carolyn, my wife, then I run out of words very quickly, simply becuase worsd are inadequatre to describe any relationships, whehter between husband and wife or between ourselves and God.

    But simply becuase something can’t be described in words, (or measured scientifically),that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

    If I was to ask husbands or wives, “are you sure that your other half loves you?” the vast majority of them would say “yes, of course I’m sure”

    If you were then to pose the question, “what objective, measurable evidence do you have that you’re loved?” you’d usually get laughed out of court. We all know that this would be a totally ridiculous question to pose, because love is experienced, known or felt, usually with with an absolute certainty, but can never be “proven”.

    The parallel with our relationship with God is very powerful. We can experience but not “scientifically” prove the relationship.

    Similarly, the analogy holds true with the question of “trust” in a relationship. We trust someone because we feel or understand a sense of trustworthiness in our relationship with them.

    So, let’s not struggle to find an intellectual justification for our faith in God. When we fall in love, the “why?” is frankly irrelevant (as the parents of many teenagers have found). Love is simply a fact.

    And it’s a more solid and reliable fact than many principles in science. It’s been experienced by countless people since the world began. Without that wonderfully vague and imprecise emotion, our world would have fallen apart from the outset.

    So, whether you fall in love with someone else or whether you fall in love with God, don’t try to analyse it, just throw yourself in whole heartedly and enjoy the life changing nature of God given love.

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  2. Dave Smart says:

    I got a call from an old friend she did not believe but wanted me to pray as she had been diagnosed with cancer. So I shared from scripture how Jesus rebuked the waves, and did not welcome them. The waves were not to thanked as sent from God as a punishment or to make her a better person. She went through cancer treatment knowing the presence of God. She had simply trusted the words I gave her, faith rose in her heart. A group of us listened to her testimony and were silenced by her child like trust. She was sorry the treatment ended because of the relationship she had she knew would not be the same. 2 problems perhaps the Church has destroyed that simple child like trust, by bad teaching making God’s love conditional. The last problem was my lovely friend still blasphemes, due to her ignorance but hopefully that may change.
    Dave Smart husband to Hilary

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  3. Hi George, I read about faith and honestly in your beautifully written post, I envy you this certainty. Please forgive my use of the word “envy” –perhaps admire would be more fitting. I imagine it has not always been easy for you but you are definite and strong in your convictions. You write so succinctly. Thank you for this and the magnificent work you do. I continue to struggle with faith but sense a stirring which I hope–and pray–will grow and strengthen.

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