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The Meaning of Faith

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“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
–Hebrews 11:1

Recently, more by circumstance than intention, I read several tidbits about faith and how faith fits into our daily living.

Kathleen Norris, author of Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith suggests that part of how we practice faith is by recognizing that the continuum of faith includes “belief, doubt, and sacred ambiguity.” In other words, throughout our lives our faith will ebb and flow through times of solid belief, waves of doubt, and holy mystery.

Another author, Richard Rohr, wrote about faith and prayer being more than the words we say or the thoughts we think. Our faith, he says is rather “a stance” and a way of understanding God as a Presence. Faith, he says is “a way of living in awareness of the Presence, even enjoying the Presence…trusting, allowing, and delighting in it.”

And one other author, Beth Miller, wrote about faith and living saying, “We can easily become short sighted and see only the story currently going on around us or in our own lives, and get bogged down in the unanswered questions with which we wrestle.” She went on to say that one way of expressing our faith is by faithfully living out what we sense God calling us to in the present and “trusting that we have not yet seen the end of the story.”

What we believe about the future affects how we live in the present. This is the affirmation and message of the letter to the Hebrews. The entrusting of one’s life and future to God is, as another biblical translation puts it, “the reality of things hoped for and the proof of things not seen.”

I invite you in this week to sketch on paper or in your mind, a simple roadmap of your faith journey. Highlight the times when God seemed most present to you. Then, hold this question with you this week…When others look at you and the way that you live, would it be obvious that your faith guides your words and deeds?


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