The Nature of Faith


I’ve been thinking about faith recently.

What it means to have it. What it “does.” What it is.

I started this year determined to have faith. Even when things looked impossible, I decided I would believe what God said and not what I could see.

It’s only been one month and already, that resolve has been tested.

Almost constantly. The things I’m particularly hoping for and praying about look even more impossible than they did before. And God keeps reminding me, “Didn’t you say you wanted to believe in the things you couldn’t see? Well, here’s your opportunity.”

I don’t know why I’m always so surprised when God takes the things I say seriously.

But that isn’t the only thing He has been saying as I’ve been wrestling with my faith––not just faith in eternal salvation, but faith that God can/wants to/will answer specific requests I am lifting up to Him (that are in line with His heart). He has been reminding me of something He told me near the end of last year.

“The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

During a prayer meeting at which this verse was quoted, He said, “You have caught my eye.

As you may not be surprised to learn, it was a rather emotional moment for me. He said, “You have caught my eye with the time you’ve spent seeking my face. Since you were a little girl, you’ve done that. You don’t think I’ve seen? You don’t think that matters to me? I’ve heard every request you’ve made, I see every desire of your heart, now just watch me do everything––all those things you have whispered to me in the secret place. Watch Me do it.”

So He’s been reminding me, “What did I say again? You better believe? I’m counting on your faith?”

No. He said to watch Him do it. He didn’t say a word about me doing anything. Oh.

I’m starting to understand that a big aspect of faith is simply resting.

If God has said something will happen, it will. It’s not up to me.

At the same time, I do believe in contending for things in prayer. I believe in praying into these specific requests I am making. (Actually, I don’t even think “requests” is the right word, because they are things that He put on my heart to pray for first.)

Strangely, I feel like that intense kind of prayer goes hand in hand with resting. When I’m not worried, when I’m confident in God’s ability and willingness to accomplish the things on my heart, I can easily declare them with fervor in the place of prayer. I can victoriously speak out that which is coming, passionately, but from a place of peace.

So what is faith? Believing.

But how do we believe? By remembering that God is the one who said He would accomplish the impossible. By remembering that these hopes we are lifting up to Him were all His idea in the first place.



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Elizabeth holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is currently pursuing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, so when she isn't busy writing academic papers, she is usually out enjoying the LA sunshine. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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