Scripture tells us in Hebrew 11:1 ... "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
Faith is not something that can be seen or touched at the time that it is needed; it can only be acted upon and the results witnessed later. These things that we have hoped for and these things we have convictions about. But some will still ask, Where do I find or get faith?
The same question can be asked of our heroes, where do they find their bravery? Are they just born with it and it is a case of you have it or you don't? Are some people just destined to be brave and courageous and other just destined to have faith?
Let's see if we can find a common denominator between bravery and faith.
When is it that we call some people brave and others not so brave? Isn't it where there is some kind of danger? Like a house is on fire and there are people's lives at risk. The ones we call brave run into the fire and work to save those that are in danger. The ones who are not so brave are the ones who stay back and protect themselves from harm.
Some might say that the ones who run into the fire are foolish for risking their lives and the others are wise for protecting theirs. The difference is how each individual reacted to the danger.
The brave/foolish person, despite knowing the danger, chose to try and help. The not so brave/wise person, knowing the danger, chose to protect himself.
I am not saying that those who chose not to help are bad people. On the contrary, they are now in a position to aid those being brought out. Not everyone can run into the building -- that could be counterproductive -- but everyone can be available to provide what help they can when they can.
How does this apply to faith? Faith is used when an outcome is not known, but one can be hoped for, and the evidence for the basis of that hope is not seen. Many people who rarely, if ever, operate on faith see the actions of those who do as crazy or foolish.
People of faith trust God to provide the answers and make the opportunities available for them to then do what needs to be done to get the hoped for outcome. Faith is not a passive activity. It is not sitting on our hands saying, "We are just trusting in God to take care of this situation and we will wait here till it happens."
Faith is taking action and trusting that God will work through either our actions or someone else's, to bring about the outcome, and trusting that the outcome is God's will.
Bravery is putting forth action despite being afraid or in danger. Faith is putting forth action despite having doubts.
Both of these actions can be considered foolishness by those on the outside looking in, but to brave and faithful people it is just what you do.
Remember, the scriptures tell us in I Corinthians 1:18 "that the message of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing."
So, back to the original question: Where do we find faith? Faith, like bravery, is found inside of us just waiting to be used and grown. Find your faith and live it. God bless.
• Terry Brace is pastor of the First Christian Church of Du Quoin.