Happy Friday, everyone!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved Fridays. Friday always signified the end to a long week, the beginning of a weekend, and a beautiful mixture of finishing something old and starting something new.
While I still enjoy the reasons mentioned above, today, I love Friday for a whole new reason. My son slept through the night last night, and I feel alive again. Seemingly a small accomplishment, but for me and my husband, we’re walking on sunshine today. So, it could be Tuesday today for all I care, but I am rested and doing a bit of a happy dance over here because of it!
Another reason why I feel so refreshed today is that I was finally able to rejoin the MOMS group yesterday at my church. It stills sounds strange for me to say those words, that I am a part of a MOMS group—only because the reality of motherhood hasn’t quite sunk in yet—but nevertheless, I am its newest member. It was my first time attending yesterday after becoming a mom, and I honestly wasn’t even sure I was going to make it. I did make it, although I was late, but I have to say, it was a breath of fresh air. Sitting in a room filled with women who “get it”, who fully know the highs and lows I have been experiencing for the past five weeks, was exactly what I needed yesterday. And the grace they so freely poured on me as I stumbled over my words that were filled with doubt and uncertainty, coupled with exhaustion, was life-giving to my soul.
This got me thinking about faith, about the community of faith by which I am surrounded, and about the definition of faith itself. Many gifted and articulate teachers and authors have summarized in their own words what the word “faith” means, but I tend to default back to one verse in Scripture that seems to do the very best job of putting some skin and bones on this word that many times seems to just escape us, despite how hard we try to cling to it.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Simply put, faith is defined here as two things: an assurance and a conviction. That’s it.
An assurance: full confidence; freedom from doubt; certainty; guaranty
A conviction: a fixed or firm belief
As I stare down those two definitions, I can’t help but think about the fact that far too often, my faith doesn’t look like either. Because when the going gets tough, what seems to be the first thing to fly out the window? Full confidence and freedom from doubt in our fixed and firm belief, right? Is faith only realized, known, and expressed in our lives when everything is going well? Do we walk in faith even when we don’t feel like it? Do we remain in places of certainty in our understanding of God’s character, even when we aren’t seeing Him move in our lives the way we want Him to?
Sitting around a table yesterday morning, filled with women who possess faith, we shared our stories with each other. We told each other how we each came to faith in Christ. We detailed the defining moments when we finally surrendered to His invitation of salvation, the invitation that calls us to pick up our cross and follow after Him. What I realized, or remembered, as we all shared is this: Genuine, saving faith remains even during the storms of life. Faith, as defined here in Hebrews 11:1, is not moved by the circumstances that come crashing down on us. Faith says, “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.”
So, what is faith? It’s more than just knowing what you believe. It’s knowing why you believe what you believe and standing upon it, even when everything or everyone else around you crumbles and falls away. Faith remains confident in the One whom we believe, not in self. Faith is an assurance. Faith is a conviction.
Do you have it?