Thinking about Faith

Some things become so much a part of our lives that we do not need to stop and actively think about them. When I ice skate, I no longer think about every little movement needed to maintain balance. I can safely plan next week’s schedule in my mind while gliding along.

digital illustration neurons

Of course, a person first learning to skate or returning to the ice after an injury might need to concentrate fully on the activity.

If your faith has been a part of your life since childhood, stopping to think about it may feel as unnatural as a hockey player hesitating to think about each movement on the ice while chasing down the puck. Faith becomes part of the fabric of your soul, influences your friendships, and guides your decisions. Dissecting it for analysis seems strange.

However, for those times when life events have shaken your faith to its core, thinking carefully about your faith may bring healing. Here are some thoughts on faith:

1. Faith is reasonable but not based solely on reason.

Genuine faith is more than wishful thinking with no basis in facts. If not, a person could have strong, hopeful emotions in just about anything and call it faith. Faith that pigs can fly will not send them soaring over the weathervane on the barn roof. Thus, reason plays a role in faith, and Christianity is rooted in historical events.

At times, faith in God’s provision calls a person to attempt to accomplish more than seems likely on reason alone. However, all lofty goals must be grounded in prayer and planning, with reason serving as an anchor that stabilizes and protects a person from drifting into dangerous waters.

2. Faith is based on relationship, not only ideas.

Knowledge without trust is meaningless for salvation, and facts without relationship falls short of meaningful faith. A well-known verse explains this concept succinctly:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Belief in God is not just a line in a creed, but the basis for a relationship. Like all relationships, your faith in God may grow stronger with your investment of time or weaken through neglect. When you feel your faith faltering, you do not need to collect data to bolster your belief in an idea as much as you need to take actions to nurture a relationship. God is not pleased when He is ignored through a person’s season of doubts. The rewards of love, peace and joy come to those who actively pursue Him.

What role has thinking played in your faith?


Christina M. H. Powell PhD

Dr. Christina M. H. Powell, PhD works in the pharmaceutical industry and is also an ordained Assemblies of God minister and public speaker. She trained as a biomedical research scientist at Harvard Medical School, Harvard University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry is from Penn State University.

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