6/19/09

Meditation 6: Faith & Faithfulness

Over the last several months, the Lord has taught me a lot about the distinction between faith and faithfulness, and about the symbiotic relationship they share. In Hebrews 11:1, Paul defines faith as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (KJV). In other words, faith is believing that which is not as if it already were!

Seems pretty straightforward! But how would we then define faithfulness? One way to put it is to say that faithfulness is simply persevering in our faith. But I think that definition is a facile one that doesn't really provide a clear enough picture of what faithfulness actually looks like. Developing a more well-rounded definition of faithfulness requires digging a little deeper! And the best way to do that is to take another look at the terminology Paul uses in defining faith, and to incorporate that terminology into our understanding of faithfulness.

Taking that approach, here is how I have come to understand faithfulness: Faithfulness is the series of tangible acts we perform in accordance with our declaration(s) of faith, until that which is not becomes that which is, ... until the substance of things hoped for becomes the reality of things attained.

Faith and faithfulness. May you and I abound in both!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like this!

I was thinking about this the other day, actually, and it seems to me like our faithfulness is a persevering in the acting out of our faith in God's own faithfulness (a description which totally breaks all the rules by using a word to define itself, I know). Because I believe that God is faithful, either to fulfill specific promises or more generally to provide for my good/the Good, I should continue to work and act as if those promises have been fulfilled, even when I don't see them yet. In that sense it is an acting out of my faith, but in a specific way. Faith in general becomes faithfulness when it includes the specific faith that God himself is faith*ful* in a personal, particular way, that he cares for me as he cares for that sparrow, and that he will answer my prayers and needs.

Just a thought.

Jess

Disciple of the Lord said...

Absolutely! Each and every day presents a new opportunity to live according to that faith and act in accordance with it. Love it!