Faith in God

                     Faith in God
 
Hebrews 11:3-6
 
Third Sunday after New Sunday
 

In this week’s Pauline epistle we see St. Paul writing a very important letter to the Hebrews. As you read the letter a familiar idea is brought up over and over again and that is faith. Faith is something we all struggle with both in our physical life and our spiritual life. Our physical life consists of relationships with our family and friends, and having faith in each other can strengthen the meaning of that relationship. The spiritual life is the relationship with our Father above, and just like the physical life our faith in Christ can strengthen the relationship between us and Him, but the difference is that when we lose faith in God our life falters and we fall. When we fall it creates a tower effect. Our Faith in God is the base and once it is gone then everything else in our life begins to fall apart. There are many great people in the Bible we can learn from that doubted, but understood that having faith in God is the greatest weapon someone can have. We see these people named within the letter and how their faith in God brought great things in their lives. 

Faith is an encounter between us and God. He unconditionally loves us and takes the first step in believing in us. Christ helps us understand his presence and that he is there for us. The problem with faith is that it is usually a one way street, especially in this day in age. As modern day Christians we look for physical evidence of Christ’s presence and when asked why people do not have faith in Christ they say because they do not see it or do not have enough evidence to believe it. People do not see miracles anymore and when they go through struggles in life they ask “where is Christ”? As Christians we cannot fully understand God, He does things because he has a plan. St. Augustine talks about a story that many people can relate to. St. Augustine was walking along the seashore one day. His thoughts were centered on God. He passed a little girl filling a hole in the sand with water, He asked what she was doing. The reply was, “I’m emptying the sea into this little hole I’ve dug.” The wise theologian smiled and said to him, “I am trying to crowd the infinite God into this finite mind of mine.” St. Augustine says such fruitful words at the end of his story. As human beings we strive to know and understand everything but like St. Augustine said how can our feeble minds comprehend God and because of that people doubt God and lose faith. This is somewhat unfair because God is taking that first step in the two way relationship of faith. 

Fr. Anthony M. Coniaris, a Greek Orthodox priest in Minnesota, is the President of Light and Life Publishing and in one of his books, “Introducing The Orthodox Church,” he talks about how the early church did not need miracles or signs to have faith in God. They stood firm in the faith and came to the temple to hear the words of Christ that they may use it in their daily lives. What we as modern day Christians lack is what Abraham had when he was asked to sacrifice his son, what Noah had when he was asked to build an ark to continue the human race, and what David had when he was asked to become king of Israel. Remember that each one of these great people did have some doubt but understood that with God all things are possible. We must also understand that through thick and thin our Father in heaven will lead us on the right path as long as we have full faith in his words. 

Questions for Reflection:

1. As an Orthodox Christian how do you keep faith in God when things get hard in life? 

2. How can modern day Christians bring the ways of the early church back into our daily lives?