What is your definition of religious faith? And perhaps of even greater importance – what is your attitude concerning faith?
An anonymous English schoolboy once defined faith as “the power of believing what you know ain’t so.” H. L. Mencken described it as “an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.” Ambrose Bierce opined, “Belief without evidence, is what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.” One unknown writer called faith “The boast of a man who is too lazy to investigate.” And G. B. Shaw once remarked, “People will believe anything that amuses them, gratifies them, or promises them some sort of profit.”
Conversely, the Hebrew writer demonstrates a seasoned measure of respect for man’s faith in God. By inspiration, he laments the unbelief of the wandering Israelites, applauds the faith and faithfulness of the heroes of Old Testament times, and encourages his readers to develop and maintain a steadfast faith patterned after the example of Jesus. (Hebrews 3, 4; 11; 13:1-4.) The author of Hebrews presents trusting, unwavering faith as the key which unleashes the gospel’s power and assures one of entering into God’s heavenly rest. (4:1-3.) Unlike the scoffers and skeptics which have long sought to demean Christian faith, the Spirit-led writer of Hebrews affirms such faith to be essential.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear . . . But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews11:1-3, 6.)
“Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8.)