Dear #TruePrincesses! Have you ever wondered “What Is Faith?” I’ve pondered such topics as “What Is Faith Definition” and “What Is Faith In God?” I asked myself: “What Is Biblical Faith?” and “What Is Faithfulness?” I shared some answers during my baptism in 2014. Here’s my baptism video.
Why is it important to define your own point of view about faith? If you don’t take the time to figure out what YOU think, you may end up living out someone else’s point of view.
You wouldn’t want that. Would you?
I encourage you to understand clearly what YOU think about faith and faithfulness.
What Is Faith?
In my 30s I realized that differentiating clearly between faith in general, faith in myself, and faith in God is key to mental clarity and focus.
I come from a background of not knowing God. I was born in Soviet Russia in 1983 and grew up during the crush of USRR and anarchy. Churches were movie theaters as I was growing up there. Hopefully, you can understand that God was someone to make fun of and He was never real.
My Experience With Faith
As I was growing up, my favorite author was Louise Hay, the book I read daily was “You Can Heal Yourself,” and my perspective on life was metaphysical.
Metaphysical means that I believed in myself as a powerful being, a source of all wisdom, knowledge, potential, and strength. Metaphysical perspective on life means that I trusted in myself, leaned on myself, and worshipped myself. I was the creator of my own self, life, and future. I had to perform my own miracles. And I did.
In this video, I share how my identity transformed from a mail-ordered bride to a child of God:
I began to question my approach to thinking about faith when it got to the point of being partly metaphysical and partly Christian.
What do I mean by that?
I believed in Jesus and I believed in myself.
I believed that Jesus was the source of my blessings, wisdom, and strength, while also believing that I myself was the source of wisdom, strength, and blessings.
This point of view was in itself very conflicting and confusing.
I had to sort through my thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives to discover what I truly knew and how I actually understood faith and my identity.
Many people call themselves Metaphysical Christians and believe in all things. They believe that there are no differences whatsoever among any worldviews. Faith to them is faith in God, and God is whoever you personally imagine. They are accepting anything and everything as the truth, which leads them to believe that there’s no right or wrong and everything is exactly how it should be in life.
This point of view leads to much confusion and complete anarchy.
There are also people who call themselves Radical Christians and they are against pretty much everything and everyone. Those people are aggressive. Their aim is to eradicate inequality in the world, while they themselves treat others as not equal human beings. They demand submission to their rules and discriminate against anyone who is not like them.
This point of view is dangerous and leads to violence and monarchy.
There are also people who call themselves Extreme Christians and insist that only those who speak in tongues are true followers of Christ. I met such people personally and spent some time with them. They think that if you don’t speak in tongues, you don’t know God. They discriminate against those Christians who do not speak in tongues. They believe only they are chosen and privileged, loved by God and go to heaven.
This point of view on faith is untruthful and leads to prejudice that has no Biblical foundation.
One of my spiritual gifts is encouraging people to practice faith and fitness. I made many YouTube videos inviting others to try an underwater handstand, which I can hold now for 75 seconds.
But I don’t speak in tongues.
As I was figuring out what I believe, I realized for myself:
- Discriminating against Christians who do not possess a specific spiritual gift is inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus.
- Praying to many gods is incompatible with the Gospel, which teaches us that there’s only one true God.
- Using violence to demand faith from people is irreconcilable with the Bible, which commands us to live at peace with one another.
So, there are many ways to look at God, Christianity, and faith.
How did I figure out what I believe?
How I Figured Out My Faith
To figure out my faith, I relied on my experience, educational and professional background, everything I read (atheistic, Christian, metaphysical), what I saw during my worldwide traveling adventures, my life in multiple countries, and, most importantly, my relationship with Christ and my testimony.
Here it is shared on video.
I’ll now express my genuine convictions regarding faith.
After you read what I think, I encourage you to question, doubt, and ponder, as well as research this topic so you can figure out what YOU think.
What Is Faith Definition?
The following definitions of the word “faith” are the first to pop in Google:
- Complete trust or confidence in someone or something
- Firm belief in something for which there is no proof
- Unconditional belief in anything
- High degree of trust or confidence in something or someone
- Very substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
I agree with all of those definitions.
Yet, I must add to the list.
And here’s why.
This led me to express my own definition of faith in a poem called “Faith.”
Faith is a state of human being.
Without it, we can’t survive for long.
It’s when we’re future clearly seeing,
To greater plan when we belong.
Faith is a state of human soul,
Which has to feel eternal hope.
Without hope, there is an aimless hole,
Without it, with life we cannot cope.
Faith is a state of human heart,
Which longs for love and for affection.
Without faith, we quickly fall apart.
Without it, there is no genuine connection.
Faith is a state of human mind,
Which thrives on certainty and clarity.
Faith gives us promises of every kind:
Forgiveness, freedom, and prosperity...
Faith is the key to joy and peace.
Faith is essential to salvation.
Faith helps our fortitude increase.
Faith is life’s solid foundation.
7/13/19 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
I hope this content helps you answer for yourself the question “What Is Faith Definition?”
Let me know in the comments below how YOU define faith.
What Is Faith In God?
Faith in God can co-exist in someone’s heart along with faith in self, depending on which god we’re referencing when we think about faith.
Faith in God, when it comes to Jesus, cannot co-exist with faith in self.
Abiding in Jesus and walking in your own power are two conflicting concepts. Let’s explore this further.
Reliance On Jesus vs Self-Reliance
I had complete faith in myself and even wrote a book about it called “Turn Your Dreams And Wants Into Achievable SMART Goals!”
I failed myself.
The Bible is clear on this: we must step out of our own power, strength, and wisdom and step into Christ’s power, strength, and wisdom.
We must lean not on our own understanding but trust in the Lord with everything.
We are called to pray in gratitude and cast all our cares on the Lord who will make our path straight.
Here’s my favorite Bible verse that talks about it. I installed it on my living room wall after getting rid of my TV and focusing my mind on Christ.
In 2014, I gave my life to Jesus and surrendered myself to Him.
I’m convinced that God is the source of my blessings, wisdom, and strength.
But what does it even mean “I gave my life to Christ?!”
I know it may sound weird if this kind of thing is new to you.
I am a new Christian, and there was a time not too many years ago when I didn’t understand such a phrase. I remember avoiding people who were talking about the blood of Jesus or Spiritual Warfare. In all honesty, I did feel like those people were crazy.
Hey, if you read this and feel like I’m crazy, that’s totally cool. I only promise you two things: I am completely honest with you when writing here and you’ll get some thinking started if you just read through this content. You don’t have to believe it.
In fact, in just a few paragraphs, I’m about to start persuading you to doubt and question everything. It’s coming.
But first, let’s explore what it means to give your life to Christ.
Just a quick disclosure: I have a doctorate in Criminal Justice and a master’s in Business Administration. So, I promise you I myself question everything.
I dare you to leverage your critical thinking skills when it comes to faith, Jesus, God, and eternity.
Don’t let yourself adopt someone else’s thinking about God.
Don’t just believe that God doesn’t exist only because thinking that, perhaps, God does exist takes a lot of HEART work.
Here’s a poem I wrote to help you think about faith:
"To Believe Or Not To Believe?" #PoemsFromGod
To believe? Not to believe?
That is the mystery.
Without faith and in faith people live
It takes equal faith
Your own fate or god's plan -
C. S. Lewis said it best
In his last days:
Christianity at a test may be false.
But who cares?
But if true, he said,
Then it's everything!
If Jesus suffered for us and bled,
Faith will salvation bring!
To believe, not to believe...
Just ask yourself while you live:
Where will you go once you've died?
8/18/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
I will go to heaven.
I know it because I gave my life to Christ.
After understanding that Jesus, who was fully man and fully God, came here to surrender His life so I can have mine, I was captivated. Once I understood what happened on the cross, I wept, fell on my knees, and surrendered my life to Christ.
God has a good plan for me personally. Sacrificing His own son was a part of the good plan. I don’t understand everything but I do understand what faith is to me personally and who God is in His relationship with me.
So, what do I mean when I say: “I gave my life to Christ?”
When I say “I gave my life to Christ,” it means that I surrendered.
How I Gave My Life To Christ
I was a sex addict sleeping around for most of my adult life. I became celibate after stepping out of myself into the grace of Jesus Christ.
I was an alcoholic for many years and some of my (now former) friends experienced me throwing up in their cars at night coming back from night clubs. I don’t club or drink myself to the point of vomiting anymore, thanks to Jesus.
I hated spending time with myself alone thinking about the past, pain, abuse I endured, and betrayal I experienced in life. After I gave my life to Christ, I enjoy my own company and face my feelings with courage, thanks to Jesus who taught me by example how to be fully human.
If you still have questions about what anything I say here means, ask away in the comment box below.
Who Is God?
From now on, when I say “God,” I will refer to God who is the Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit.
I am a Jesus’ follower and believe wholeheartedly in His teachings.
I believe that the Bible is God-breathed word and Jesus died on the cross for my sins to set me free.
If you’re wondering “Who Is Jesus?” you may read a blog I wrote answering the question and elaborating on the 30 aspects of His identity.
What Is Faith In God?
Now that you know what I believe, here’s my answer to the question “What Is Faith In God?” in the form of a poem called “Your Plan Is Always Perfect“
"Your Plan Is Always Perfect" #PoemsFromGod
You said your plan is perfect.
Can I believe it, God?
Sometimes I feel in conflict,
With scope of trials so broad.
But then I look around,
I pay attention close,
And see your grace abound
In sorrow and in loss.
I trust your every vow,
Your Holy Word I trust.
Sometimes I wonder how
Your beauty comes from dust.
Your plan for me to prosper,
Have future and a hope
Wholeheartedly I trust in
And never will I stop!
8/16/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Watch me perform this poem at Blackbird:
Faith in God means believing wholeheartedly that He has a plan and the plan is good, as well as trusting that YOU are included in God’s good plan.
What Is Biblical Faith?
Biblical faith can only be defined by the truth we find in the Bible. Let’s look at the Scripture to find out what Biblical faith is, according to God’s word.
1. Biblical Faith Means Stepping Out of Yourself Into the Power of God.
This precisely is why “metaphysical” and “Christian” are the words that can’t be used together because they contradict one another in their very substance.
That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.1 Corinthians 2:5
2. Biblical Faith is About Becoming New in Christ.
Biblical faith is about giving up your old ways, following the teachings of Jesus on how to live and think, and conquering (overcoming) the world.
What does this even mean? Let me give you an example from my personal life.
Coming from a family of alcoholics who slept in front of me with other people’s spouses, encouraged me and my friends to have sex together, and tried to kill me multiple times, it’s a miracle that I’m writing this article for you right now or that I even am still alive.
I was locked up in jail one time for violently abusing – physically – a security guard in the hospital in Kursk, Russia. Clearly, God was not on my priority list.
So, conquering the world, in this case, means having the power from Christ to overcome my old ways of living life, being born again as His creation, and following Him wholeheartedly by thinking and living as His Princess.
All this is possible through my faith in Jesus. I’m newly born. I left my old ways in the past, along with my guilt and shame.
I accepted forgiveness from God and I am forgiven.
Hope this was a simple enough explanation.
If not, ask me anything in the comments below.
When you hear me say “I am victorious,” this is what I’m talking about:
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.1 John 5:4
3. Biblical Faith Offers Healing.
Biblical faith offers healing. However, we must do two things before we can benefit from it: believe and take action based on our belief.
I believed Jesus healed me from sexual addiction, so whenever I would receive a bootie call, I would take action out of my faith.
A faithful action, in my case, meant not answering the bootie call.
Recently, I was at a poetry reading open mic night, and the hostess shared how when guys call her for sex she has no power to resist.
I know exactly what it feels like.
Here’s how Jesus helped me with that.
First, I accepted Jesus’ healing through faith. Second, I took action out of my new identity as a precious child of God.
The action I took was inaction and stillness.
Faith works if we act based on our faith.
Maybe it wasn’t the best example but I know it’s relatable, so hope it helps you understand faith in the works.
Here’s a story of the blind man whom Jesus told his sight was recovered.
What would you do in that situation?
You must believe and take action based on your faith.
That’s what the blind man did.
That’s how faith works.
And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.Mark 10:52
4. Biblical Faith Allows Us to Believe in Good Things in Our Future.
Biblical faith allows us to focus on expecting good things in the future. “Future” means we can’t see the good things yet, but we believe in them already. We expect them to come to pass.
I didn’t even want to even get up for a bathroom call of nature. My dirty dishes were everywhere. Floors went without cleaning for months. I had no bed sheets, laundry was everywhere, and I didn’t wash my hair for weeks.
I didn’t want to live.
I did write poetry and devotionals for YOU so you would benefit from them one day.
Though YOU weren’t there where I was suffering, I believed that one day I’d talk to you and that my story would help encourage you to persevere in your own life.
That was all in the future for me, though it’s hard for you to imagine now when YOU are reading this in YOUR present.
All this content was born in YOUR past, which was my present at the time, in which YOU reading this content was my vision of the future.
Why was I thinking about YOU there where you were not?
I held on to my faith. That gave me hope that God will one day make sense of all the trauma and drama I faced and use my adversity for His good.
I could not see any goodness in my divorce and the narcissistic abuse I endured, but I knew that faith required me to believe in the things yet unseen.
Today, you have Online Discipleship For Women. It is the good thing that was unseen back then when I was suicidally depressed and treated with cruelty.
This Christian ministry was my strong conviction back then. I used my faith to take one breath at a time and hold on to life. I was hoping that one day God would use me to encourage YOU.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1
5. Biblical Faith Recognizes One and Only Biblical God.
Biblical faith implies trust in one God. You don’t have to imagine who He is ever because He reveals Himself through the Bible, the word He Himself breathed into existence.
But what does this even mean, right? How did God breathe book pages into existence? That’s crazy! Yes?
No, dear, it’s not.
Just think of a girl locked up in jail for violently abusing a hospital security guard while drunk who is right now writing this very sentence and this whole entire blog.
God breathed these words you’re reading into existence. They’re coming about on the page of this website and the screen of your electronic device because God breathed them into existence, not me.
They aren’t coming from me. They are coming through me.
Same thing with the Bible.
It’s the book God breathed through the Holy Spirit.
It didn’t come from Paul or Mark or John. It came through them from God.
That’s the God Biblical faith requires we believe in if we want to please Him.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.Hebrews 11:6
6. Biblical Faith Calls Us To Stand on The Promises of God.
Biblical faith encourages us to believe in the 3573 promises of God. I wrote a poem about those promises if you’d like to watch me perform it at Urban Grind in Atlanta:
One of God’s promises is that whatever we ask will be given to us. Here we naturally wonder: “What if I didn’t receive what I asked for?”
We must be careful what we ask for because sometimes we may think we’re asking X but actually we’re asking Y. Let me explain with a real-life example from my personal experience.
I was asking God to help me draw women closer to Jesus.
God sent me a husband.
It appeared as if God abandoned me or failed His promises.
The truth is that He led me through that divorce, abuse, and suicidal depression to starting this Christian ministry for women.
He gave me what I asked for but it was hard to recognize it at first. It took a few years before I realized what had happened. In the meantime, I just stood on God’s promises.
That’s what faith is all about.
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.Matthew 21:22
7. Biblical Faith Requires That We Persevere Through Adversity.
Biblical faith guarantees that we will have trials in life. It requires that we persevere so that our faith can become steadfast (unwavering).
I wrote a poem about this when facing my own heart-breaking, mind-boggling troubles and surrendering to God daily.
My Christian poem is called “I Trust You With The Troubles In This World.”
"I Trust You With The Troubles In This World" #PoemsFromGod
You said we will have troubles in this world.
I would have sure preferred to avoid all my trials.
But you also promised to defeat every sword,
And with no battles to fight, how could I ever feel the perfect love as your special child?
You promised protection, you promised peace.
You asked to not lean on my own comprehension.
So, as I'm standing here, crying on my knees,
I trust you still and your perfect plan for my eternal salvation.
3/6/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Without a test, there’s no testimony.
For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.James 1:3
8. Biblical Faith Demands Strength From Us.
Biblical faith requires strength from us.
Didn’t we just talk about abandoning our own strength a few paragraphs ago?
Yes, we did.
See, that’s the difference: don’t be strong in your own power, be strong in Christ.
The Bible teaches us to “act like men,” meaning entering spiritual adulthood and leaving our childish ways behind. Stand firm in the faith as an adult who thought through what faith actually means and why.
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.1 Corinthians 16:13
9. Biblical Faith Tells Us Our Faith Is a Shield to Protect Us from Evil.
What does it even mean? Faith isn’t tangible! How can it be a shield? Well… Let’s see.
Imagine a Friday evening. I’m home alone and friends call me to go out dancing at a club. I live a completely celibate lifestyle. It’s my own choice and I’m not doing it for anyone by me and my relationship with God.
Is it a good idea for me to get out there at night to dance where people drink on a Friday night? That’s where faith comes into play. What does God say about it? I pray. He protects me with His shield, which is faith. I stay home, write, read, paint, cook, and share what I know through my Christian podcast for women.
Is faith tangible enough in this scenario? Yes, of course.
And if you want to hear more real-life examples, ask your questions in the comments section below.
Here are some prayers I wrote about faith being a shield:
Faith in God and His good plan is our protection from evil.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.Ephesians 6:16
10. Biblical Faith Instructs Us to Trust God.
Biblical faith instructs us to trust God. In divorce, depression, suicidal thoughts, we are called to not lean on what we can and cannot understand. We’re called to trust in the Lord. He has a plan. The plan is good. We are a part of God’s good plan. God will help us. He will make our path straight.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6
11. Biblical Faith Promises Us Salvation If We Believe In Christ.
Biblical faith promises us salvation if we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. Can you pray a simple prayer and just go to heaven? No.
You must not only profess with your mouth, but you must also believe in your heart.
I promise you that.
It happened to me, and I described it in this Christian spoken word poem called “Identity” performed at Urban Grind in Atlanta.
Here’s what the Bible says has to happen for you to go be in the right standing with God and to heaven.
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.Romans 10:9
12. Biblical Faith Helps Us Understand The Concept of Hell.
Biblical faith helps us understand the concept of hell.
That’s where it gets tough.
It takes a lot of hard thinking to reconcile how God can be good and send someone to hell.
Our good God gave us free will. He doesn’t impose Himself on us. He makes Himself known to us but the relationship with Him must be our own choice.
That’s why believing is the first step. It’s our action.
It’s all in our own hands. We choose.
We use our mind to either believe in God or something else.
Faith is our choice. Our eternity is completely up to us.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.Mark 16:16
13. Biblical Faith Makes It Clear That There’s Nothing We Can Ever Do To Save Ourselves.
Biblical faith makes it clear to us that there’s nothing we can ever do to save ourselves. We can’t perform for God, bribe Him, give Him a sacrifice of some worldly value. We simply can’t be good for God.
He sent Jesus to be sacrificed for our wrongdoing.
Jesus is the one and only way to salvation.
Faith in Him is the narrow path to heaven.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.Ephesians 2:8-9
14. Biblical Faith Is The Key to Hope, Peace, and Joy.
Biblical faith is the key to hope, peace, and joy.
When we accept Jesus as our lord and savior, the Holy Spirit moves into our body and dwells there, meaning that the Spirit doesn’t live us.
That’s how the joy of the lord and the peace which passes all understanding are available to you as a gift for free 24/7.
It’s yours for the taking.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13
15. Biblical Faith Helps Us Understand Why We Go Through Adversity.
Biblical faith helps us understand why we go through trials.
Recently, I attended AmericasMart and was interviewed by two men from a popular Christian paper-products manufacturing company about my faith journey.
I shared my story with them very genuinely from an open heart.
After I shared about my walk with Christ, one of the men said with sorrow: “What a tragic story!”
He didn’t rejoice because he simply doesn’t understand how God works.
I responded to him by saying: “It’s a story if God’s glory.” The other man rejoiced, and I saw it on his face and I heard it in his voice.
God surely blessed me with many trials and persevering through those led me to this Christian ministry for women.
From a place of genuine vulnerability, I can share Christ with you and encourage you so you don’t feel lonely in your own season of adversity and pain.
Encouraging one another in a meaningful way is the very glory I’m talking about. Without the test, I’d have no testimony.
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.1 Peter 1:7
Summary: What Is Biblical Faith?
I hope that through the above-explained 15 aspects of Biblical faith, Jesus Christ was revealed to you, at least a little.
If you want to understand fully “Who Is Jesus?” I recommend a devotional I wrote to answer the question in great detail.
Biblical faith is the foundation of thinking, behaving, making decisions, and taking action in an everyday life. It’s not something to learn about and know. It’s what we’re called to live out.
In 2017, I wrote a Christian poem about the difference between knowing the Bible and having actual faith in God.
I’ll share it with you here but want to warn you: it’s a bit sarcastic.
I was married to a man who went to a seminary, worked at a church, had Bible on bookshelves, quoted Bible verses on every corner, but had no actual faith.
Sarcasm is not typical to my poetry style, but this one poem is sarcastic. Nonetheless, it’s truthful.
If you want to have faith, ask Jesus to come into your heart, guide you, and lead you. Don’t worry about memorizing Bible verses – strive to have a genuine, intimate relationship with Jesus.
Pray on your knees in heartfelt surrender.
Ask Jesus for wisdom about everything you need guidance on in life.
Share your gratitude and dreams with Christ.
Lean on Him.
Here’s that poem I promised to share with you.
"Knowing The Bible vs Knowing God" #PoemsFromGod
Bible is a God-breathed document,
The foundation of God's Holy Word to us.
As we acquire at school Business Acumen,
The Spiritual Acumen we acquire in the Bible class.
The class can be a formal community study,
Or just your quite quality time with God.
Or invite to meet up about the Bible your best buddy,
Or organize your own weekly Bible-study, home-based spiritual squad.
Reading it with all your sight focus is good for information.
You learn a lot about the history of the world and our good God.
But reading it with all your heart focus is great for deep transformation.
You become more Christ-like as you apply all the Bible has got.
The Bible teaches us that people are either simple or prudent,
Their behaviors are divided into fool and wise.
You can examine your own self as you become a Bible student.
You can choose to walk in the Spirit and apply or reject the learned advice.
As you learn more about who God is, who you are, and how to live life,
You will feel tremendous regrets and even shame.
You may even feel stubbed by a self-condemnation and self-contempt knife.
But that's why Jesus died for us, to set us free He on earth came.
So, studying the Bible you can gain great knowledge.
You can cite the verses and demonstrate that you've worked hard.
You can even graduate from a popular Bible college,
But to be transformed, you'll need to allow God to give you a new heart.
A heart of flesh for the future to prepare you for sanctification,
Instead of the heart of stone from the past, that was always holding you back.
Now, to have a new heart, you don't need from a Divinity School graduation,
But you do need to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you'll be on the right track.
You can know every page, every verse in the Bible,
But never know your Heavenly Father God.
You can even get yourself in the Bible memorizing spiral...
But instead, why don't you get yourself out of the ego mud?
Focus on the Gospel, the Good News, and how it's applicable to you.
Ask God on your knees to permanently rid you of yourself.
Reach out for His endless grace, His mercy, and get the clue
That the Bible won't help you sitting on your bookshelf.
You need to accept the Bible truth with your whole heart,
Confess your sins, ask for forgiveness, and repent.
Now, repentance is where the Bible knowledge gets really hard,
Because repentance as an intentional, permanent change is meant.
You repent not out of shame and obligation.
You repent out of gratitude to God.
You repent because you received humbly your expensive salvation.
You repent because living in sin is unacceptable and too hard.
So, reading and knowing the Bible, after all, might be an interesting quest.
But learning to be in a relationship with God and to know Him personally is a better goal.
Of course, it will take you a lifetime to become Christ-like and fulfill His request,
But in the meantime, you'll be healed by God as you're becoming more whole.
5/6/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
This concludes our conversation on the topic of “What Is Biblical Faith?” Biblical faith is a relationship with Jesus, not the knowledge of Bible verses.
What Is Blind Faith?
Blind faith is unquestioned faith that is regarded as unquestionable.
It’s the kind of faith that has never been explored, or questioned, because it is believed to be understood by all as a given.
Blind faith is unbiblical.
Just think about this: God created you in His image. He’s the one who made everything everywhere. He created science, poetry, machinery, electricity, nano-technology…
God designed your brain.
Do you think He wants you to use it?
You don’t have to wonder: here’s what the Bible says.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.1 Peter 3:15
As you can see, the Bible encourages you to defend your faith.
To defend something, you must first understand it.
To understand faith, you must first explore it.
Exploration requires questioning and pondering faith.
You must study the evidence in order to prepare to defend your faith.
To defend your faith, you have to apply empathy and put yourself in the shoes of your opponent.
You must prepare to defend your faith by anticipating opposition.
How can you do this with blind faith? You can’t.
Blind faith is unbiblical. God wants you to use your brain.
I have an inquiring mind, for which I’m very grateful.
I question everything.
When I first started attending church and asking questions, I often heard back “You just believe, that’s all! Just have faith!”
Blind faith simply doesn’t work.
God gave you the ability to question assumptions, formulate your own thesis about what faith is, explore the information available everywhere today, interview people who have faith and those who don’t, and then draw your own conclusions regarding your personal perspective on what faith is to you.
God wants you not only to develop a sophisticated point of view but also to use it, articulate it, and share it with others.
Objections to faith:
- “If God is all loving and all powerful, why does He let so much suffering go on in the world?”
- “How could a loving God send people to an eternal Hell?”
- “How do I know Yahweh is the one true God?”
Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you about God and your faith. That’s what the Bible says.
Blind faith is unbiblical, unhealthy, and unhelpful.
We reviewed why it’s unbiblical. The reason why it’s unhealthy is that not thinking about faith is against the very nature of a human with a brain, mind, thoughts, questions, and opinions. I say that blind faith is unhelpful because we must help others have faith. By avoiding questions or diminishing their validity, we don’t draw anyone closer to God. We actually repel people.
Blind faith is the best people-repeller.
We are never told to have blind faith.
Paul commanded those in Berea for checking the Scriptures daily to see if what he was telling them was so. Paul instructed us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to test everything and hold onto the good.
Don’t let your faith be blind. Use the brain God gave you.
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Explore the topic of faith, think about it carefully, and make your own conclusions.
As we’re wrapping up this discussion on “What Is Blind Faith?” I hope you’ll doubt and test everything I presented to you here as my point of view.
You’re welcome to use the comment box below to share your perspective on blind faith or on what is faith overall as a topic.
I promise it will be so helpful for you to start pondering these topics and figuring out what YOU truly believe.
What Is Faithfulness?
Faithfulness is a commitment to trusting that there’s God, that He has a plan, that His plan is good, and that YOU are a part of God’s good plan.
Trusting takes work. Trusting is not just a state of mind. It’s an action taken daily based on what you fundamentally believe.
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.James 2:24
Faithfulness is an attitude and a mental state demonstrating faith through your consistent action. Want more specifics?
Here are some details of how faithfulness works.
Faith and Deeds
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.James 2:14-26
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
So, faithfulness is the opposite of a churchgoers’ saying: “Awwww… You have cancer? I’ll pray for you, honey!”
Faithfulness requires believers to offer a car ride to a doctor appointment to the person who’s sick, offer a meal prep or lawn mowing assistance, and whatever other help may be required.
That’s faith in the works.
I’ll share with you an example from my own life.
Faithfulness In Action
I remember Valentine’s Day of 2017. I was off work, even though it was a Tuesday. It was a hard time in my life. I was still living in our marital residence in Cumming, GA, at Adair Park. I was depressed, suicidal, trying to put my thoughts together about our dating, courting, premarital counseling, wedding, and the two divorces my husband filed in our first few months of marriage. Waking up was a daily dread. I didn’t want to live.
Four weeks prior to that, Michel just filed for his second divorce in our first year of marriage. It was after the first one was dismissed in December of 2016. In November, he asked me to reconcile and I said yes. In December, our divorce was dismissed. Five weeks later, in January of 2017, he filed for divorce again.
To say that Valentine’s Day 2017 was painful for me is an understatement.
I felt devastated. I felt sad. I felt hurt. I felt confused. I felt heartbroken.
Michel chose an IronMan bicycle and his dream of competing in the IronMan championship in Kona over our marriage.
Still living in our marital residence, I was open to yet another reconciliation. At the same time, I felt bitter and resentful toward Michel.
I couldn’t imagine forgiving him.
I was also ashamed of having Michel’s last name.
I felt such conflict between Anna Stevens, who I was before we got married, and Anna Szabo, who I became after I married Michel.
I felt that Michel didn’t deserve the honor of having me carry his last name. Many people ask me why I kept it. Let me know in the comments below if you want me to share why I didn’t get rid of his last name after our divorce.
That Valentine’s day, I was home working on the documents Michel’s attorney subpoenaed for our divorce. I felt such pain and sorrow.
I was downstairs in the living room, sitting on our orange-leather sectional when Michel came down with his face covered and informed me that he had the flu and was going to the doctor.
Seeing the man I both loved and condemned, all at the same time, sick with the flu, vomiting green mucus, I experienced a diverse variety of emotions
I felt compassion. I felt anger. I felt love. I felt hatred.
I wanted to take care of sick Michel but I also was hurting and felt angry at him for his betrayal and deception.
When Michel walked out of the house, I was sitting on the couch still, and the Holy Spirit got a hold of me.
I heard clearly: “Go clean Michel’s bedroom and change his bed sheets.”
Oh heck no!
No way on earth!!!
I will not do it!
That was my response to God.
And Jesus said to me again: “Go take care of Michel. He is your brother-in-Christ.”
If God weren’t sovereign, I’d hide from Him at that moment.
Since God is sovereign, He is everywhere all the time. So, I obeyed.
Walking upstairs to the guest bedroom where Michel lived, I cringed and flinched. I remember walking in and seeing his bedsheets brown-black dirty, Kleenex everywhere, dust is measured in inches, and spiders in every corner.
There were no reminders of our marriage anywhere but the reminders of his IronMan obsession were everywhere.
I felt irate.
Yet, I put my cleaning mask and gloves on and went to work.
I vacuumed, dusted, changed Michel’s bedsheets, and did everything else I’d do for a sick brother-in-Christ.
I also cooked and did five loads of laundry for him.
Amazingly, along with Michel’s spiders, dirt, and dust, gone was also my anger and resentment.
I felt humbled. I felt compassionate. I felt love for Michel. I felt sorrow for our marriage. I felt a commitment to him as my husband. I felt genuine care toward my brother-in-Christ.
I had a heart of stone filled with unforgiveness and harshness that morning. And God replaced it with a forgiving and gentle heart of flesh that same day by the afternoon.
I had faith in God. I took action out of my faith. I practiced faithfulness.
Faith without works is no faithfulness.
Faithfulness requires us to take consistent action that is intact with our faith.
Faithfulness means that we walk our talk.
What Does Faith Mean To Me?
What does faith mean to me personally?
My faith impacts my identity, lifestyle, decision-making, and goals.
I shared here with you how I abandoned my own power to follow Jesus. You might be thinking that I consider myself incapable or weak. Not at all. I love myself. I respect myself. I enjoy my own company. And I honor myself with my lifestyle and decision-making.
The truth is that Jesus is stronger, better, smarter, wiser, and more powerful than I can ever be. I failed myself many times but Jesus never failed me.
So, I simply think of myself with sober judgment and draw my strength and power from Christ, not myself.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.Romans 12:3
I also created a book of 52 devotionals answering the question “Who Am I In Christ?” This resource can help you not only discover who YOU are in Christ but also show you that I know the truth about who I am.
I’m strong and smart and capable, just not in my own strength or power but that of Jesus Christ.
You see, I, who let myself down many times, have been crucified with Christ. That I no longer lives.
It is incorrect grammatically to say this but it’s correct in terms of surrendering to Jesus and becoming new in Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20
What Faith Means To Me
- I believe in God who has a certain plan for my life
- I believe that God’s plan is good
- I believe that God created me in His own image for a purpose
- I believe that God defined the purpose for my life and prepared good works in advance for me to do
- I believe that God designed every part of me, which means I am perfect for what He anointed me to do
- I believe that I am a child of God, the king of the universe, which makes me a Princess.
My faith in God, who is The Trinity, causes me to believe that I am a Princess, was born for a divine purpose, and an exciting future is waiting for me ahead.
We answered the question “What Is Faith?” and discussed faith from many different perspectives. We explored several of its aspects. We talked about faith in terms of emotions, feelings, mindset, logical quest toward understanding, and lifestyle.
To summarize, I want to provide my 10-point, comprehensive answer to the question “What Is Faith?” for your quick reference.
1. Way of Being
2. State of Mind
3. Beliefs System
4. Vision for the Future
5. Presence of Trust
6. Personal Perspective
7. Philosophy about the World
8. Foundation of Identity
9. Set of Expectations
10. Understanding of the Afterlife
Now that you know what faith is, strengthen your faith by learning what God says about you. Download my FREE DEVOTIONALS EBOOK now.
The more you ponder what faith means to you personally, the more confident you’ll be in the fact that your faith or lack thereof is your own decision, not someone else’s.
Understanding what faith is on your own journey is key to standing firm on your own two feet when it comes to communicating and defending your point of view.
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Dear #TruePrincesses! I’m Anna Szabo, the founder of Online Discipleship For Women. This Christian ministry was founded in 2017 when I was struggling with severely suicidal depression. God grew my faith and hope and asked me to share the Gospel with you.
My mission is to alleviate suicide among women by encouraging YOU to grow in faith and hope.
My vision is to help YOU live a joyful life by embracing God’s word.
My goal is to make the Gospel practical and applicable to YOUR daily experiences.
Share this message with a woman who needs it now.