Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
There is a difference between belief and faith. Belief is theoretical, whereas faith is practical—it is the difference between “in theory,” and “in practice.” Belief has to do with the activity of our minds and faith has to do with the actions of our lives. The difference between belief and faith can be explain through observing a high wire act. A performer steps onto a platform with a bicycle, preparing to ride across the wire to the opposite platform. Belief is thinking that the performer will succeed in the act…faith is choosing to get on the shoulders of the performer and joining in the ride.
Faith is not about right thinking, it is about right acting. It is taking the belief that one has and putting that belief into some sort of concrete practice. The great stories of the Bible are not stories of people merely believing in God, they are stories of people taking leaps of faith and moving with God. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews lists numerous people who didn’t merely believe but who acted on their belief…and the hope of their faith became reality.
Are you a believer, or do you put your faith into action?
Lord, I am not always sure my convictions are all that strong… Just believing sometimes feels like a stretch. How can I act on my beliefs if my believing is a bit anemic? However, perhaps the practice of acting on some of the things I want to believe might actually produce in me a faith that can grow. I am as confused as ever… Please take me on Your shoulders and strengthen my faith in ways that I am unable to produce in myself. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.