Faith much more than belief

Friday December 30, 2016 Written by Published in Church Talk
Speaking about life’s unanswered questions, scientist Albert Einstein said, “I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world.” 16122906 Speaking about life’s unanswered questions, scientist Albert Einstein said, “I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world.” 16122906

HERE IS the definition of faith, taken from a dictionary.

 

Noun

1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

synonyms: trust, belief, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence;

2. Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

synonyms: religion, church, sect, denomination, persuasion, religious persuasion, religious belief, belief, code of belief, ideology, creed, teaching, dogma, doctrine.

The Apostle Paul taught that “faith is the substance (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

In order for faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ. We can exercise faith in Christ when we have an assurance that He exists, a correct idea of His character, and a knowledge that we are striving to live according to His commandments and his will.

Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him: trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. It includes believing His teachings. It means believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does. Because He has experienced all our pains, afflictions, and infirmities, He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties. He has “overcome the world” (John 16:33) and prepared the way for us to receive eternal life. He is always ready to help us.

Living by Faith

Faith is much more than passive belief. We express our faith through action—by the way we live.

Faith in Jesus Christ can motivate us to follow His perfect example (see John 14:12). Our faith can lead us to do good works, obey the commandments, and repent of our sins (see James 2:18). Our faith can help us overcome temptation.

The Lord will work mighty miracles in our life according to our faith. Faith in Jesus Christ helps us receive spiritual and physical healing through His atonement. When times of trial come, faith can give us strength to press forward and face our hardships with courage. Even when the future seems uncertain, our faith in the Saviour can give us peace (see Romans 5:1).

Increasing Our Faith

Faith is a gift from God, but we must nurture our faith to keep it strong. Faith is like a muscle. If exercised, it grows strong. If left immobile, it becomes weak.

We can nurture the gift of faith by praying to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. As we express our gratitude to our Father and as we plead with Him for blessings that we and others need, we will draw near to Him. We will draw near to the Saviour, whose atonement makes it possible for us to plead for mercy. We will also be receptive to the quiet guidance of the Holy Ghost.

We can strengthen our faith by keeping the commandments. Like all blessings from God, faith is obtained and increased through individual obedience and righteous action. If we desire to enrich our faith to the highest possible degree, we must keep the covenants we have made.

We can also develop faith by studying the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets. 

Never before in the history of the world has the need for faith in God been greater. Although science and technology open up boundless opportunities, they also present great perils because Satan employs these discoveries to his great advantage.

The communication highway that spans the globe is overloaded with information for which no one bears responsibility for its truth or its source. Crime has become much more sophisticated and life more perilous. In war, killing has become far more efficient.

Great challenges lie ahead unless the power of faith, judgment, honesty, decency, self-control, and character increases proportionately to compensate for this expansion of secular knowledge.

Without moral progress, stimulated by faith in God, immorality in all its forms will proliferate and strangle goodness and human decency. Mankind will not be able to fully express the potential nobility of the human soul unless faith in God is strengthened.

In our time the belief that science and technology can solve all of mankind’s problems has become a theocracy.

I would despair if I thought our eternal salvation depended on scientific, technical, or secular knowledge separate from righteousness and the word of God. The word of God as spoken by His prophets justifies no other conclusion.

Many believe that the transcendent answers to life’s questions lie in the test tube, in the laboratories, in the equations, and in the telescopes. This theocracy of science leaves out the ultimate answer to the overarching question, “Why?”

Knowing cause and effect is fascinating but does not explain why we are here, where we came from, and where we are going. As Albert Einstein said, “I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world.”

LDS President Harold B. Lee once said: “No matter what his progress in science, man must always be subject to the will and direction of Divine Providence. Man has never discovered anything that God has not already known.”

We live in a time of turmoil. Earthquakes and tsunamis wreak devastation, governments collapse, economic stresses are severe, the family is under attack, and divorce rates are rising. We have great cause for concern. But we do not need to let our fears displace our faith. We can combat those fears by strengthening our faith.

Faith is all about believing, You don’t know how it will happen, but you know it will.

Teach of faith to know that obedience to the commandments of God will provide physical and spiritual protection. And remember, God’s holy angels are ever on call to help us. 

If your testimony is immature, untested, and insecure, choose to “exercise (even) a particle of faith”; choose to “experiment upon (His) words”. The Saviour explained: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).

If your faith is proven and mature, choose to nurture it “with great care” As strong as our faith is, with all the mixed messages attacking it, it can also become very fragile. It needs constant nourishment through continued scripture study, prayer, and the application of His word.

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow or sun without rain, but he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way.

If God will bring you to it, he will bring you through it.

We walk by faith.

            John Mateara

            The Church of Jesus Christ     of Latter-Day Saints

 

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