Faith is essential to our journey with Christ. It is the currency of God’s kingdom. It takes us every place we need to go. Faith allows us to see the invisible reality of God’s kingdom, it is the means by which we relate to God, and it inspires us to face the unknown with certainty.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV
In the 1960s, space interest reached an all-time high as the Russians launched the orbiting unmanned satellite Sputnik. America was playing catch-up but eventually made plans to place men on the moon. It was in that environment that I began my undergraduate study in aerospace engineering.
In one of our courses, we were given an assignment to design a vehicle that astronauts could use to explore the surface of the moon. Because we had no firsthand knowledge of the composition of the moon’s surface (we did know it wasn’t made of cheese), the vehicle needed to be able to handle any kind of surface and terrain. What we came up with was akin to an early prototype of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
ATVs today are only remotely similar to our class project or even to the actual moon explorer. But they serve the same purpose. Mary and I rode an ATV over a twelve-thousand-foot mountain pass in Colorado. On our journey we encountered every kind of terrain possible—water, rocks, dirt, sand, and snow. Part of the adventure was learning to trust the capability of our vehicle. As we conquered each obstacle, we grew more confident for the next
Our life with Christ requires faith from beginning to end. It is our vehicle for traveling on this incredible journey. It is essential and is not something we outgrow. The more we understand about faith, the more we will come to rely on its power for daily living.
Faith and Reality
The word faith, like so many words in our culture, can have many meanings. It’s often used to convey optimism. We say to someone who is facing the unknown, “Just have faith.” Sometimes it refers to a whole body of religious teaching, such as, “They were strong in their faith.”
When the Bible uses the term faith, it is referring to a trust in something real, yet unseen that inspires action in the direction of that belief. The book of Hebrews explains it well: “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see” (11:1).