November 01, 2012

Thoughts About Faith

Romans 1:16-23

As it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
—Romans 1:17


How do you feel about faith?

Many people think faith may be a helpful protection in case they need it—like a spare tire for their car. Many turn to faith when facing struggles, but then turn back to something more “reliable” when a crisis passes.

In the beginning it may have been easier to have faith in God. Adam and Eve spent time in person with God, and they could ask him anything. But when they disobeyed God and fell into sin, everything changed. (See Genesis 2-3.) They lost their full relationship with God and became stuck in their own sin. Then they could only catch glimpses of God’s presence and his work in this world as if by squinting with blurred vision or in cloudy darkness. They needed God to reveal himself—and he often did that in the following ages—to Abraham and his descendants and ultimately in Jesus, who became the Savior from sin. But many people turned away from God and put their faith only in things they could see, like the moon and stars, or idols that they made.

For thousands of years faith was common in human history, until the Age of Reason (Enlightenment) swept through Europe in the 18th century. Then many people figured they could be faithless. In the name of science and logic, modern thinkers stopped believing in anything they could not see. So having faith became harder.

Do you have faith? Would you like to learn more about what faith really is?

Lord, please help us to under­stand faith and to know you. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at

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