What is faith?

When our son-in-law filed for divorce, our grandson asked me one day, “Grandma, do you know we are getting a divorce?” The words tore at my heart. Even at his young age he recognized that divorce is not just about two people. Then he added, “But we don’t know if it’s permanent or not.”

I latched onto those words and began sharing with him about standing in faith. That day we began believing together for his folk’s marriage and for their family.

People told me it was not wise to pray with him that way because if they didn’t get back together, he would lose all faith in God. Some even said it was dangerous to encourage him to believe that way.

I thought a lot about that and I have to admit I drew back for a while because of their words. Then one day when I was with him again, the Lord prompted me to share with him that I was still praying and believing.

When a young child is surrounded by adults who consistently tell him the divorce was, at the very least, a good thing and, from my point of view, at the very worst God’s will, it is hard for him to believe that God even wants to do anything about it.

A few days ago in my quiet time with the Lord I was asking if I should continue talking and praying with him. I certainly didn’t want to discourage him or help him think that God didn’t want to move in the situation. On the other hand, I didn’t want to let go of the faith connection the two of us have shared.

As an answer to my questions, the Lord led me to Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. As I read through the verses, two in particular stood out to me.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise…

After all these years of believing I understood faith, I suddenly realized something new. Jesus prayed, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The only way the will of God can come to earth is through those who know Him to speak in agreement with His will. 

Usually we see faith as producing something in our own life and often that is true. But I suddenly realized that faith is much bigger than that. It is simply agreeing with God’s will in every situation, whether we see the result or not. How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, I believed and prayed and nothing happened so I gave up.”

What does giving up mean? It means agreeing with the enemy’s will for the situation because agreeing with God’s will didn’t produce the anticipated results. It means saying it doesn’t matter what God says about it. So, in essence, people are saying, “If I don’t see it, then my faith is in vain.”

As I thought of faith as agreeing with God’s will, immediately another scripture sprang to mind.  Without faith it is impossible to please God. Why is that? Perhaps because if we are not agreeing with God’s will, we are agreeing against it.

So faith is simply agreeing with God’s will and not wavering no matter what. Circumstances do not change God’s will. Time passing does not change God’s will. People’s opinions do not change God’s will. Emotions do not change God’s will.

Jesus said it best in the Garden of Gethsemane, “…not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Author: Marilyn Phillipps

Married 49 years, we have three children and six grandchildren. My initial career of nursing prepared me to work with marriages that are wounded and in need of healing. For 35 my husband and I have led 2=1 International, a ministry to marriages and families around the world. We have seen miracle after miracle when many had given up hope.