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Some people claim to be religious, but they struggle to understand the meaning of “faith.” What is faith, and why is it important?

What is faith?


Many people think that a person who has faith simply accepts a belief without having any real evidence. For example, consider a religious person who says, “I believe in God.” If that person is asked, “Why do you believe?” he might reply, “That’s the way I was raised” or, “That’s what I’ve always been taught.” In such cases, there might seem to be little difference between having faith and being gullible.


“Faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) For a person’s expectation to be assured, he or she needs to have sound reasons for that assurance. In fact, the original-language word for the phrase “assured expectation” means more than an inner feeling or mere wishful thinking. So faith involves conviction that is based on evidence.

“His [God’s] invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.”​Romans 1:20.

Why is it important to acquire faith?


“Without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”​—Hebrews 11:6.

As mentioned earlier, many people believe in God simply because they have been taught to do so. ‘That’s the way I was raised,’ they might say. But God wants those who worship him to have genuine confidence in his existence and in his love. That is one reason why the Bible emphasizes the need to seek him earnestly, so that we can truly come to know him.

“Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”​James 4:8.

How can you acquire faith?


“Faith follows the thing heard,” says the Bible. (Romans 10:17) So the first step toward building faith in God is to ‘hear’ what the Bible really teaches about him. (2 Timothy 3:16) Studying the Bible will help you to find solid answers to important questions, including: Who is God? What evidence is there of his existence? Does God really care about me? What is God’s purpose for the future?

Evidence of God’s existence is all around us

Jehovah’s Witnesses would be happy to help you study the Bible. As stated on our website,, “Jehovah’s Witnesses love teaching people about the Bible, but we never force anyone to become a member of our religion. Rather, we respectfully present what the Bible says, recognizing that each person has the right to choose what he or she will believe.”

In the final analysis, your faith must be based on evidence that you observe as you weigh the truthfulness of what you read in the Bible. In that way, you will follow the example of first-century students who “accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”​—Acts 17:11.

“This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”​John 17:3.