True Faith—Is It Still Possible?
“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times.”—MARTIN LUTHER, 1522.
“To all intents and purposes we already are a secular society in which Christian faith and practices have become largely moribund.”—LUDOVIC KENNEDY, 1999.
VIEWS on faith differ dramatically. In the past, faith in God was the norm. Nowadays, in a world of skepticism and suffering, true faith in God and in the Bible is disappearing rapidly.
To many, “faith” simply means having a religious belief or following a form of worship. As used in the Bible, however, “faith” basically means total trust—complete, unshakable confidence in God and his promises. It is a quality that marks a disciple of Jesus Christ.
On one occasion, Jesus Christ spoke about the need to pray and “not to give up.” In so doing, he raised a question about whether true faith would exist at all in our day. He asked: “When the Son of man arrives, will he really find this faith on the earth?” Why did he raise such a question?—Luke 18:1, 8, footnote.
Many things can cause people to lose what faith they may have. Among them are the traumas and trials of everyday life. Professor Michael Goulder, for example, was a parish priest in Manchester, England, at the time of the 1958 Munich air disaster in which many of the Manchester United football team were killed. In a BBC television program, announcer Joan Bakewell explained that Goulder “felt helpless before the scale of people’s grief.” One result was that he “lost his faith in a God who intervenes in human destiny.” Goulder stated his belief that “the Bible isn’t . . . the inerrant word of God” but, rather, “the errant word of man, perhaps with some divine inspiration here and there.”
Sometimes faith just withers away. That was what happened in the case of writer and broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy. He says that from childhood his “doubts and uncertainties [about God] went to and fro and [his] disbeliefs grew.” No one, it seems, could give him reasonable answers to his questions. His father’s death at sea was a serious blow to what was already a very weak faith. Prayers to God to “preserve us from the dangers of the sea and from the violence of the enemy” went unanswered as the converted passenger liner his father was on was attacked and destroyed by German battleships during World War II.—All in the Mind—A Farewell to God.
Such experiences are not unusual. “Faith,” says the apostle Paul, “is not a possession of all people.” (2 Thessalonians 3:2) What do you think? Is true faith in God and in his Word still possible in an increasingly skeptical world? Examine what the following article has to say on this subject.