Too often, I’ve heard Christians describe faith as something that goes against reason and logic. They happily declare that they “just believe.” There is a degree of validity to explaining faith this way. After all, we generally can’t explain how things in God’s kingdom work out; His thoughts are higher and His ways past finding out, the Bible says.
Yet something bothers me about explaining faith this way. There are people who look for things to make sense and when we respond by telling them to suspend reason and logic, we lose them. We make reason and logic seem unnecessary or irrelevant. In fact, they are neither. And if we will think differently about what faith is and how we operate in it, we can then present it as something that makes sense.
In Genesis chapter 15, God speaks to Abram and promises this childless man that he will have descendants beyond measure. Then in verse six, we see a short verse that lays the foundation for all biblical faith. It says, “and he [Abram] believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Simply believing God was all it took for the promise to take root and for Abram to be judged a righteous man. If you read about Abram’s (later Abraham) life in the book of Genesis, you’ll see that he made many mistakes and errors in judgement. God didn’t count him righteous because he did everything right. It was based solely on the fact that Abram believed God.
This same scripture is quoted multiple times in the New Testament as the example of how we receive salvation. We don’t receive it by living a good life. We receive it by believing in Jesus. What does this have to do with faith making sense?
Well, Abram could and did question the validity of having descendants beyond measure. He and his wife were well past the years of making babies. In the natural, God’s promise was unreasonable and illogical. And if we assert that faith operates in the unreasonable and illogical, people disconnect. But the point of Abram’s faith isn’t what he believed. The Bible doesn’t say that he believed in the seemingly crazy promise and it was accounted to him for righteousness. The point of his faith is in who he believed. He believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
The fact of faith is that we can’t know everything. We can’t know every detail behind every circumstance or understand the inner workings of every scenario. That doesn’t mean that they don’t make sense at some level. Faith doesn’t disregard logic and reason. If someone that you know and trust tells you something that sounds hard to believe, your trust in that person helps you to stretch to accept what they are saying. At least once in our lives, someone we trust told us something that we couldn’t quite grasp at the time, but we later told someone else, “I didn’t believe it at first but I agreed to go with him and he was right! It was amazing!”
Faith in God works the same way. Faith doesn’t have to believe in how something is going to happen. Faith believes in the character and nature of the source of the information. Faith believes God because you know His character and heart even when circumstances are hard to grasp. When we believe God, faith makes sense.