Lessons In Truth - Lesson 6 - Annotation 1
What is faith? Explain the definition of faith as given in Hebrews 11:1.
1. Faith is an idea or quality of Divine Mind, thus it is one of the ideas that constitute our divine inheritance. It is a spiritual power or principle that operates as a faculty of our mind. It embodies hope, belief, trust, and expectancy.
Faith is an integral part of our being. Through the ages mankind has sought to know God and it is faith that has been the directing power of this search, as well as our individual yearning and seeking for God.
Charles Fillmore refers to faith as "the perceiving power of the mind" (Prosperity 43). This "perceiving power," acting as a faculty in our consciousness, sees the possibility of a thing or result long before there is any evidence of it in the visible realm. Faith "sees" the good and perceives it to be worthy of our consideration. Faith prompts our mind to give attention to that which is good without letting any doubts creep in.
Faith produces a feeling of deep inner conviction, a state of being certain in our mind that a desire for something will be fulfilled in the outer at the right time. This feeling does not depend on the five senses to report how or through what channel the fulfillment of the desire is to come. Faith is possessing in mind a picture of a thing desired before there is any sign of it as a form in the outer world.
Faith goes beyond intellectual belief, although when faith first moves in our consciousness it starts its expression in us with intellectual belief. Faith is a positive agreement between the conscious phase of mind (the faculty of thinking or as is often referred to, the intellect) and the subconscious phase of mind (the feeling nature, or what is often referred to as the heart) with regard to the desired good. Faith is the "single eye" of which Jesus spoke, for it keeps our attention focused on good, or God.
We may say that faith is both the vision of good and the power to bring that vision into expression. It is the faculty of mind that gives divine ideas a firm place in our consciousness. Faith keeps ideas active in our mind while they are taking form to meet the specific need in our manifest world.
In its action, however, faith is not confined to religion or to things spiritual. It operates in varied degrees at all levels of consciousness:
"Faith is a faculty of the mind that finds its most perfect expression in the spiritual nature, but in order to bring out one's whole character it should be developed in all its phases" (Christian Healing 85).
Faith brings into actuality or manifestation whatever we have fixed our attention and our expectations on. We are always using the power of faith, but if this power is not directed according to spiritual law, we bring many things into our world that fall short of God's standard of good. Jesus tells us most explicitly where we are to place our faculty of faith, when He says: "Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22).
Faith, being an idea of God, can have no opposite. That which is called fear is not the opposite of faith, but rather a belief in evil.
With these explanations of faith we reach a clearer understanding of the definition found in Heb. 11:1. The authorized version of this passage reads, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Every form of manifestation ("things hoped for") was at one time an intangible idea that had to be fostered, fed, and nourished by the "soil" of the mind. Faith is to an idea in our mind what soil is to the seedling; it is the very "substance" that promotes growth and maintains life.
We cannot see this "substance" referred to in this scriptural passage with our physical eyes, yet it does manifest as the form of everything we see in the visible universe. The very fact that we exercise faith in any given situation is itself the "evidence," or proof, that the outer form of the desired good is ready to manifest in our life.
Preceding Entry: Will Principle always work in the solving of life's problems?
Following Entry: What part does faith play in accomplishing our desires?