Everyone knows that faith is believing; it’s also been shown many times that believing something is true can help us to make it happen. One of Hollywood’s favorite themes is “believe in yourself and anything can happen.” Take the movie Space Jam, for instance. The theme song is “I Believe I Can Fly” 

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly . . .

 
I do enjoy the movie—it’s just plain fun, the kind that makes me sit back and marvel at the creativity of the movie-makers. And the song’s message is true, too: when we believe that nothing is possible, nothing is possible; when we believe that we can achieve our dreams, we succeed.

Sometimes.

But we humans weren’t made for flying, and no matter how hard we believe otherwise, gravity still conquers. And as we finish the movie and head back into reality, we know that the things which took place in the movie were pretend (very pretend, especially since over half of the movie takes place in the Looney Toons cartoon world!): people in real life can’t just stretch to get what they want from across the room! And in real life, no matter how much we believe in our dreams, we still run into problems bigger than we are that thwart our dreams and crumble them into dust. For every “feel-good-about-believing-in-yourself” story, there’s a story about someone whose hopes were dashed beyond repair by the unexpected and inexorable.

Faith isn’t about believing that we can bend the laws of reality, it’s about trusting the laws of reality. Airplanes can conquer gravity because they use the principles of aerodynamics to leave the ground. In fact, the whole concept of “believability” in writing fiction comes from the fact that we know life is ruled by laws and principles of cause and effect.

In Space Jam, the “impossible” was possible not because the characters just believed their way to it but because the laws of the cartoon world allowed for them stretching across the room (and other such strange antics).

Therefore, when I talk about faith, I’m not talking about believing my way out of circumstances or bending the laws of reality through my determination. I’m talking about believing in ALL the laws and principles of the universe, including the ones that I can’t see and can’t test in a laboratory. I’m talking about believing in the God that made those laws and that is big enough to do things that seem to defy those laws—things like parting a sea and walking on water and stilling a storm with a word. And if He is big enough to change the course of nature in THIS reality—if He is big enough to heal the blind with a touch and raise the dead with a word—then He is big enough to trust with the details of my poor little life and even my most insignificant dreams.

I don’t believe in “faith”. I believe in Him. I trust Him.

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