When I consider the word faith, I have a major beef with the English language. In English, faith is just a noun. A thing we have.

In Greek, faith has a noun form…made from a VERB form.

Just pause and ponder that for a moment. I know I had to the first time I heard that. FAITH IS A VERB. Like love, like trust, like hope. All of those have both noun and verb forms in English…so why doesn’t faith??

We have believe, but that isn’t quite the same thing. I believe that we have politicians in Washington, but I sure don’t put my faith in them all the time, LOL. I believe that the sun will rise tomorrow (somewhere behind all the rain clouds), but I don’t put my faith in the sun. I believe that my children will do great things, but I don’t have faith that they can save me from my sins.

When we have love, we act in love.
When we have trust, we act in trust.
When we have hope, we act in hope.

And when we have faith, we act in faith.

We love, we trust, we hope…and we faith. There, I’m just going to start using it as a verb. 😉

Because it’s important, isn’t it? It’s important to realize that faith is not just something we hold in our hearts or our minds or our souls, wherever it rightly lives. Faith is something we act on. Faith is something we DO. When we “faith,” we love, trust, and hope in God (ideally, though plenty of people put their faith in other things, obviously). When we “faith,” we share that love, that trust, and that hope with others.

The Ancient Greek word here is πιστεύειν, which we have to translate into English as “I trust”…because there’s no other English word for it. In modern Greek, a form of that word is still used in legal cases for “a trust; a credit.” And those are pretty good synonyms, really.

I trust that God made the universe.
I trust that God sent His Son to earth out of love for me.
I trust that He is good.
I trust that has saved me through the blood of that Son.
I trust that seeking after Him, believing in Him, accepting that sacrifice will lead me to eternity with Him.
I trust that He has my good always in mind.
I trust that there is no valley, no shadow that is beyond His reach.
I trust that He is with me always, even to the end of the age.

I trust that, enough that I’d swear to it legally, enough that I store my treasure in it. I believe that. I faith that.

In English, when we take something “on faith,” we’re admitting that we have no solid, physical evidence, but we’ll act on it anyway. That kinda grates on me as a turn of phrase. Because when we “faith,” when we act on faith, it is not something rooted in our fancies. It’s something of substance. Because faith (the noun) IS the substance of things hoped for. Faith IS the evidence of things unseen.

And it IS those things largely because it DOES. It ACTS. It is a verb.

Which then puts a challenge to us, doesn’t it? Is our faith something we just have…which means we can put it on a shelf, ignore it, forget about it…or is faith something we do?

How are we hoping today? How are we trusting? How are we loving?

How are we faithing?

* Please note that this is an affiliate link. See disclaimer in the footer.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email