What is the Difference Between Faith and Belief
One of the very first real conversations I ever had with the wonderful person that would later be my husband, was about our beliefs. I can remember it vividly. I was a freshman in college living in the dorms. I stowed away in the stairwell of the dorm, out of earshot of anyone else while we talked for hours about our religious past and, to be honest, my lack of faith having just officially left the lds church. I never announced I was leaving. I just never went back.
I always wanted faith.
I believed in God to some extent, but I could see there was something different about people who had faith. I could see it even as a young kid. I saw it with my friend Melissa and her family. She had faith, a peace in something bigger. I saw it with the ladies in MOPS when my son was a baby. There was no pretending to love God. There was a peace in their faith- something I could not put my finger on. It didn’t need defending. It just was.
My husband is a total enneagram 8. If you have 8’s in your life you know they are usually right. They have conviction about almost everything they do, not because they know they are right, but instead because they want to see you rise up and have conviction also. They want you to see the best in yourself and rise to the occasion. My husband also loves to play devil’s advocate. I think this is because he wants me to believe in myself. He wants me to rise up. It’s just what I need as an always questioning 5.
He has been on this faith rollercoaster with me. He never questions me. Just supports, but does ask probing questions- things that make me question my understanding of whatever topic we are discussing because if you are going to say it then it should have merrit- right? My husband has seen me push us to go to church and then back off, get enveloped in the world, and have discussions on the trustworthiness of the bible, or lack thereof. He has seen the Shelby that was super damaged from religion, the angry version of me, and the lost version. He has seen me trying to explain it all, understand God, research and research some more, and form beliefs based on books and science. He saw me believe in things, but until this last couple of years, he never saw me have faith. I think it stills surprises him.
So here we sat at the end of a long day. They are doing a series right now in our church on marriage. Of course, sharing your faith with your spouse can amplify your closeness, no doubt there. Somehow my parents came up with this. My dad is still Mormon and mom is not. I know in order to keep the peace in their marriage my mom has not pursued he own faith. It’s a big deal for them.
And this leads us into a discussion on faith.
It is easy to say one’s belief is personal to them and if they have that belief, who am I or anyone else to change that? Playing devil’s advocate, that is my husband’s argument. We talked about his cousin who has recently decided to convert from catholicism and become a Muslim. He has a belief in that doctrine after studying the religion. My dad has a belief in Mormonism. He believes in that and all the doctrine that comes with it.
It might be easy to see me and say, “She now believes in Christ.” And, yes, that is true. I do believe in Christ as my savior, but it is so much more.
In all the women I talk to on this podcast, in my prayer circle, with all the women I talk to with faith, not belief, but faith it is a moment it is a time, typically a specific moment when Jesus came to them. They surrendered to God and the holy spirit touched them. He spoke to them. He moved them. It is not a faith in a book. It is not anything that is proven or researched, historical, or backed by words. It is God-breathed.
Yes, that relationship is grown through learning who He is in the Word. Yes, that relationship is grown in fellowship. The relationship vs the religious aspect is grown. You can do all the works, go through the motions, but from what I have seen, and in my own experience faith comes when you literally have your ‘come to Jesus moment’. It happens when you literally lay it down at the foot of the cross.
It happens like the moment in the Chosen when Jesus calls Mary by name.
It happens like Isaiah 43:1…
And everything changes. The entire world looks different. For me, it didn’t mean that I automatically did everything differently, but I will say I saw all of life, I now still see all of life through a different lens. Everything means something just a little bit different, because now that relationship can happen. The door is open.
It’s not any longer for this world. It is because of the peace I have with me that I can move through this world.
He called me by name.
So yes, people have beliefs. I believe the sky is blue. People can believe all sorts of things. They can even call these beliefs their faith- a noun- representing their belief system.
But I ask, do you have faith?
…Faith, being the peace of the Lord.
And if not, seek Him. He is patiently waiting for you to lay it down so He can call you by name.
4 Verses to Help you Find Faith
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Ephesians 2:8 ~
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Mathew 21:21 ~
“Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.”
“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”