to help you discover the God you already know

I want to write about faith

I remember, many years ago reading a poem by David Whyte entitled ‘Faith’:

I want to write about faith
About the way the moon rises
Over cold snow, night after night.
Faithful even as it fades from fullness
Slowly becoming that last curving and impossible
Sliver of light before the final darkness.
But I have no faith myself
I refuse it the smallest entry.
Let this then, my small poem
Like a new moon, slender and barely open
Be the first prayer that opens me to faith.

I remember it because it links faith with faithfulness such that it makes clear that faith is the same as trust.  It also makes it clear that faith/trust is a gift. Some people seem to be more naturally gifted with it than others. But you can ask God for it, and you can nurture it and encourage it to grow in you.

When the Gospel writers talk about faith, and in particular about having faith in Jesus, this is what they mean. It’s about trusting Jesus.  Trusting is often difficult, especially when the object of your faith is no longer tangible as in Whyte’s poem, but our faith journey is primarily about learning to trust.

Too often people talk about faith as if it’s a statement of belief and having faith as a matter of believing in certain doctrinal statements. This is not the Biblical position. Jesus’ Good News is that God offers us a relationship not a contractual arrangement, and a relationship requires trust if it’s going to flourish. Nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus require a statement of belief from someone before He will help them. It is enough that they have faith in Him, that they simply trust Him.  


  1. Paul Booth

    I love the sentence “Jesus’ Good News is that God offers us a relationship not a contractual arrangement,” And the way you build the centrality of ‘trust’ from Whyte’s poem. But I wonder if the notion of “and you can nurture it and encourage it to grow in you” doesn’t put too much emphasis of ‘you’ doing it. I have learnt (often the hard way!) that the very test of trust is to “allow God to nurture it and encourage it to grow in you”. Isn’t it all about our openness to God – trusting, and ‘exploring’ the God you already know.

    • Henry Morgan

      I wouldn’t disagree with you Paul, but I reckon it’s a ‘both and’ not an ‘either or’. Henry

  2. Paul Nelson

    I notice that Jesus says (for instance, to the woman with haemorrhages) “Your faith has saved you.” Not some generalized, collective virtue called “faith”, but “YOUR faith.”
    We’re not necessarily particularly like one another, and our ways into “salvation” are strikingly diverse. But I imagine a secret door, perhaps in a garden wall, known only to you and to which you alone happen to have a key. I encourage each of us to locate that key, and to find the courage to try turning it in the lock. No one else’s key will work, only yours.
    Whatever is on the other side of that door is what will “save” you.

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