Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Faith, Trust, and Belief

“It may be easy to think that we have devoted ourselves to the Lord quite well when we believe that we are getting what we want from religion. Perhaps we attribute the happiness of our marriages and families to our faith. Maybe we see our physical health, financial success, or good reputation among our peers as a reward for our dedication to God. Of course, all the good things of this life are God’s blessings and we should be grateful for them. We must be on guard, however, against the subtle temptation of thinking that entrusting ourselves to Christ leads to this or that positive result in the world. It is so easy to view devotion to the Lord as a means to serving our own ends…Any of the blessings of this life can disappear in an instant and the same is true of a faith based on the belief that God should give us what we want on our own terms.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“…the Apostle Paul reviews for us what it means to “live by faith” (vs. 38). “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1). It is the essence of our hope, even though it cannot be proven by means of our physical senses. If we touch, taste, see, hear, and smell what we hope for, we have information, but not faith.” (Dynamis 1/28/2021)


“To believe into Christ is not only to receive Him into us, but also to be joined to Him, the One into whom we have believed. Our believing into Him is our entering into Him. To illustrate this, think of a swimming pool. You can walk around the edge, looking at the water. You can see it’s a real pool, with real water. This is believing in the pool. But when you dive into the pool, you get into the water and are covered and surrounded by it. You’re no longer just looking at the pool, thinking about how pleasant the water seems. You’re in the water, enjoying its coolness and freshness by swimming in it! Objective facts are important, but the Bible reveals something deeper concerning the kind of relationship God wants to have with us. He doesn’t want us merely to believe in Him objectively, acknowledging His existence. Instead, His Word reveals that by our believing into Christ, we enter into Christ. As a result, we’re joined to Him, and we can enjoy His Person as the rich supply for our Christian life!” (Witness Lee)


“No one wakes up and decides that today I will abandon my faith and forfeit all the qualities of the spiritual life  that go with it. Yes, fear and duress may induce us to give up our faith. But typically, we lose our grasp of them through neglect. It is more a matter of erosion than of sudden collapse. Gradually as we face the little challenges of life without turning to God our unused faith becomes weak. But if we face whatever comes to us throughout the day with firm confidence in God, then our faith becomes stronger day by day. And by  treating the minor troubles in life with trust in God,  we prepare ourselves for the major ordeals when they come.” (Fr. Basil)


“When our faith in God is weak or under assault, we would do well to recall the apostle’s clear declaration that faith does not come to us primarily through our own efforts, but rather as a gift from God (2 Peter 1:1). Our attraction to the Lord Jesus and His teachings, the Church, the Holy Scriptures, and the saints awakens in us when the Holy Spirit moves in our hearts and souls. No clenching of our fists is needed to deepen our convictions, nor do we require mighty efforts to still our inner doubts, nor a diligent ascetical regimen. None of these efforts, alone, will give us precious faith (vs. 1) unless God acts. Faith, like life itself and the air we breathe, is God’s gift. By all means, let us ask for that precious gift!” (Dynamis 2/19/2021)


“Our culture has reduced Christian believing to a set of rational propositions. The various doctrines can be described, defined, repeated, even rendered in Latin. But almost nowhere do we bother to think about how we believe those propositions. We can answer the question, “Do you believe in the Incarnation?” But we never bother to ask, “What does it look like to believe the Incarnation?” This disconnect leads to tragic, even paralyzing versions of Christianity.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Faith is less concerned with belief, doctrine, and dogmatic teaching than it is with trusting in Christ…Real faith is faith which is manifest and active.” (OCPM 2/9/2016, St. Maximos the Confessor)

“Trusting God trumps understanding God. The train will have long left the station and left us on the platform if we determine to ride only with full understanding. Life will have passed us by. I’m choosing to trust the conductor and the track He’s laid down for me.” (Terry Esau)

“Knowledge is given to us by faith, that is to say, by our participatory adherence to the presence of Him Who reveals Himself. Faith is therefore not a psychological attitude, a mere fidelity. It is an ontological relationship between man and God, an internally objective relationship…” (Vladimir Lossky)

“Faith is a perception and communion, which means that there is actually something (someone) to be perceived and with which to have communion. Faith is not an action reserved to some portion of our mind – it does not take place within us. It is a perception that is true communion.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The act of faith is unlike any other in human experience. It is unlike, but in a way connected to, the act of sensing by which we perceive the world around us. It is a “seeing” of that which is invisible, yet faith still begins in the senses, by hearing the testimony of another who has heard God’s word.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)

“Our faith is indeed personal, but it is not private. And there is nothing more personal than when persons are in communion with one another…Our Christian faith cannot be lived in a vacuum, for our personal transformation requires working out our salvation within community.” (Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, Abbott Tryphon)

“Without faith, without deep faith, we sell out to self-serving truths and cultural lies. We need to hear the Gospel fully. We need to move beyond group lies or ideology disguised as religion.” (Father John Zeyack)

“However, we must take care that we do not confuse the fullness of faith with acquiring information “about” the faith. Rather, we are to work at living “in the way of the Lord” (Acts 18: 25), for as Christ reminds us, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21). (Dynamis

5/20/2015)

“Sometimes it is hard to really know how deep our faith is, how deeply we trust God or not, until we face trials. We may not want trials but they are usually actually good for us....trials reveal where our hearts are. They are food for faith, which must grow or die.” (Sacramental Living Blog, Orthodox Study Bible James 1:2)

“Within every human is a desire for God. We sometimes attempt to satisfy this hunger by practicing a religion, by having faith in something. Atheism, in all its railings against God, also has intrinsic beliefs, dogmas, and tenets that supposedly can’t be challenged. It is itself a belief system with all the markings of a religion. Atheism as a religion (a set of beliefs) is just as intolerant and closed-minded as the claims made against any faith system it assails…Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning.” (Rice Broocks, C.S. Lewis)

“Even skeptics have faith. They have faith that skepticism is true. Likewise, agnostics have faith that agnosticism is true. There are no neutral positions when it comes to beliefs." (Norman Geisler, Frank Turek, and David Limbaugh)

“We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief [in God] nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?” (C.S. Lewis)

“True belief is not a mere nod of approval to a set of ideas, but conviction acted upon, which shapes our lives and informs our choices…Doubts, as well as beliefs, are born from our thoughts, while faith and knowing are conceived in our hearts.” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou, Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)

"The Christian faith is not just a set of beliefs, but a whole new way of seeing things, enabling us to see things as they really are." (RZIM Canada@rzimcanad)

“Reason alone will never bring us to God. Rather, we confess that we are finite; He is infinite. Thus we come to him by faith.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 55:8-9)

“Human rationality alone will never penetrate the workings of God.” (Dynamis 1/14/10)

“God wants our trust and faith, even while we ponder and wonder about so many maters mysterious to us…Faith is reasonable, though reason alone cannot explain the whole of it. So use your mind to think things through. But leave room for the unexplainable works of God.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 21:18,19)

“Clearly to go to Church and worship without knowing anything about what the Church stands for and believes is a nearly fruitless exercise…But study without worship is perhaps more insidiously dangerous because you can deceive yourself that you are “all about God” when in fact you are really all about “the study of God.” (Sacramental Living)

“To truly know about God you have to live the Christian faith. Christianity is something to be experienced more than something to be learned. I can’t emphasize this enough. I don’t think anyone can truly understand Christianity unless they experience it because it goes beyond the limits of our intellect… This made the most sense to me after my daughter was born and I began to raise her. Before I had her, I thought I knew what it would be like to love a child, care for a child, and meet the demands of a child. And I did intellectually understand this at some level. But it was not until I actually had her and experienced her did I begin to truly understand what it was like to love and care for a child, and to express the depth of that love in words is almost impossible.” (Sacramental Living)

“Our doubts and worries rob us of so much. They make the small shadows on the wall into huge phantasms about to swallow us whole. But the truth is that much of what we fear are either illusions or are realities that are not as terrible as we imagine…Too often we live not in the present but in the past or a feared future. If our eyes were truly open, we would see that our world is not as dark as we think it.” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)

“God always gives us strength to do what He has commanded. This strength may not be evident until we step out in faith and actually begin doing the task.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Timothy 4:17)

“What proceeds out of the mouth flows from the heart, for sooner or later our tongue will reveal the quality of our faith in God.” (Orthodox Study Bible, James 1:26, 27)

“…true faith always results in a changed life and good deeds…True faith involves a commitment of your whole self to God.” (Life Application Study Bible, James 2:18)

“Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” (C.S. Lewis)

“We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief [in God] nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?” (C.S. Lewis)

“Commitment is an essential part of faith…you must commit your mind and heart to Christ…Right actions are the natural by-products of truth faith…Faith without god deeds doesn’t do anybody any good – it is useless.” (Life Application Study Bible, James 2:1)

“We may find words of faith come easily, but deep appreciation for Christ comes with living faith.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 1:35)

“…fear of God can to lead to a fearless life…When we trust God completely to take care of us, we will find that our other fears – even of death itself – will subside.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 112:7,8)

“…grace is uncreated and infinite, whereas our faith is limited and can grow; good works flow out of authentic faith…We are not saved by good works, but for good works.” (Orthodox Study Bible Ephesians 2:8-10)

“Neither verbal confessions nor sacramental experiences avail anything unless we do the works of faith.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 13:25-27)

“Lack of trust in God always prevents us from receiving His best.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 3:15-19)

“There must be balance in life between our actions and our faith in God…We should use our minds and resources to obey God, while at the same time trusting God for the outcome.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Samuel 10:6)

“…remember that faith is only partly a matter of mind and emotions. Mostly it is complying, even if we do not understand or if we have doubts, or even if we do not especially wish to do what the Lord asks. Faith definitely entails risks and uncertainty.” (Dynamis 12/29/12)

“To step out brings us nearer God and to true joy, but God goes with us as we journey. He is both in the midst of the struggle and waits on the other side.” (Dynamis 12/29/12)

“I