I did Q and A in my theology class several weeks ago and one of the questions I got was, “Where does faith come from?” I told them to check out Jared Anderson’s album. But in all seriousness, there’s only been two theories, I like. The first was by Eugene Peterson who commented that our faith seems to come from the Abraham/Isaac experience. In that faith comes from sacrifice from testing…or testing leads to sacrifice leads to faith.
While I like that theory. The one that I seem to constantly find myself in is a Star Wars analogy. My favorite of the six-tology, and most critics would agree is the Empire Strikes Back. Luke tries to raise his X-wing fighter from the swamp and says he can’t because it’s too big. Then Yoda goes into a banter about judging him by his size and what he can or cannot do. Yoda then lifts the fighter out of the swamp, and Luke says, “I can’t believe it.” Yoda responds with, “That is why you fail.”
I’ve been miraculously healed and I’ve seen others miraculously healed. I’ve witnessed things that like Luke I simply say, “I can’t believe it.” Where does my faith come from? It comes from my doubt, my failure, and my frailty. Where reason and understanding ends; when I have no explanation for what has happened. My unbelief is overwhelmed with humility because in so many instances I have to admit my finiteness.
When reasoning fails, my faith kicks in. Faith for me comes from the need to trust in that which I cannot see; in that which I cannot hear. To admit defeat, that there is no amount of books that I can read. No amount of studying I can do. No amount of wisdom or knowledge can ever be enough. When I have those moments where I say, “I don’t believe it.” Unlike Yoda, God responds by saying, “I am.”
That’s where my faith comes from. He is big where we are small. He is good when we are bad. He is strong when we are weak. He is holy where we are unholy. He is “I am.” Those two words encapsulate so much of our theology. He was, He is, and He will always be. In an hour long drive I had, I just came to the point where I said, “…God, I just don’t have the words to communicate what I’m feeling.” In response I just felt His overwhelming love. When I am emptied he fills my cup so that it overflows.
This is our God. He is a God of peace, love, assurance, strength, justice, holiness, and nearness. He is my hope. I can’t do anything to create faith on my part. Paul writes in Romans 11:36 that, "from Him and to Him are all things and to Him be the glory." When I don’t believe it, He does...and ultimately He is where my faith comes from.