Question: What is the difference between "faith" and "blind faith"?

Is “blind faith” an actual technical term?  I don’t think it is.  But, we usually know what people mean when they say it.  It means to trust that something good will happen or that all will be well, even though there’s not a bit of evidence to back up that hope.  A public official walks through a hurricane zone and tells the stunned recovering people, “It will be ok.  You just have to have faith.”  But you can almost see it in the weary, beleaguered faces: “Faith in what?”

Blind faith would be in the same category as “foolhardy”.  And that word does have a dictionary definition.  “Foolhardy” is “unwisely bold or venturesome; rash”.  Driving 100 mph on your motorcycle without a helmet, with the simple belief that nothing could go wrong, would be foolhardy.  It would be operating on blind faith.  It would be unwise.

That’s different than real faith, of course.  That’s different from the definition of faith that we use as Christians.  An old truism states that faith and its object can’t be separated.  In other words, faith has to be in something.  When we use that word as Christians, we understand that our faith is a real trust in a real God.  Jesus is the object of our faith.  Faith is connected to our Savior, and from that connection our faith clings also to all the promises that he has made in his Word.  Faith for the Christian is not blind faith, but confident trust in Christ and in his Holy Word.

A description of faith is given in Hebrews 11:1.  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  We weren’t there to see God create the world, but we know from his Word.  We didn’t see the crucifixion of Christ, nor witness him say, Father forgive them, but we know from the Word.  We have yet to see our Savior return again in glory on the last day, but faith looks into the future and trusts the promise of Jesus. 

What are some other examples?  Well, most importantly, we trust that our sins have been atoned for by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus.  Our consciences may accuse us mightily, and Satan could point out our sins before God all day long.  But, the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (I John 1:7)  Our Lord wants us to trust, not in ourselves, but in the merits of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the confidence that we are at peace with God through the work of Christ on our behalf. 

And, Jesus said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me … And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  (Matthew 28:18,20) Paul wrote, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28) We trust these truths.  We have faith in Jesus and in his promises.  That allows us to live our lives in confidence of God’s blessings.  It doesn’t mean we have to know the outcome of every situation.  It doesn’t mean we have all the answers to why God might allow challenges in life.  It doesn’t mean we can be sure which roads will be smooth and which will be bumpy.   But, if we seek to carry out his will of putting the Lord first, showing love to our neighbors, spreading his Word and trusting the Spirit to bless the teaching of the Gospel, we can step forward in faith with the confidence that God will bless.  It’s not blind faith.  It’s confidence in Christ. 

You and I can think of all kinds of ways that these truths apply in our lives.  We don’t always know what to do.  We don’t always feel like God is in control (even though he tells us that he is!).  We don’t escape every problem in this sinful world.  We don’t even escape our own sinful natures that lead us to say with Paul, what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing … Who will rescue me … Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7)  Yet, every day, with mercies new each morning, we live before God as forgiven sinners who have the promise that our Good Shepherd is walking with us as we thankfully serve him, to his honor and glory!

So, trust God each day.  Do the best you can.  Strive to honor him and help others.  Where the road finally leads and how the finished results of our endeavors might look, we leave in the hands of the Lord.  But do it confidently.  After all, it’s not blind faith when we plan our lives and labors as trusting believers in Jesus.  It’s faith.

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Steinbrenner