07_Entrust, What Is Faith?

Faith cannot simply be belief – in God, or in a set of teachings – for “even the demons believe and tremble” (James 2:19). In this show, we discern what faith is, by looking at what it isn’t.

Study Audio

LOVE the Word™ is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin. This week’s LOVE the Word™ exercise is according to a Augustinian* personality approach.

Listen (Receive the Word)

Hebrews 11:6,  “And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Observe (Connect the passage to recent events.)

Do you really believe God wants to reward you? What do you think He might want to reward you with?

Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

Talk to God about the longings of your heart, how you feel about them, and however you feel about Him in relation to those desires.

Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

Jesus, I believe; help my unbelief!


*LOVE the Word™ exercises vary weekly according to the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Ignatian, Augustinian, Franciscan, and Thomistic. These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.

Scripture References

Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. But faith is not the absence of logic or reason. Faith lays hold of what the senses and reason cannot. Faith in God is necessary, according to Karol Wojtyła’s (John Paul II) doctoral thesis “Faith in John of the Cross,” because God is pure spirit. There is nothing to see, hear, or sense of God at all unless He makes Himself felt, seen, or heard. Humans receive information through their senses. Since He is pure spirit and therefore beyond sense, He must be received and “reached” through faith. Faith is the ONLY way to lay hold of God.

James 2:19, Faith is not simple belief in the existence of God or even in a body of teachings, for even the demons “believe” and tremble.

James 1:6-7, Although we are instructed to “ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord,” faith is not having faith in the amount or quality of our faith. 

Hebrews 11:6,  “And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” God rewards faith with Himself and not necessarily with what we want. The Hall of Fame chapter in Hebrews 11 teaches us that things didn’t always work out the way God’s people wanted, and they don’t always work out the way we want, so faith is not trusting in what we want to happen.

Daniel 3:17-18, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.” Daniel’s friends show us that faith is not trust in our ability to know God’s will. 

Faith is not faith in the quality or quantity of our faith or trust in our beliefs. It is not believing what we want to happen will happen. Nor is it trust in our ability to read God’s secret will. Faith, quite simply, is trust in God alone: His timing, His provision, His goodness, His answers to our prayers.

Psalm 72:18 “Blessed by the LORD, the God of Israel, who only does wondrous things.”

Episode Resources

My newest book with Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers: Ignite, Read the Bible Like Never Before, available for pre-order with a 30% discount using code SPARK here.

Ignite will be out August 17.  Get a preview of the introduction and first chapter here. 

Read the Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Kristie Hynniman, who does our transcriptions for you.

Ask Me Anything, (Most) Wednesdays, now on YouTube

The “curriculum” I use, littles through high school, stuff I’ve tried, best practices, and the number one thing necessary to giving kids a solid foundation in the Bible. *Potty mouth alert at about 10:00






11 thoughts on “07_Entrust, What Is Faith?

  1. “Faith”, This is a good one for sure. After spending 40 years in the “prosperity message” circle it was always said that if you had a financial difficulty you didn’t have enough faith. The faith, it seemed, was to be worked up. Sadly the so called prosperity message makes God out as a sugar daddy if you have enough faith you can have money and any other material want. Thanks again Sonja!

      1. The big down side of the so called “prosperity message” is that I put my total faith in the belief that any day now my ship would come in. So much did I put my faith in this so called “prosperity message” that I didn’t see the necessity of planning for my financial future. So here I am at 69 years and having to work with no end in sight.I don’t blame the preachers that I exposed my self to for 40 years but I do blame my self. Common sense should have been enough to tell me this was a scam.Donations to these preachers were always sold as “seed faith”, and the donor was planting that seed in good ground. The proof of the “good ground”, of course, was that they were able to buy another multi-million biz jet. Donors were told that sometimes it takes 5-10-15 maybe 20 years for that seed to produce a return. I began to think about the analogy of that, money as seed. Anytime seed is planted, let’s say corn, wheat or barley, biblical seed, if there wasn’t some kind of activity in 10 days, two weeks at the most, then something was either wrong with the seed, or the ground.Even in drought conditions seed will at least break ground. So what gives with this seed analogy with theses preachers? Their answer would be “you just don’t have enough faith”, I know, been there heard that many times. And too, what farmer would put seed in the ground and wait 5-10-15 maybe 20 years for it to produce anyway? Not any that I know of.
        unfortunately, I see all this now and looking back and thinking what a fool I was. So anytime I have an opportunity to share my “prosperity message” experience I kind’a get on my soap box. Maybe you could have Bible study on this subject some time. I might add, my wife who is not Catholic still hangs on to this “prosperity” stuff and thinks I’m heading down the wrong road by my returning to the Catholic Church.I could go on but my two finger waltz across the keyboard is more than my brain can keep up with.Keep up the good work and ALWAYS looking for the next Bibe Study every Monday.

        1. I’ve been thinking about it and am not sure how I would do a series on this. The Catholic Prosperity Gospel, and go into all the ways the Bible actually talks about prospering in Him? Perhaps…

          Your story is a sharp warning to all of us!

    1. Ya’ll. I got something enormous in my eye from your comments. I don’t deserve it, but I thank you, and gratefully stick your regard in my heart pocket. I pray to continue as a little whisper of God’s mighty voice :)

  2. Thank you Sonja for this easy, simple definition of Faith. Trust His goodness, trust His answer to our prayers, trust His timing, trust His provision- trust in God ALONE !
    This is sooo freeing!! I now have a different outlook on what faith means.
    God bless you and all you do. I am so grateful to God for having you!

  3. “Faith for things hoped for.” A wake-up for the hubs and two children to comeback to Jesus.
    Entrusting is what is needed. Want that positive outcome, but, that’s not always how it turns out.
    Just everything you said. Thank you Sonja????

  4. Your understanding of faith took me from a a simple definition of faith to giving ” faith” an experience of how God does love us. When I have said something like “I’m losing faith ” because what I thought the outcome should have been turned out not to be what I was expecting was only a misunderstanding on my part about where my faith really belongs. I am blessed to have listened to this study . I have grasped a deeper faith understanding which gives me more peace in my journey forward.
    PS I’m also greatful I saw your journey home interview that led me to the Biblestudy Evangelista! So happy you never lost faith at least not for long if you ever did and you are giving to your gift to all that are seeking to know God.

  5. Sonja – I’m confused about something. You mention the two stories about both you and the woman who saw a word in the Bible readings, and took it to mean something during prayer time, but then said it was an incorrect interpretation (you with the name of the town, and the woman with the health of her dog and husband).

    I may have totally misinterpreted this, but isn’t that what we’re supposed to be looking for – certain words that pop out and speak to us and then apply them to our daily circumstances? I have had this happen many times, where I saw a very specific word (sometimes the exact word I was looking for) and figured it was the HS confirming my prayer, thoughts, or even giving me direction.

    What am I doing wrong?


    1. Marianne, You’re not necessarily doing anything “wrong” at all. The only way we know that woman was “wrong” is because what she thought the Holy Spirit said never happened. So either the HS lied – which cannot happen – or He’s confused – which also cannot happen – or she misinterpreted. It takes practice to interpret what you hear from the Lord in prayer, and often even when you know you heard it, what you hear does not come true the way you expect.

      All of this “wrongness” is normal, and not something to feel indicted over. God knows we don’t know His thoughts or ways, and that we will mishear and misinterpret as we are learning. The key is to keep practicing so it becomes as positive as breathing. Even when that happens, though, it is still so subtle and delicate, like Elijah’s still, small voice. To quit is really the only way to get lectio divina or LOVE the Word “wrong.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>