Pithy statements about faith abound. Pastor J. D. Greear says, “Faith is when the unexplainable meets the undeniable,” and “Faith is accepting what you can’t understand based on what you can understand.”

Perhaps Francis Schaeffer said it best in “True Spirituality” — “Faith is the empty hand, the instrument by which we accept God’s free gift. Faith is simply believing God.” Even so, we struggle to really grasp the concept of faith.

The angel Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to a son. Surprised and afraid, she asked how it was possible. Still, by the end of the encounter, Mary humbly submitted to God’s plan. Even though Mary was a virgin, she believed God when he told her that she would have a baby boy.

Yet, that’s not all Mary believed.

Mary accepted that her son would be “called the Son of the Most High.” She considered it true that he would one day sit on “the throne of his father David” and “reign over the house of Jacob forever”. Mary trusted God to accomplish the words “of his kingdom there will be no end” for her son Jesus (Luke 1:32-33).

Faith doesn’t require complete understanding. It doesn’t mean conjuring up something from within us. Faith simply takes God at his word and acts accordingly.

When you believe that Jesus lived, died, and rose again to reconcile you to God — and therefore, live for him rather than yourself — that’s faith.

Heavenly Father, I praise your Holy Name. Thank you that Mary believed the impossible. Truly, Jesus is the Son of the Most High and he reigns with you on high. We long for the day when he will return and establish your never-ending kingdom on earth. May everything I do and say show that I believe these truths. Amen.

Go Deeper — Read Luke 1:26-38. What do you think took more faith for Mary to believe? Is there anything you must accept by faith without completely understanding?

Tags: Faith Luke 1
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden