To say that we have a reasonable faith might seem strange. I think when we hear the word “faith,” we think of blind belief, high hopes without much grounding. Whatever faith is, it is certainly not based on reason. This is true to an extent. We are saved through faith and this faith is based on the revelation of God. None of us could arrive at belief in God through reason because apart from God’s work and revelation of truth, our thinking is futile and our hearts are darkened. However, I would argue that once God has revealed Himself to us, the playing out of our faith, that is faith for every day life, is really very reasonable.
What I have come to love and appreciate about Scripture is that it is full of valid and sound deductive arguments. The writers of Scripture reasoned out their faith.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1.
King David knew that if God was His stronghold, he had nothing to fear. Man could certainly do nothing to him.
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 6:28-30
Matthew posed this deductive argument that if we believe that God provides for insignificant things such as flowers, we must also surely believe He will provide for us, His children. If God knows our needs and is able and faithful to provide, then worry is nonsensical. To use terms of logic, worry “does not follow” from what we know to be true about God. Faith in God is actually the logical choice.
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32
Paul eloquently and persuasively reasoned that if God is with us, no one could possibly stand against us. If God loved us enough to die for us, then there is nothing good which He would withhold from us. If the magnitude of our sin could not separate us from His love, then nothing else possibly could. It is simple logic.
These are just a few examples of this kind of deductive reasoning in Scripture. They all have something in common. In logic, it’s called a conditional statement. It’s quite simple. If A, then B. If A obtains, then it follows that B will necessarily obtain. I would suggest that Scripture is in a way, one big conditional statement beginning with the clause “If God, then…” with all manner of things logically following from that.
I have found that when I lack faith in God, I am actually being incredibly unreasonable. I am not believing God is who He says He is despite manifold evidence to the contrary. God has revealed Himself to me. He has shown me that He is sovereign and omnipotent, that He is good and faithful. On the cross, He demonstrated the depth of His love for me, His unshakeable commitment to always do me good. In His Word, He promises to provide for me, sustain me, protect me, refine me, empower me and so much more. And because I am in Christ, all these promises to me are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen.’ (2 Corinthians 1:20).
So if I worry, if I doubt God, it is not so much that I lack faith, but that I have foolishly put my faith in the wrong things. It is a question of what I really believe to be true about God. Do I believe more in the power of my circumstances than in the power of my God? Do I have more faith in my paycheck than the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hillsides? Do I put greater stock in the lies of the world and the deceitful whispers of the enemy than the words and promises of the God who laid down His very life for me?
If God….If GOD, in all His sovereignty, wisdom, power, love and grace, if He is real then how can I worry? How can I doubt? How can I not believe that He can do amazing, miraculous things? If I don’t, I have not followed my faith in God to its logical conclusions. For we who walk by faith are not those who defy reason. We embrace it to its fullest, putting all of our hope, all of our trust into this one rock-solid, infinitely powerful belief, “If God, then….” We know by faith that God exists, that He is all good and He is all powerful. From this we must now deduce all the wonderful things that follow. If we need, He will provide. If He has said it, He will do it. If God is all that He has shown Himself to be, then there is nothing good which shall be withheld from us, nothing which we shall fear, and nothing which shall be impossible. This is our faith and it is reasonable.