Faith can be difficult to maintain, especially in the face of adversity or within the lore of pleasurable temptations. Should you choose faith or the world? Here’s why you have more to gain than lose by betting on faith.
Even some of history’s greatest scientists offered strong arguments for why they were betting in favor of faith.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
– Hebrews 11:1
The above Bible verse makes a salient point about faith. We live in a material world and this greatly affects our worldview. This view has a mantra for evidence: “Seeing is believing.” This is also the worldview of science.
Because of this worldview, some people have great difficulty believing in something they can’t see, such as God. Additionally, the miracles spoken of in religious texts defy the laws of science and/or what we commonly understand to be “real” in daily existence.
Christians are taught:
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
God, Christ, angels, demons and the heavenly realm exists in another dimension, invisible and one that cannot currently be observed from our four dimensional space (length, width, depth and time).
For many people today, their religion is science. Because of this, it is nearly impossible for them to have faith as religious things aren’t readily observable, measurable, or repeatable. Therefore, they cannot be established using the scientific method.
“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
– Romans 8:7-8
Another thing that makes it difficult for some people to have religious faith is the limitations that it places on them. Religion deems certain behaviors, thoughts and actions as unacceptable or sinful.
Some people do not want limitations in their life. They reject the idea of a God making demands on what they can or cannot do.
Plus, it’s very difficult for human beings to deny things that are pleasurable. It’s the animalistic nature of our flesh.
A quote from one of the world’s most well-known occultists made the most defining statement of opposition to the laws of religion.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
– Aleister Crowley, (1875-1947), ceremonial magician, author. Quote from “The Book of The Law” 1909
Essentially, Crowley professes that there are no rules. The only law is you can do whatever you choose.
But the wrong use of free will can have disastrous consequences. One only needs to look at the destructive path of substance abuse. We can also look at celebrities and other successful people who seemingly “had it all” and took their own lives. Getting and having everything you want doesn’t always bring happiness.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
– John 5:24
Opposite of what one might expect, there have been great men of science who firmly placed at their bets on faith, despite being able to provide scientific proof of the existence of God.
“Pascal’s Wager” is an argument in philosophy that posits human beings bet their lives on whether God either exists or not. It was posited by Blaise Pascal, (1623–1662), a French philosopher, mathematician, physicist, and theologian.
“If I saw no signs of a divinity, I would fix myself in denial. If I saw everywhere the marks of a Creator, I would repose peacefully in faith,” Pascal wrote. “But seeing too much to deny Him, and too little to assure me, I am in a pitiful state, and I would wish a hundred times that if a god sustains nature it would reveal Him without ambiguity.”
But if God left us with too much evidence one way or the other, there would not be any room for us to use our free will to choose faith.
Nearly a century later, another French philosopher would bet on Pascal’s Wager.
“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live as if there isn’t and to die to find out that there is.”
–Albert Camus, (1913-1960), French philosopher, author, and journalist, recipient of the Nobel prize in literature
A reading of the Bible shows that faith is an important measure of love for God. It’s proof that we have overcome the physical world and a material mindset to adopt a spiritual one.
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
– 1 John 5:4
Yet another French philosopher, René Descartes, (1596-1650), also offers words of wisdom and support for faith.
“I think, therefore I am.”
The above is the most famous quote from Descartes, who was also a mathematician, scientist, and inventor of analytical geometry.
Expanding on this idea, Descartes, using logical reasoning, said:
“I could not possibly be of such a nature as I am, and yet have in my mind the idea of a God, if God did not in reality exist.”