Virtue of the Week: Faith

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And lo, no one was there.

We have a choice, we can live by faith or we can live by fear. To live in constant fear and worry is a horrible way to spend your life. How do we stop worrying when our anxiety seems to be out of our control? I believe that the ultimate antidote to worry is faith. Augustine wrote that faith is: believing what we do not see and that the reward to faith is to see what we believe. It’s really not that hard to choose faith, to believe that the future holds our rewards and to persevere today. The only alternative is to live in fear, and that kind of life stinks. The real obstacle to overcoming fear is to be able to control our imaginations. Most of the fears that truly haunt us are merely phantoms, specters conjured out of nowhere by our creative imaginations, Our creative imaginations serve up all kinds of horrific scenarios, encouraging us to respond irrationally as if these scenarios represented reality. When we do so, the fear paralyzes us, and many times what we fear we create. We must learn to control our imaginations by focusing on having the faith to look forward and keep our eyes fixed on to a beautiful and breathtaking future. A future that is so desirous that is justifies the sacrifices of this transitory present.

By Keith Miller and Bruce Larson

The following letter was found in a baking-power can wired to the handle of an old pump that offered the only hope of drinking water on a very long and seldom-used trail across Nevada’s Amargosa Desert:
This pump is all right as of June 1932. I put a new sucker washer into it and it ought to last five years. But the washer dries out and the pump has got to be primed. Under the white rock I buried a bottle of water, out of the sun and cork end up. There’s enough water in it to prime the pump, but not if you drink some first. Pour about one-fourth and let her soak to wet the leather. Then pour in the rest medium fast and pump like crazy. You’ll git water. The well has never run dry. Have faith. When you git watered up, fill the bottle and put it back like you found it for the next feller. (signed) Desert Pete. P.S. Don’t go drinking the water first. Prime the pump with it and you’ll git all you can hold.”


The boat was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves… And in the fourth watch of the night he [Jesus] came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”


A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.”Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.” “You don’t know? You, are a man of faith, do not know what is on the other side?” The doctor walked over to the door to the examination room and took a hold of the handle; on the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room with his tail wagging and an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside… He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing. I know my Master is there and that is enough.”


The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stung with grief and anger. “God, how could you do this to me!” he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied. It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember next time your little hut is burning to the ground- – it just may be a smoke signal that summons the your rescue by God.

Video clips on Faith: