The Difference Between Having Faith and Being Delusional

Recently, I’ve been asking God and asking myself where the line is between faith and stupid. When do I stop being a man of faith and become a lunatic?

When a man absolutely convinces himself (and others) that God has showed him that the world will end on a certain date, then the date passes, we see the obvious conclusion that he was a wacko.

But didn’t he think he was having faith? Dismissing any doubts that God had revealed something to him - is that not what the life of faith is about?

So I have been trying to determine how to believe things that God says in the scriptures, even when there may be apparent evidence to the contrary, without crossing the line to being delusional.

One, clearly wrong, answer is to abandon faith. That’s the other end of the spectrum from becoming delusional. Becoming a stark realist. I refuse to end up there. We serve a supernatural God who does provide and fulfill promises. A God who calls things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17).

The scriptures extol us repeatedly to have faith:

We live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)

And without faith it is impossible to please God… (Hebrews 11:6)

You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. (John 14:13)

“…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”(Matthew 17:20)

So a life that is devoid of faith is not an option, but rather a less than desirable condition. So what, then? How do we arrive at a place where we have faith, but aren’t crushed when somebody at church we prayed for dies from cancer? When we’ve been asking for God to do something in our lives, but nothing seems to change?

This is when I recalled Jesus’ admonition to have faith like that of a child (see Luke 18:17).

My believe me when I tell them things. That doesn’t make my children delusional. It just means that they trust me. They accept the things I tell them without being skeptical or critical. They know that, as an adult, I know more things than they know. So if I say something, they take it at face value.

I think maybe that’s how I’m supposed to have faith in God. He knows more that I do. He has my best interest in mind.

If I, being totally imperfect, do my best to instruct my children and show them the right way to live and the best way to accomplish things in life, how much more will God be able to accomplish the same in the lives of his children?

I don’t know why sometimes I can’t seem to get the results in prayer that Jesus told me to expect. But rather than getting mad or resentful at God, I’m just taking the approach of saying ‘I guess I’m not doing it quite right’, and I’m trying to continue learning from my Father in Heaven - the way a child does.