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The Big Question: What Is Faith?

The advice for spiritual growth is often to lean into faith. But faith is often an elusive concept to describe. Here, we’ve collected the thoughts of theologians, poets, writers and historical figures, all seeking to answer the question: What is faith?

The advice for spiritual growth is often to lean into faith. But faith is often an elusive concept to describe. Here, we’ve collected the thoughts of theologians, poets, writers and historical figures, all seeking to answer the question: What is faith?

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Sir Rabindranath Tagore

“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.”


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Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

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Paulo Coelho

“The more in harmony with yourself you are, the more joyful you are and the more faithful you are. Faith is not to disconnect you from reality—it connects you to reality.”


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A.W. Tozer

“Any faith that must be supposed by the evidence of the senses is not real faith.”


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Henri J. M. Nouwen

“A life of faith is a life of gratitude—it means a life in which I am willing to experience my complete dependence upon God and to praise and thank him unceasingly for the gift of being.”


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Helen Keller

“Faith is the unfailing lamp that lights us on our way.”


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Max Lucado

“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. Faith is the belief that God will do what is right.”

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Khalil Gibran

“Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.”


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Alan Watts

“You know that if you get in the water and have nothing to hold onto, but try to behave as you would on dry land, you will drown. But if, on the other hand, you trust yourself to the water and let, you will float. And this is exactly the situation of faith.”


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Madeleine L’Engle

“Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.”


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J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan

“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.”


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Mahatma Gandhi

“Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into.”

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Corrie Ten Boom

“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable and receives the impossible.”


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Mary McLeod Bethune

“Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.”


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Norman Vincent Peale, founder of Guideposts

“There are two primary forces in this world, fear and faith. Fear can move you to destructiveness or sickness or failure. Only in rare instances will it motivate you to accomplishment. But faith is a greater force. Faith can drive itself into your consciousness and set you free from fear forever.”

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