When you discover that faith is real, you unfortunately discover something else: this world has been lying to you.
It's been lying to you about God, about who He is and what He's up to. As I said yesterday, this world is all-too-happy to tell you that God is setting you up for failure, that He's going to ask you to do things that He knows aren't going to work out, that He's going to get your hopes up only to smash them. And then that He's going to have the audacity to whisper right in your disappointed heart that "this is what faith looks like."
Faith discovers that this isn't true. It's a lie. God is not setting you up for failure; this world is. Faith knows that God isn't setting you up at all; He's inviting you in. He's drawing you close, bringing you into the bigger story He's telling. He's guiding you down a path where your feet hit solid ground, every time. Every step in faith is a strong one, no matter what this world says. The more of your weight you choose to put into it, the more you discover that faith truly can hold you. It's real.
The world not only lies to you about God, it lies to you about you. The world tells you that you're not qualified, that you're not beautiful, that you're not worthy. The world tells you that you're not anything. You're nothing. You can't do it. You're a failure. It pounds these messages into your head, then starts driving them into your heart until every time you look in the mirror, you're discouraged by what you see until finally, you just stop looking in the mirror altogether. The world, at the very same time that it tries to tell you this world is all about you, also tells you that you're just not worth being about.
The truth is much more paradoxical. It's not about you. It never has been. But you're amazing. You're smart and beautiful and capable. And you know what? You can. All these things the world tries to tell you that you can't do? It's lying to you. If God asks you to do them, you can do them. God doesn't ask you to do things that He doesn't make possible. He just doesn't. Faith knows that. Which means faith believes not only in the God who is drawing you close, but in the heart of you who responds to that God. Imagine that! Faith gives you two things to believe in.
But there's still more!
Faith discovers a God it can believe it. It discovers a self it can believe in. And it discovers a promise it can believe in.
See, this world isn't just lying to you about your God and yourself; it's lying to you about itself. This world is lying to you about this world. It tries to tell you that this world is all there is. (It's not.) It tries to tell you that there are certain ways this world works. (Only half-true.) It tries to tell you that if you don't play by the rules, you'll never get anywhere. You'll never have anything. You'll never succeed. And you'll never truly live. (All baloney.)
Faith knows that life is not a game. There are no "rules" to "play" by. Life is a sacred journey. It's not about having anything and it's not about succeeding, although faith also discovers that it has more than it desires, that it succeeds more than it fails, and that life truly can be both good and faithful at the same time.
Yesterday, I said that faith is foolish not because it believes, but because it knows. This is what I'm talking about. Faith knows the world is lying to it because faith knows the truth. Faith knows that God is incredible, that He's invested in you, that He's not setting you up to fail. Faith knows that you're valuable, that you're worth something, that you can. Faith knows that there's more to this world than meets the eye, more than the world is willing to admit of itself. Faith knows there's a God and a heart and a promise.
And faith lives accordingly.