How about this version of faith?
“Faith is a mental state that can be induced or created by repeated statements or instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of autosuggestion… Your belief, or faith, is the element that determines the action of your subconscious mind. There is there is nothing to prevent you from “fooling” your subconscious mind when you give it instructions through autosuggestion… If you want evidence of the power of faith, study the achievements of the men and women who have employed it.the Nazarene. .. If such phenomena as “miracles” exist, they occur only through the state of mind known as faith!” Think and Grow Rich for Trainers by Napoleon Hill and Will Craig.
If you don’t believe in God but still want his stuff, here’s what comes to mind. Does it not take the ignorant gullibility with which Christians are often accused to think that Jesus calmed the sea, fed the multitudes, and raised Lazarus by autosuggestion? It takes even more blind belief to attempt our own great things by autosuggestion! Conceived! You can even tell lies to yourself, and if you generate enough autosuggestions, they will come true. Tell that to a person dying of cancer or a parent whose child just drowned in the backyard pool.
This is not Christian faith!
Yes, faith clings to what is still hoped for and clings to what is not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) But what is future or beyond sight is not evoked in our minds; it is revealed by God who invites us to trust him. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he assured them that someone was there to listen. Thus begins the prayer, “Our Father.”
Yeah, the last thing I did at work last Friday was make an entire kitchen and bathroom appliance showroom disappear. That’s a “no, no!” I pressed a few buttons on my handheld phone that wiped the data from the big Home Depot computer in the sky. So now prices cannot be determined or printed, catalogs cannot be published, and sales go unnoticed. I thought I was doing exactly what I was trained to do. To do? I did not have to wait long. I heard my name echo over the store’s speaker system. He was the head of the kitchen and bath department. I thought you’d congratulate me on a job well done. Instead? “Frank, what happened to all my appliances? You ‘didn’t identify’ them. ‘You didn’t!’ I said. (Denial always works, right?) “There’s a problem with the system, I’m sure.” (blaming!) in the store.) Well, it’s a long story. Do you think a little autosuggestion would have gotten me out of this hole? Of course not. It would take a lot of autosuggestion! Wrong again!
What I did
I told my department head, a little annoyed, that I was very sorry about what happened. Then, “Can you show me how to fix it?” He replied: “It will be quite laborious!” That was on Friday. This morning, after I’ve done my other chores, we find ourselves in front of a washing machine. He showed me step by step what I had to do. Feeling terrible, I commented, “You’re going to get sick of me this week.” “Absolutely not!” he assured me. “You are the man!” (Or something like that). For the next three hours I worked to correct my mistake. I will finish tomorrow.
Why have I told you this sordid story?
Well, it’s a parable of real faith as opposed to autosuggestion. True faith requires two persons, the believer and the one believed in. I never would have known my mistake or had the chance to correct it if there hadn’t been a worthy department head to believe in. Aside from a department head, all I have left is autosuggestion. It’s easy to see that no matter how much of that he worked, he’d still be in a hole. So my faith in the head of the department consisted of finally admitting to him that I had messed it up, eagerly seeking his direction to fix the problem, and then faithfully making the correction no matter how painstaking it was. And faith came quite easily, because I like and respect this department head. He had been helpful before and cares about how well I do. We had a relationship.
And so it is with God
To have faith in God is to recognize him as worthy of our trust. He calls us for the mistakes of our life. Our first inclination is to deny or blame. But eventually we come to our senses and ask for his help. That is faith. How can anyone live without faith in a worthy God? I wonder if He is worthy? Do you need more proof than the cross of Jesus?