UNIVERSAL GOD: Message of Peace
What is 'Faith'?
Faith can be described as having a ‘complete trust or confidence in someone or something.’ The more we have Faith in God- the more we ‘believe’ in Him.
Faithfulness is the quality of being faithful, or trustworthy. When it comes to human interactions and relationships, we often find that these two concepts go hand in hand, and the more faithful and trustworthy one is, the more likely that others will put their faith and trust into that person or thing.
When it comes to our Creator, from an Abrahamic perspective we are advised to put our complete faith in God at all times, through hardship and ease, through times of affliction and struggle, and we are advised that to say we ‘believe’ is not enough and our faith will be tested and confirmed through our deeds and behaviour. This life is a test of faith, and people are often described as ‘trees’ in the Scriptures- where if our faith in God is strong, we have strong roots, which hold us firmly on our feet during a storm. Our words, speech and behaviour confirm the faith in God that we have in our hearts. Like trees that have strong roots in fertile soil- our faith in God and our speech and our behaviour helps us to grow abundant fruit that are of benefit to the world. The 'word' of God can be described as 'truth' and 'wisdom' and by using this we ourselves can become more 'creative' as we are taught in Scripture that everything that exists as we perceive and understand was created through His 'Word.' Through embracing 'faith' in God and His 'Word' we gain access to life itself and the spiritual purpose of our existence as human beings in a physical existence.
We sometimes describe different branches of ‘religion’ as being different ‘faiths.’- But let us ask ourselves- if the Source and God of the branches and different religious labels and groups is the same, and if it is Him in Whom we are advised to put our Trust in- through the message sent to the different groups- then why do we not call it the singular ‘Faith?’ Is it because we put our faith in the ‘religions’ and Prophets and Messengers above that of our Creator and His Message that was sent with them? (See Religion and Tradition)
In Scripture we learn that faith is a relative concept and infinite. One can always have more faith and less faith in God during one time of their life in comparison to another, from one person to another. We also see that to declare that we ‘surrender’ to the Will of God and have ‘faith’ in Him- does not necessarily define an individual as a ‘believer.’ It is the speech which confirms to others the surrender to His Will through declaration of faith in Him, but it is our actions which confirm our word through our deeds and behaviour and obedience to what we have spoken to believe in to be the Truth in our Creator. We therefore find that amongst us there are some who claim to believe in something and have faith in it, while their actions speak differently in contrast to their speech and they do not obey the law that they claim to believe in. We find others who may act in a righteous way but do not confirm what is in their hearts using their speech. There are many who openly admit that they do not believe or have faith in a Creator and their speech and actions confirm this- although their deeds and speech may cause harm to others- at least they are being honest and truthful about their lack of faith. There are others who sincerely seek truth and have faith in their hearts- are truthful about it in their speech and openly declare their faith, and then base their deeds and behaviour on this foundation to help them through their ups and downs in life. Let us ask ourselves- Which group is most likely to be successful in having true Peace and harmony within themselves and within their relationships with one another?
Why is ‘Faith’ important?
We can all choose what we have faith in. Whatever we choose to have faith in- we choose to trust in that person or thing. The stronger our faith, the more we trust in it.
'Faith' and 'Faithfulness' are crucial if we want to establish a peaceful relationship with our Creator, and also with one another; just like having 'trust in' someone or something, or being 'trustworthy' are the foundations of our relationship with our Creator and with one another.
From an Abrahamic perspective- ‘Faith in God’ creates for us a ‘refuge’, and ‘hope’ and a ‘Rock’ to use as a foundation for our lives. Without it, the buildings that we build will collapse during testing times- during the storm, and as trees (like humans) will not stand without it or grow- without faith in God as our foundation we cannot be productive to our best potentials. Without faith we are merely physical beings with many limitations- it is when we ‘believe’ in God and therefore our own potentials- that we learn how to be true to ourselves and our purpose in life- and with faith comes ‘potential’ as we connect to the Source of all Life- with the Most Faithful, Trustworthy One Who then opens the gates to new possibilities and worlds that we never even knew existed…
From a Spiritual perspective- where there is 'Faith in God' there is Light. The stronger our faith, the brighter this Light. With God being the Source of Light, we too can become like lamps shining our light unto others- as long as use His Everlasting Light as our fuel and guidance. With this light comes wisdom and with wisdom comes the possibility to be more 'creative'. ( see section on wisdom)
How can 'Faith' help us?
The stronger our 'Faith' in God, the more likely we are to 'persevere' in what we believe to be His Cause of establishing justice and peace and helping others who are less fortunate in terms of material possessions than ourselves. The stronger our Faith, the less we will doubt or lose faith or lose hope. Faith gives us hope, and hope brings us peace. Faith in God allows us to have faith in ourselves and pursue a path of righteousness and justice and peace in this world.
The stronger our faith in our Creator, the more likely it will be that we pursue paths which better ourselves, aiming for good speech and behaviour, enabling us to learn from our past experiences, gain wisdom through reflection and mindfulness, repent from our sins- mend our ways, and create new opportunities that can then help others.
The more we trust God, the more we learn that He is the Most Trustworthy- and we aspire to becoming more trustworthy and faithful ourselves in order to be deserving to be trusted in too. This involves being truthful, and remaining faithful to those with whom we have made contracts. It requires us staying true to our promises and commitments to both our Creator and to one another. It opens a door for our speech and behaviour to be in line with our intentions and what is in our heart. When we are truthful within ourselves and to others, we allow ourselves to follow our hearts in righteousness and invite others to do the same. The more others realise that we are trustworthy and truthful, the more likely they will be to trust us. The more we trust one another, the more likely we are to be able to establish healthy successful relationships with one another in trust and faithfulness.
The stronger our faith in God, the more we trust in His Mercy and Forgiveness. This allows us to turn to Him, having faith that we will be forgiven after we make mistakes without knowledge or err- as long as we endeavour to mend our ways and learn from the mistakes we make. So having faith in Him allows us to accept too that we as human beings are mortal, we make mistakes, and that making mistakes is part of our growth and development in the spiritual sense. The more we believe and have faith in His Attributes and His forgiving nature, the more we can endeavour to incorporate that into our lives and our relationships with each other and the rest of creation.
With Faith in God comes Hope. Hope is an essential concept that can help us be more patient and persevere during times of hardship and struggle. Hope enables us to take more risk in pursuing a way of what we believe to be truth, and helps us deal better with uncertainty that comes with not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Hope helps us find our way through darkness, and can have a huge positive impact on our mental and emotional and physical wellbeing. Without hope- what would be the point of carrying on during difficult times?
With faith comes perseverance. This enables us not to give up during time of hardship, but instead helps us to either overcome challenges or learn from them and grow stronger in faith.
How can 'Faith' help others?
Our faith in God, can help both ourselves and others. As it helps to shine a lamp through darkness which surrounds our souls, others too can use this light if they choose to, to help guide them too. When or if they too turn to God and put their faith and trust in Him completely, they can use their lamps to help guide others also. This way we become like vessels of His Light of faith, trust, hope, strength upon strength, light upon light, helping to guide one another along our paths and journeys towards Our Creator- The Source of Light and Existence, the Source of Knowledge, of Wisdom, of Faithfulness and Hope. Through increasing our own faith we can be better role models in our speech and behaviour to help guide others. With faith comes love for our Creator, and the more we love Him, the more we are able to love one another and show one another kindness and compassion and forgiveness. These help to plant seeds of faith into the hearts of others and help us to be able to treat one another how we ourselves would want to be treated. This way faith helps to unite our hearts in 'brotherhood' and 'sisterhood.' We become like a family, having our relationships built on a firm rock foundation of Faith in our Creator- The Universal God, and with this comes peace and love and kindness and justice and all other beautiful concepts that we live according to His Beautiful Attributes.
What can we do to increase our 'Faith' in God?
Here are some important ways that we can protect and confirm our faith in God according to Scripture:
Asking God Directly for Help
Humility ( See Humility section)
Repentance and forgiveness ( see 'Forgiveness' section)
Being truthful, sincere, while having integrity ( see Truth and Integrity)
Seeking Truth through Knowledge by questioning and using intellect and reason, and staying true to oneself and understanding of truth (see 'seeking knowledge' section)
Seeking Wisdom through knowledge and experience (See 'seeking Wisdom' section)
through reflection and mindfulness (See 'Reflection' and 'Mindfulness' section)
Showing gratitude through speech and behaviour (see gratitude section)
Establishing regular prayer or meditation for His remembrance (see Prayer section)
Try to remember Him in all that we do ( God-Consciousness)
Fasting or acts of sacrifice ( see sacrifice section)
Establish regular charitable giving from beyond our needs in order to those less fortunate ( see charity or donate section)
Perseverance ( see Perseverance section)
Pursing Justice ( see Justice section)
Respect diversity ( see Respect section)
Taking responsibility for our speech and behaviour
Treating one another how we ourselves would want to be treated
Imagine a world where each and every one of us took responsibility of our speech and behaviour and united in Faith in our Universal God- showing one another loving kindness -despite our differences in colour, background, culture, labels, sex, language- our hearts all inclining to seeking Our Creator and establishing a strong relationship with The Source of All Existence- and therefore with each other.
Scripture quotes about 'Faith.'
'Your Word is a Lamp to guide my feet and light for my path.' Psalm 119:105
'God is The Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His Light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within a glass, the glass as if it were a pearly (white) star lit from ( the oil of) a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. God guides to His Light whom He wills. And God presents examples for the people, and God is Knowing of all things. In Temples God has allowed to be raised up, and His Name to be commemorated therein; therein glorifying Him, in the mornings and the evenings. People whom neither commerce nor trafficking diverts from the remembrance of God and to perform the prayer, and to pay the alms, fearing a day when hearts and eyes shall be turned about and God may recompense them for their fairest works and give them increase of His Bounty; and God provides whomsoever He will, without reckoning.' Quran 24:35-36
'The Lord is my Light and my Salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?' Psalm 27:1
'Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my Mighty Rock, my Refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our Refuge.' Psalm 62:5-8
'Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.' Hebrews 11:3
'Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.' Psalm 27:10
'Let the morning bring me Word of your Unfailing Love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.' Psalm 143:8
'But I trust in You, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your Hands.' Psalm 31:14-15
'I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in Your Presence, with eternal pleasures at Your Right Hand.' Psalm 16:7-8, 11
'Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.' Psalm 23:4
'Into Your Hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my Faithful God.' Psalm 31:5
'Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.' Psalm 37:3-4
'He will cover you with His Feathers, and under His Wings you will find refuge; His Faithfulness will be your Shield and Rampart.' Psalm 91:4
'Be still, and know that I am God.' Psalm 46:10
'But you, Lord, are a Shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from his Holy Mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.' Psalm 3:3-5
'I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.' Psalm 121:1-2
'I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your Ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of Your Great Love, You who save by Your Right Hand those who take refuge in You from their foes. Keep me as the apple of Your Eye; hide me in the Shadow of Your Wings.' Psalm 17:6-8
'In You, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In Your Righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn Your Ear to me and save me. Be my Rock of Refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for You are my Rock and my Fortress. Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel. For You have been my Hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on You; You brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever Praise You.' Psalm 71:1-6
'Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your Counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Strength of my heart and my portion forever…. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my Refuge; I will tell of all Your Deeds.' Psalm 73:23-26, 28:
'When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my Helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.' Psalm 118:5-7:
'I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.' Psalm 34:4-5
'Send me Your Light and Your Faithful Care, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your Holy Mountain, to the place where You Dwell.' Psalm 43:3
'So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My Righteous Right Hand.' Isaiah 41:10:
'When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.' Isaiah 43:2
'You will keep those in perfect Peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because they trust in You. Trust in the Lord Forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock Eternal.' Isaiah 26:3-4:
'You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with Power, and He Rules with a Mighty Arm. See, his reward is with Him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.' Isaiah 40:9-11:
'Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His Understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.' Isaiah 40:28-31:
'Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.' Joshua 1:9
'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.' Proverbs 3:5-6
'Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.' Habakkuk 3:17-19
‘Have you not considered how God presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And God presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. God keeps firm those who believe, with the firm word, in worldly life and in the Hereafter. And God sends astray the wrongdoers. And God does what He wills.’Quran 14:24-27
‘Two groups among you almost failed, but GOD was their Lord. In GOD the believers shall trust.’ Quran 3:122
‘... and trust in GOD. GOD loves those who trust in Him.* If GOD supports you, none can defeat you. And if He abandons you, who else can support you? In GOD the believers shall trust.’ Quran3:159-160
‘O you who believe, remember GOD's blessings upon you; when some people extended their hands to aggress against you, He protected you and withheld their hands. You shall observe GOD; in GOD the believers shall trust.’ Quran 5:11
‘Two men who were reverent and blessed by GOD said, "Just enter the gate. If you just enter it, you will surely prevail. You must trust in GOD, if you are believers."’ Quran 5:23
‘The true believers are those whose hearts tremble when GOD is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited to them, their faith is strengthened, and they trust in their Lord.’ Quran 8:2
‘... if one puts his trust in GOD, then GOD is Almighty, Most Wise. Quran 8:49
‘Say, "Nothing happens to us, except what GOD has decreed for us. He is our Lord and Master. In GOD the believers shall trust."’ Quran 9:51
‘Moses said, "O my people, if you have really believed in GOD, then put your trust in Him, if you are really submitters." They said, "We trust in GOD. Our Lord, save us from the persecution of these oppressive people.’ Quran 10:84-85
‘He said, "O my people, what if I have solid proof from my Lord; what if He has provided me with a great blessing? It is not my wish to commit what I enjoin you from. I only wish to correct as many wrongs as I can. My guidance depends totally on GOD; I have put my trust in Him. To Him I have totally submitted.’ Quran 11:88
‘To GOD belongs the future of the heavens and the earth, and all matters are controlled by Him. You shall worship Him and trust in Him. Your Lord is never unaware of anything you do.’ Quran 11:123
‘And he said, "O my sons, do not enter from one door; enter through separate doors. However, I cannot save you from anything that is predetermined by GOD. To GOD belongs all judgments. I trust in Him, and in Him shall all the trusters put their trust."’ Quran 12:67
‘Their messengers said to them, "We are no more than humans like you, but GOD blesses whomever He chooses from among His servants. We could not possibly show you any kind of authorization, except in accordance with GOD's will. In GOD the believers shall trust. Why should we not trust in GOD, when He has guided us in our paths? We will steadfastly persevere in the face of your persecution. In GOD all the trusters shall trust."’ Quran 14:11-12
‘You shall put your trust in the One who is Alive―the One who never dies―and praise Him and glorify Him. He is fully Cognizant of His creatures' sins.’ Quran 25:58
‘Therefore, put your trust in GOD...' Quran 27:79