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Quintessential Faith

Marti Wibbels, MS, LMHC

S.Giles 2

“Quintessential” describes an example or important part of something. Merriam-Webster said “philosophers and scientists of the ancient world and the Middle Ages believed that the world we inhabit was entirely made up of four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Aristotle added a fifth element, the ether [or] material that fills the rest of space, mostly invisibly but sometimes taking the form of stars and planets. In the Middle Ages, it was referred to as the quinta essentia (fifth element)... so perfect it seemed to surpass the limitations of earth.”

Faith is trust in God despite our circumstances or concerns. Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) describes people with “quintessential” faith as those with the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

Have you ever wondered how someone could trust God in seemingly impossible situations, remain joyful in adversity, or hope when life seems hopeless? As believers in Jesus Christ, we can experience “quinta essentia,” training our minds to rest in God instead of relying on the world’s empty promises. What does that look like in everyday life?

For perspective, I asked my husband Alan, a person I’ve observed living by faith amidst real-life challenges for the past 54 years. He said anyone can keep walking with God by practicing three things:

  1. Spending time in the Word every day
  2. Living in the moment
  3. Fixing our eyes on Jesus and running the race He sets before us

King David prayed, Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14, NKJV). When our minds and hearts are focused on God rather than ourselves, we can move beyond “big feelings” to follow God’s command to have dominion over…all the earth (Genesis 1:28-30). We weren’t designed to focus on ourselves but were made with purpose, to bring glory to God. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) explains we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

When life doesn't make sense, we can accept God’s gift of peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). We can train ourselves to rely on Him instead of our limited understanding, changing the questions we ask from “Why?” to “How?” We can repeatedly doubt our doubts, allowing God to be our Good Shepherd. And when we rely on God instead of our feelings, we can experience a sense of safety, even when walking through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4).

Praying for you: that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-18, NKJV).

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To develop quintessential faith and/or lead groups to help others grow, Core Healing from Trauma is my workbook available on Amazon and audible, with a free facilitators’ guide available here.


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