"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1, NIV
"No, I don't believe in Mr. McBeevee. But I do believe in Opie." -Andy Taylor, the Andy Griffith Show, "Mr. McBeevee" Episode
There is an episode from The Andy Griffith Show that gives a clear definition of faith. It's the time when Opie meets a utility worker named Mr. McBeevee, who walks in the trees, wears a shiny silver hat, and has several extra hands on his belt. When Andy and Barney hear that description, it makes no sense, and they assume Mr. McBeevee is a make-believe character Opie has created.
We as humans pride ourselves on our logic, and we believe that everything real must have a logical explanation. Our problems begin when we are called to believe in something that is not supported by evidence we can understand. However, facts are not what faith is all about. We are never guaranteed that we will understand everything in this life. The real fact is that there will probably be more I don't understand about this life than what little I may be able to comprehend.
Andy had to see past what he understood about the situation and look into the heart of his young son, and, regardless of the evidence, believe in his son. That is hard to do, but that is exactly what we are called to do as Christians. To look past all the suffering and injustice of this world -- all the things we could point to and say, "If God loves me, then why is this happening to me?" Instead, we are called to have the faith that, even though we don't understand everything, God will do what is right.
Andy said it best when he explained why he believed in Opie: "I guess it's a time like this when you're asked to believe something that just don't seem possible; that's the moment that decides whether you've got faith in somebody or not."