Having a faith nowadays is regarded as politically incorrect by many, yet faith is something that we all should have in some form or other, along with hope - otherwise, what is the point?
People of faith are often regarded with suspicion and hate throughout the world, many times by people of other faiths, no one understanding that the idea of having a faith is having a belief in something or someone that is a higher power.
People who profess no faith also have a strong faith in that belief so they have, at some stage, made a conscious decision not to follow any particular faith or dogma, believing that there is nothing but what they have now, which is fine.
There are good arguments that religion has caused and still causes much pain in the world, something I do not disagree with.
I often wonder what shape the world would be in now if the Crusades to the Holy Land between 1096 and 1271 had not occurred, the then Pope deciding to let Islam have Jerusalem and, instead of going to war, negotiated with the Muslim rulers for shared access to the centre of the then Christian world.
The Middle East and western countries founded on Christendom are still at odds with no real end in sight because of the mess made nearly 1000 years ago by a people who considered that their faith was the only faith allowed.
Having spent a working life dealing with people in crisis and seeing the hopelessness in the eyes of some I can say that a person with a faith, however lapsed or broken it may be, while seeing their world disintegrate around them through tragedy, illness or death, has something to fall back on.
People who have no faith or no structure of a belief, whatever that may be, suffer deeply as they have no resources to hold on to.
Some go on to find some form of peace through a faith but some never ever recover, being lost in themselves forever.
I grew up with a strong faith that lessened with the realities of the cruel world I moved in as an adult.
I say lessened but not lost thankfully because there have been times in my life, like many readers, where things were somewhat testing and what little faith I still had helped enormously.
Some time ago I discussed the concept of faith with a dear friend, a Muslim man of great learning and intelligence who sees the world through an entirely different lens to me.
We would meet regularly for lunch at his favourite Indian restaurant, he would order halal prepared food, and I would just struggle with a Kiwi-hot curry - to my friend's amusement.
My friend is a doctor and, as such, is at least as acquainted with sudden death and serious injury as I am, but obviously more in a clinical setting where he is trying to save a person's life.
We talked often of how we managed these times and both agreed that our faiths helped us immensely.
My friend has a fascination for the Christian faith and borrowed my school Bible for about six months to bone up on the New Testament.
Discussions about our respective faiths were always testing for me after that as he had at least fresher knowledge than I did of my own faith.
I found myself leafing through the same Bible for the first time in nearly 50 years for a spot of revision before lunching from then on.
We also talked about the divisions or denominations in both our faiths, something we both struggle with because of the wars caused by such differences, still continuing today, people killing each other who actually worship the same God in much the same way.
As time has gone by I have come to believe that there should be no denominations within a faith, just a faith, whatever that may be.
Faith does not have to be based on a religion, having faith can be based on the training one has in a career or profession that causes one to have some certainty about matters.
I look at the faith military personnel have in their command structure, equipment and each other to actually survive battle.
The care, compasssion and respect they have for each other that are life-long, well after their duty is done and they do not have to be brave anymore.
Faith can be found on the sports field in a sense, the trust put in one's team to achieve a goal, a shallow form of faith but still a faith.
I always have faith that the All Blacks will dominate world rugby.
In these testing times, no matter who we are we all need a faith of some sort.