In the same way “believe, is often seen as being contrary to experience, as in “I know it looks bad but we just have to believe.”
Faith according to the dictionary
In fact this is one of the meanings for faith/believe found in most dictionaries. The Free Dictionary lists six definitions for faith. The second is quite close to what most people seem to think:
“2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.”
Unfortunately, while commonly understood, this definition is a far cry from the meaning of the New Testament noun pistis (πίστις) which is usually translated as faith/belief; and pisteuo, (πιστεύω) the verb rendered believe/have faith. (For good measure we should also include the Greek adjective pistos (πιστός) normally translated as faithful or trustworthy.) These three Greek words have the same essential meaning and are only differentiated by their grammatical use.
It is interesting to me that the first definition of faith given by the Free Dictionary is quite close to the biblical understanding, but quite different from the popular understanding. It is:
“1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.”
It turns out that the Greek words pistis, pisteuo, and pistos, are all based on a third Greek word; peitho (πείθω), a verb meaning “to persuade, or be convinced of what is trustworthy.”