Faith works, but that may lead to a conundrum.
The fact that faith works is pretty well known. Medical practitioners have used this knowledge for centuries. Clinical studies of medications have routinely had to account for the impact of faith in their research. Some people see results even from a placebo. This is not necessarily bad and ideas and research concerning the beneficial impact of a positive attitude abound.
So we know our faith can have a positive impact in our lives, help us to overcome catastrophes, make us healthier and happier even better human beings, but can we have any assurance those benefits are not merely the side effects of a placebo?
I believe the answer to this question (like so many others) may be found in the Bible, and that answer is yes.
The Bible is among other things a book of histories. It tells the stories of people and places and the intrusion of the divine into the lives of men. These histories were written (even by conservative estimates) over the course of a millennium over two millennia ago. We are instructed in those accounts to remember. From Moses instructing the Jews to commemorate the day of Passover to Christ instructing his disciples at the Last Supper. We are to remember events that occurred in time and space when God intruded in human affairs. Our faith is based on the most significant of those events, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It does require faith to trust that because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we are loved and accepted by the Holy Creator of the universe. That God did for us what we could not do ourselves.
But that faith is not a belief in ideas, it is a belief in events. We believe the accounts of things that happened as recorded by men inspired by His spirit.
It is one thing to discount the witness of a single person or even a relatively small sample of the population. It is quite another to discount a history of people expressing a common message over thousands of years.
A placebo has no power but belief, but Christian faith is based on the demonstrated power of God in history.