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Degrees of Faith

“Let me prove, I pray Thee, but this once with the fleece” (Judges 6:39).

There are degrees to faith. At one stage of Christian experience we cannot believe unless we have some sign or some great manifestation of feeling. We feel our fleece, like Gideon, and if it is wet we are willing to trust God. This may be true faith, but it is imperfect. It always looks for feeling or some token besides the Word of God. It marks quite an advance in faith when we trust God without feelings. It is blessed to believe without having any emotion.

There is a third stage of faith which even transcends that of Gideon and his fleece. The first phase of faith believes when there are favourable emotions, the second believes when there is the absence of feeling, but this third form of faith believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all urge to the contrary. Paul exercised this faith in Acts 27:20 and 27:25, “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.” Notwithstanding all this Paul said, “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer; for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”

May God give us faith to fully trust His Word though everything else witness the other way. – C. H. P.


The Highest Form of Faith

“Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” (John 18:11).

This was a greater thing to say and do than to calm the seas or raise the dead. Prophets and apostles could work wondrous miracles, but they could not always do and suffer the will of God. To do and suffer God’s will is still the highest form of faith, the most sublime Christian achievement.
To have the bright aspirations of a young life forever blasted; to bear a daily burden never congenial and to see no relief; to be pinched by poverty when you only desire a competency for the good and comfort of loved ones; to be fettered by some incurable physical disability; to be stripped bare of loved ones until you stand alone to meet the shocks of life– to be able to say in such a school of discipline, “The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it?”- this is faith at its highest and spiritual success at the crowning point.
Great faith is exhibited not so much in ability to do as to suffer.
— Dr. Charles Parkhurst

John 18_11

In faith

“God…calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Rom_4:17).

What does that mean? Why Abraham did this thing: he dared to believe God. It seemed an impossibility at his age that Abraham should become the father of a child; it looked incredible; and yet God called him a “father of many nations” before there was a sign of a child; and so Abraham called himself “father” because God called him so. That is faith; it is to believe and assert what God says. “Faith steps on seeming void, and finds the rock beneath.”

Only say you have what God says you have, and He will make good to you all you believe. Only it must be real faith, all there is in you must go over in that act of faith to God. — Crumbs

Faith and works

The last Sunday of June saw a special prayer meeting arranged in our church. The evening service ended around 8:15 pm. I was standing outside the church when our church members were leaving. At 8:30 pm, one of our believers and her two young sons came out of the church as they were in a hurry to catch the last bus to their town. They had to be in the bus stand within the next 15 minutes and it takes at least 10 minutes to reach the bus stand. So, they were really in a hurry. At the same time, one of the believers who has a mini truck was starting his vehicle. As his wont, he had few believers who was from his village along for the ride.

I told the poor lady and two sons to take the mini truck to the bust stand, but she said, “Brother, we are going to the old bus stand, while the mini truck is going via the new bus stand. So, we better walk.” Our town does have two bust stands, but it is not like our town is like New York City. To go to the old bus stand to drop this family and to be at the new bus stand, it would actually take less than 5 extra minutes. So, I called the junior pastor of our church, who was going to travel in the mini truck and told him that this family had to go to the old bus stand. He was confused and then he made it very clear to me, so that I understand without any confusion that the mini truck was going via the new bus stand while this family was going to the old bus stand. Before I could respond, that poor family started walking, so I just let it go.

But the weird part was when I mentioned this incident to few more believers, they were confused about why I am even mentioning this. That family was going to the old bus stand, but the mini truck was going to the new bus stand. So, what is so hard to understand? The problem was this:

And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. – Matthew 5:41 (NKJV)

Matthew 5_41

I grew up reading memorizing the Sermon on the Mount and its practical applications. The church I am attending is a good church, but it has problems in dealing with practical applications of Christianity. It is always about, “Do you honour the Sunday service? Do you attend the Worship service without faith? Do you tithe, without even missing a penny? Do you honour your pastor and the servants of God? Do you tremble at the Word of God? Are you ready for the Rapture? Will you be forsaken by the Lord in His secret coming?” There are no practical applications. In other words, more and more Christians are becoming experts in beating the air (1 Corinthians 9:26).

Then I remembered an incident that happened many years back, when I was in college. It was a Catholic college and I was a Catholic then. Every Sunday evening, our warden, who is a Catholic priest, would go to the nearby town to conduct weekly mass and then, when he came back, he would take us to the nearby villages where the low caste people were treated miserably. We would social work among them. One Sunday evening, he was quite late from his mass, and we were wondering what happened to him. As we were off to our social work, after lots of pestering by us, he finally opened up and explained the reason for the delay.

As he was coming from the evening service, a man asked for a ride in his scooter. That man looked really tired, so the priest (who was without his priestly garments) asked him where that man wanted to go. It is a village nearby, except it would be an extra 30 kms for the priest to go and come back. And it is in a different opposite to where our college is. The priest gave that man the ride without telling him a word. As they were travelling, the man started to rant about how Christians are like grasshoppers, who should be packed off to western countries where they belong and on and on. There were few savage words thrown about Indian Christians, questioning their births and everything. The priest nodded his head for everything and finally dropped that man and started to turn his scooter. The man was bewildered and asked where he was actually headed. When the priest mentioned the college name, that man was shocked. “But it is in the opposite direction. Why did you do this?” The priest smiled at him and said, “Because I am a Christian and this is what my Lord Jesus Christ has taught me to do – to go the extra mile.”

Needless to say, it left a mighty impression on my young heart on that day. Now, I am not a Catholic anymore and I do not subscribe to anything that the Roman Catholic church advocates. The church I attend now is a Bible-based (at least, that’s what they are telling themselves) church, but when it comes to works of faith or love, there is a huge blank there. There is no comparison between an idolatrous Roman Catholic Church and a Bible-based church, though this church may have its shortcomings. But doesn’t the Bible commands us to show our faith by our works.  

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. – James 2:18 (NKJV)

James 2_18

Let us show our faith by our works.

Challenge thy mountain

Say to this mountain, “Go,
Be cast into the sea”;
And doubt not in thine heart
That it shall be to thee.
It shall be done, doubt not His Word,
Challenge thy mountain in the Lord!

Claim thy redemption right,
Purchased by precious blood;
The Trinity unite
To make it true and good.
It shall be done, obey the Word
Challenge thy mountain in the Lord!

Self, sickness, sorrow, sin,
The Lord did meet that day
On His beloved One,
And thou art “loosed away.”
It has been done, rest on His Word,
Challenge thy mountain in the Lord!

Compass the frowning wall
With silent prayer, then raise–
Before its ramparts fall–
The victor’s shout of praise.
It shall be done, faith rests assured,
Challenge thy mountain in the Lord!

The two-leaved gates of brass,
The bars of iron yield,
To let the faithful pass,
Conquerors in every field.
It shall be done, the foe ignored,
Challenge thy mountain in the Lord!

Take then the faith of God,
Free from the taint of doubt;
The miracle-working rod
That casts all reasoning” out.
It shall be done, stand on the Word,
Challenge thy mountain in the Lord!


Press on!

We sit and weep in vain. The voice of the Almighty said, “Up and onward forevermore.” Let us move on and step out boldly, though it be into the night, and we can scarcely see the way. The path will open, as we progress, like the trail through the forest, or the Alpine pass, which discloses but a few rods of its length from any single point of view. Press on! If necessary, we will find even the pillar of cloud and fire to mark our journey through the wilderness. There are guides and wayside inns along the road. We will find food, clothes and friends at every stage of the journey, and as Rutherford so quaintly says: “However matters go, the worst will be a tired traveller and a joyful and sweet welcome home.”

I’m going by the upper road, for that
still holds the sun,
I’m climbing through night’s pastures where
the starry rivers run:

If you should think to seek me in my
old dark abode,
You’ll find this writing on the door,
“He’s on the Upper Road.”

Press on

Walk of Faith

“When thou goest, thy way shall be opened up before thee step by step” (Proverbs 4:12, free translation).

The Lord never builds a bridge of faith except under the feet of the faith-filled traveller. If He builds the bridge a rod ahead, it would not be a bridge of faith. That which is of sight is not of faith.

There is a self-opening gate which is sometimes used in country roads. It stands fast and firm across the road as a traveller approaches it. If he stops before he gets to it, it will not open. But if he will drive right at it, his wagon wheels press the springs below the roadway, and the gate swings back to let him through. He must push right on at the closed gate, or it will continue to be closed.

This illustrates the way to pass every barrier on the road of duty. Whether it is a river, a gate, or a mountain, all the child of Jesus has to do is to go for it. If it is a river, it will dry up when you put your feet in its waters. If it is a gate, it will fly open when you are near enough to it, and are still pushing on. If it is a mountain, it will be lifted up and cast into a sea when you come squarely up, without flinching, to where you thought it was.

Is there a great barrier across your path of duty just now? Just go for it, in the name of the Lord, and it won’t be there. — Henry Clay Trumbull

Faith walk

It is raining blessings!!!

“For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Genesis 41:52).

The summer showers are falling. The poet stands by the window watching them. They are beating and buffeting the earth with their fierce downpour. But the poet sees in his imaginings more than the showers which are falling before his eyes. He sees myriads of lovely flowers which shall be soon breaking forth from the watered earth, filling it with matchless beauty and fragrance. And so he sings:

“It isn’t raining rain for me, it’s raining daffodils;
In every dimpling drop I see wild flowers upon the hills.
A cloud of gray engulfs the day, and overwhelms the town;
It isn’t raining rain for me: it’s raining roses down.”

Perchance some one of God’s chastened children is even now saying, “O God, it is raining hard for me tonight.”

“Testings are raining upon me which seem beyond my power to endure. Disappointments are raining fast, to the utter defeat of all my chosen plans. Bereavements are raining into my life which are making my shrinking heart quiver in its intensity of suffering. The rain of affliction is surely beating down upon my soul these days.”

Withal, friend, you are mistaken. It isn’t raining rain for you. It’s raining blessing. For, if you will but believe your Father’s Word, under that beating rain are springing up spiritual flowers of such fragrance and beauty as never before grew in that stormless, unchastened life of yours.

You indeed see the rain. But do you see also the flowers? You are pained by the testings. But God sees the sweet flower of faith which is upspringing in your life under those very trials.

You shrink from the suffering. But God sees the tender compassion for other sufferers which is finding birth in your soul.

Your heart winces under the sore bereavement. But God sees the deepening and enriching which that sorrow has brought to you.

It isn’t raining afflictions for you. It is raining tenderness, love, compassion, patience, and a thousand other flowers and fruits of the blessed Spirit, which are bringing into your life such a spiritual enrichment as all the fullness of worldly prosperity and ease was never able to beget in your innermost soul. — J. M. McC.


To the other side

“Let us go to the other side.” – Mark 4:35

Even when we go forth at Christ’s command, we need not expect to escape storms; for these disciples were going forth at Christ’s command, yet they encountered the fiercest storm and were in great danger of being overwhelmed, so that they cried out in their distress for Christ’s assistance.

Though Christ may delay His coming in our time of distress, it is only that our faith may be tried and strengthened, and that our prayers may be more intense, and that our desires for deliverance may be increased, so that when the deliverance does come we will appreciate it more fully.

Christ gave them a gentle rebuke, saying, “Where is your faith?” Why did you not shout victory in the very face of the storm, and say to the raging winds and rolling waves, “You can do no harm, for Christ, the mighty Savior is on board”?

It is much easier to trust when the sun is shining than when the storm is raging.

We never know how much real faith we have until it is put to the test in some fierce storm; and that is the reason why the Savior is on board.

If you are ever to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, your strength will be born in some storm. Selected

“With Christ in the vessel,
I smile at the storm.”

Christ said, “Let us go to the other side”– not to the middle of the lake to be drowned. — Dan Crawford

Mark 4_35

Great Faith

We shall never forget a remark that George Mueller once made to a gentleman who had asked him the best way to have strong faith.

“The only way,” replied the patriarch of faith, “to learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.” This is very true. The time to trust is when all else fails.

Dear one, you scarcely realize the value of your present opportunity; if you are passing through great afflictions you are in the very soul of the strongest faith, and if you will only let go, He will teach you in these hours the mightiest hold upon His throne which you can ever know.

“Be not afraid, only believe.” And if you are afraid, just look up and say, “What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee,” and you will yet thank God for the school of sorrow which was to you the school of faith. — A. B. Simpson

“Great faith must have great trials.” – Charles H. Spurgeon