Have Faith In God
Men like John knew the secret of overcoming in the midst of so much to test and try. Faith in God was the watchword of the early disciples. So often in the life of faith it is not always easy to step out on the Word of God. This attitude of soul must be deliberately cultivated for it is faith which glorifies and honours God. How necessary to pray that we might be kept from being pessimists toward God (Mark 11:22, 23)!
Four thoughts suggest themselves that might be of help in attaining victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. Let us be on guard for a faith that panics. It is so human in the face of some momentous decision to be overcome by fear and panic. There is always the tendency to act hastily under emotional strain or during periods of exacting pressure. Again there are a variety of voices expressed which clamour for action. Under such circumstances decisions are made and acts prompted which lead to confusion of face.
A further note of warning is expedient. There is a faith that presumes. Sometimes in order to accomplish our own ends we take promises from God’s Word without warrant. We cannot accept the gifts of God without being under His government. Perhaps the reason why many prayers go unanswered is simply due to selfish attainment rather than scriptural adherence (James 4:3).
Peter in his writings and work understood the value of faith and he describes it as precious faith. It is faith that honours God and acts in line with His will and Word. Can we know we are in the current of His will? Can we be assured that our steps are ordered of the Lord? Faith in God makes the answer positive. We have the Word of God and the Spirit of God and through these we discover His mind and mission. Upon learning the mind of God, or assuredly gathering His will by means of His precepts and promises, we follow on to obtain. Faith that is precious is asking and receiving in fact, or in modern language, “‘I believe God and it shall be so.” The preciousness of such faith is evident in the realization of a settled peace, a steadfast purpose and a sincere desire to more and more please the Lord.
Finally, faith that is personal. A remarkable thing is, many Christians can trust God implicitly for the salvation of their souls, but they cannot trust Him for their daily needs. This is a fault, for the Lord should be trusted in temporal things as for salvation. We should have faith in God, faith in His Word, faith in His wisdom, faith in His love, faith in His care.
Look at very many who go on toiling, fretting, losing sleep. Is it because they are not saved? Oh no, they are all saved and sure of being in Heaven! But then, there is the morrow which may usher in “the rainy day.” God’s blessed promises are all “yea and amen in Christ Jesus”; but there are some of them which are specially precious and assuring.
I believe that one of the reasons why so few young men are willing to leave the “nets” and go into “the regions beyond,” is because they cannot take God’s Word at its face value. The flesh hates the life of faith and drags down many a fine life which should have shone in the foreign field.
“My God shall supply all your need” is a promise, which taken at face value, will lead one out and on, without looking to Societies or Assemblies for the daily need; but to God who pledges Himself to supply it all. Will one not feel lonely away from home and loved ones, the Assembly and the meetings? He meets us with the promise; “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” May not our brethren fail us; when we are out of sight, may we not be out of their mind also? They may, but “He faileth not.”
But will there not be terrible trials and dangers in seeking to pioneer, where Christ has not been named? There will be surely, but “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him.” “But might we not be left without a cent, away in some place in the interior, with no one to go to?” “Trust in the Lord and do good: so shalt thou dwell in the land; and verily thou shalt be fed.”
“How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say, than to you He hath said
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled.”