Saturday, July 12, 2014

Faith’s work is to pray for what it needs and to give thanks

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:6-7

The life of faith is the only safe life.  Its fortifications are impregnable.  Trust in the Lord forever, for in him is everlasting strength.  Ages pass away but the Lord our Rock abides forever.  He that rained manna in the wilderness will give us bread; and he that brought water from the rock will be a never-failing fountain.  Faith’s work is to pray for what it needs and to give thanks for what it has.  Faith uses means, but trusts in God.  When there are no means to use we say, ‘Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines… yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation’ (Hab. 3:17-18).  Faith can live upon God when there is famine in all  creation.  The peace of God guards the heart from all surprises of fear and trouble.  As faith enjoys God in all things in the greatest abundance, so she can enjoy all things in God in the deepest need.  
Paul describes his trouble in Asia:  ‘We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself’ (2 Cor. 1:8).  ‘But’, he said, ‘that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.’  If God can raise the dead, he can conquer the greatest difficulty.  He can put life into dead men, life into dead hopes, and raise up our expectations fro the grave of despair.   He can put life into dead bones and life into dead faith.  
We are proud creatures and full of self-confidence, but God, by strange and unexpected providences, hedges up our way with thorns.  He brings us to despair even of life and brings us under the sentence of death that we might not trust in ourselves, but in him who raises the dead.  He overturns us by despair, shows us what babes and fools we are in ourselves, that we might know nothing but God.  Go in the strength of the Lord!


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