Where is Your Faith
Category : General
St. Luke 8: 25 (KJV)
25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
The question before us has in it a wild sublimity. The waves had just found their resting-place; the wind was gone back into its treasure-house; and our Savior stood upon the calm, and seemed to say, “The fierce enemies have been and gone, but where is your faith?”
The disciples, having seen their Master perform many miracles, had abundant reason to rely on his power and goodness, even in a greater danger than this; for though their vessel had sunk, they could not have imagined that God would have suffered him to be lost; and might have been confident, that he who had given sight to the blind, and life to the dead, could have saved them all, by making them walk firmly on the water, as he enabled one of them to do afterwards. Their timidity therefore was altogether culpable, and the reproof that he gave them just. But their views of his supreme Godhead were at that time exceedingly dark.
It is astonishing to know how many men are putting their faith upon second causes! I can imagine the fisherman in the storm, looking at the wind and the gathering clouds, partly because they come with less trouble; partly from long habit; partly from the aversion which there is in the mind of men to everything spiritual; but chiefly because men imagine they have no right to go up straight to God. Therefore, we noticed that almost all men are found guilty of trying means as if they were ends; and God’s instruments as if they were gods. This is true, take noted that one man has a friend, and he hangs upon that friend, and you may see him behaving to that friend as if he considered that friend the arbiter of his life. Another is a man in business, and his study is about nothing every day but “his connection,” and it is plain that he looks to nothing but “his connection” to determine his rise or his ruin in the enterprise in which he is embarked. A third man is a farmer, and you will hear him talking about “the weather,” as if the crops had no other father but the sun and the rain. A fourth is a politician, and he makes the world turn–as upon a pivot–on the consideration whether this administration shall be in, or that. All are making their system of cause and effect; and they do not calculate upon the shadow of a doubt that if there is a prescribed cause, there must be the predicted event. Their whole hearts–their whole faith is in second cause. Now, brethren, we do not hesitate to arraign this trusting in second cause as sheer idolatry. It is the essential of God that He is final, and what is final is made God.
“I believe in God.” How lightly, how carelessly, we repeat those solemn words, and yet what a universe of meaning lies in them! Do we believe? Do we at all know what belief means? Do we suppose it to mean, “I am familiar with these formulae, I see no special reason for rejecting them.” Thou believest that there is one God. Thou doest well. The devils also believe; and they tremble. “I believe,” but, while with orthodox self-satisfaction we repeat our creeds, on which soul has dawned the tremendous responsibility of our belief, the transcendent obligation of all that it entails? What, then, is wanting? Faith is wanting; that faith which is a possessing principle, an irresistible enthusiasm. Real faith is not the ineffectual pretense; not the faith which makes idols of formulae; not the faith which delights in rigid systems and fantastic self-delusions, groping in mediaeval traditions for a dead and material and exclusive Christ. Had we but faith as a grain of mustard-seed we should remove the mountains which overshadow and threaten to fall on us.
Let us know that ‘Faith’ in God is not a mere sluggish acceptance, a mere condescending acquiescence, a mere dead passivity; it is not even a mere abstract conviction. Faith, in the Christian sense, in the sense wherein each one of us ought to say ‘I believe,’ is a possessing principle, an irresistible enthusiasm.
Men in myriads say that they believe in God. When men are sincere in the belief, it is easy to show it. Such faith is not dead or nugatory, but all-pervading; not a secondary matter, but everything; and when perfectly sincere it will bend the whole purpose of the man to love God’s law, to do His will, to glorify His name. We say that we believe in God. Are we sincere? If so, what are the proofs of our sincerity?
Have a Great and God filled Day