Sometimes we forget that gifts of the Spirit, are just that. Gifts. As such, we don’t get to choose the size or shape or amount of. Almighty God does that. Some of us have been given more or different or less than others, and Almighty God does that, too. Where we fail is that too often we like to judge our gifts in comparison to those of others, and when we do that, the instant we do that, we commit sin because by the very act we question the God who so graciously gave them.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT–FAITH
“Let us hold fast the profession of our Faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised.”–
FAITH IS an attribute of the heart, rather than of the head. It is largely intuitive in its first promptings. It is impossible to argue men into faith. Do not think, discuss, or reason too much about Faith, or you will miss it. It is like Love in this, that when you turn the dissecting knife on it for the purpose of analysis, its spirit and life vanish, leaving only the faded relics of what was once a thing of beauty and a joy for ever. If, however, turning from Faith to any object which is worthy of it, you concentrate heart and mind there, almost unconsciously Faith will have arisen and thriven to maturity.
Faith has two kinds of objective, first a person, and secondly a statement. When we are drawn powerfully towards a person, so as to feel able to entrust our soul, our destiny, our most precious possessions to His care, with an inward feeling of tranquillity and certainty that all is safe with Him, and that He will do better for us than we could do for ourselves, that is faith.
We may be attracted by a statement, which appeals to our moral sense; it is consistent with the decisions of our conscience; or perhaps, as the utterance of One in whom we repose utter confidence, it commends itself to us for His sake. We accept that statement; we rest on it. We believe that what it attests as fact either did happen or will happen. We are as sure of it as though we have been able to attest it by our senses of sight, hearing, or touch. That also is faith. “Faith is a well grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of the unseen”
We must indicate a difference between this faith and “the faith once delivered to the saints.” The former is the heart that accepts, and the hand that reaches out to obtain; the latter is the body of Truth to be accepted.
Out of faith comes faithfulness. Faith is your trust in another; faithfulness is your worthiness to be trusted. A faithful soul, one that can be absolutely relied upon, is of great price. Nothing so quickens our faith as to meditate on God’s absolute trustworthiness. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”
Give us faith in Thy love that never wearies or faints. Whatever else we doubt, may we never question the perfectness of Thy lovingkindness. Fulfil in us the good pleasure of Thy will, and the work o f faith with power. AMEN.