Degrees of Faith
“Let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece” (Judges 6:39).
There are degrees of 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 favorable 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, 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 witnesses the other way.
When is the time to trust? Is it when all is calm, When waves the victor’s palm, And life is one glad Psalm Of joy and praise? Nay! but the time to trust Is when the waves beat high, When storm clouds fill the sky, And prayer is one long cry, O help and save! Many people only know God when all is well with them, but when the storms arose and the angry billows roll. When all hope seems lost and there is no one to cling to for help. You may hear the cry “Lord help my unbelief”.
When is the time to trust? Is it when friends are true? Is it when comforts woo, And in all we say and do We meet but praise? Nay! but the time to trust Is when we stand alone, And summer birds have flown, And every prop is gone, All else but God.
What is the time to trust? Is it some future day, When you have tried your way, And learned to trust and pray By bitter woe? Nay! but the time to trust Is in this moment’s need, Poor, broken, bruised reed! Poor, troubled soul, make speed To trust thy God.
What is the time to trust? Is it when hopes beat high, When the sunshine gilds the sky, And joy and ecstasy Fill all the heart? Nay! but the time to trust Is when our joy is fled, When sorrow bows the head, And all is cold and dead, All else but God.
Let us say it like Paul, Yea, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us and gave Himself for us. It is our time to trust God and look to His promises fulfilled before our very eyes. Hallelujah
Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC
Vice Grand Commanding Officer
The Mystical Court