Cultivating The Plant Of Faith
“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” Luke 17:5
Faith should be cultivated. If it has become weak it is like a sickly plant that should be placed in the sunshine and carefully watered and tended. The Lord would have every one who has had light and evidence cherish that light and walk in its brightness. God has blessed us with reasoning powers so that we may trace from cause to effect. If we would have light we must come to the light. We must individually lay hold on the hope set before us in the gospel… How foolish it would be to go into a cellar, and mourn because we were in the dark. If we want light we must come up into a higher room. It is our privilege to come into the light, to come into the presence of God…
We should grow daily in faith in order that we may grow up to the full measure of the spiritual stature in Christ Jesus. We should believe that God will answer our prayers, and not trust to feeling. We should say, My gloomy feelings are no evidence that God has not heard me. I do not want to give up on account of these sad emotions, for “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 The rainbow of promise encircles the throne of God. I come to the throne, pointing to the sign of God’s faithfulness, and cherish the faith that works by love and purifies the soul.
We are not to believe because we feel or see that God hears us. We are to trust to the promise of God. We are to go about our business believing that God will do just what He has said He would do, and that the blessings we have prayed for will come to us when we most need them. Every petition enters into the heart of God when we come believing. We have not faith enough. We should look upon our heavenly Father as more willing to help us than an earthly parent is to help his child. Why not trust Him?
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 230
“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19
The more our faith fastens to Christ in perfect trust, the more peace we shall have. Faith will grow by exercise. God’s rule is, One day at a time. Day by day do the work for each day as if you are conscious that you are working in the sight of the angels, cherubim and seraphim, and God and Christ. You are “a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” I Corinthians 4:9 “Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Hebrews 12:2 Living thus, the Holy spirit helps our memory, sanctifies every faculty, and keeps us reminded of our daily and hourly dependence upon our heavenly Father’s care,…and unceasing love.
This is the childlike spirit Jesus declared His disciples must have in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven–trusting as a little child in God their heavenly Father. Then Satan’s temptations are discerned and more easily resisted, for there is in the heart a constant drawing nigh to God. The feeling of self-sufficiency which works the ruin of so many souls does not have an atmosphere in which to flourish.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 Here is the precious promise from One who means every word He says. Then why are we fearful, distrustful, and unbelieving?… Our time is the Lord’s. Our talents are the Lord’s. Then how can any individual feel that he can be independent, not subject to the Spirit of God–independent of God’s will, independent of God’s providences and plans?…
“Who is among you that feareth the Lord…? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God”… Isaiah 50:10 We are not safe in following the imaginations of our own hearts. We cannot be independent. Our only safety is in dependence on God our Redeemer.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 231
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Psalms 37:3
“Trust in the Lord.” Each day has its burdens, its cares and perplexities, and when we meet, how ready we are to talk of our difficulties and trials… Some are always fearing and borrowing trouble. Every day they are surrounded by the tokens of God’s love, every day they are enjoying the bounties of His providence, but they overlook these present blessings…
Why should we be ungrateful and distrustful? Jesus is our friend. All heaven is interested in our welfare, and our anxiety and fear grieve the Holy Spirit of God. We should not indulge in a solicitude which only frets and wears us but does not help us to bear trials. No place should be given to the distrust of God which leads us to make a preparation against future want the chief pursuit of life, as though our happiness consisted in these earthly things…
You may be perplexed in business; your prospects may grow darker and darker and you may be threatened with loss. But do not become discouraged; cast your care upon God and remain calm and cheerful. Begin every day with earnest prayer, not omitting to offer praise and thanksgiving. Ask for wisdom to manage your affairs with discretion and thus prevent loss and disaster. Do all you can on your part to bring about favorable results… When, relying upon your tried Helper, you have done all you can, accept the result cheerfully. It will not always be gain from the worldling’s standpoint, but perhaps success might have been the worst thing for you…
We want an eye single to the glory of God in all the affairs of life; we want a living faith that holds fast the promises of God no matter how dark the prospect. We are not to look at the things which are seen, and judge from the world’s standpoint, and be ruled by the world’s principles, but we are to look at the things which are unseen, eternal.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 232