A Brief Meditation for the Month

July 2021

The importance of a living faith in the experience of every Christian cannot be over-emphasized. It is plainly taught in Scripture that communion with God is impossible apart from personal faith. In the epistle to the Hebrews we read: “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. Because faith requires an object, it is necessary to inquire what the object of our own faith truly is. Some put their confidence in their feelings about God or about themselves as reliable evidence that they are in a good relationship with God. Others place their faith in their experiences in the Christian life as sufficient ground for assurance that all is well between God and themselves. Some others rely upon the opinions of those who confirm them in their conviction that they are entitled to a favoured relationship with the Almighty. However, we must concede that if our faith is focused upon anyone or anything other than God alone, it will ultimately fail us in the hour of trial and need. Like the needle of the compass that always points northward, genuine biblical faith turns automatically to the eternal throne from which the exalted Saviour exercises his power.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1. When these words were spoken, the incarnate Word was preparing to ascend to the throne of his glory to engage in representing his people; acting as their advocate with God the Father. Jesus was telling his disciples, both then and now, to put their faith in him because he understands all their needs, difficulties, and weaknesses. We read in the book of Hebrews that the exalted Saviour lives on behalf of his people to make continuous intercession for them, Hebrews 7:25. When, therefore, believers look within the veil of heaven and get a glimpse of their mighty advocate actively ministering on their behalf, their hearts are stilled, and they are enabled to be at peace. When they see that everything is under control at the throne of eternal majesty, then they know all will be well for them, as earthly pilgrims, battling or struggling amid temptations and difficulties. However mysterious their circumstances in providence, they have the assurance that because their Saviour has their interests at heart, and all heavenly and earthly power and authority is exercised by him, they rest in the knowledge that, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones stated so perceptibly, “Faith is the refusal to panic.” How true this is! Once the eye of the soul fixes on the all-knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful redeemer who is in control, working everything perfectly together for their personal good and his own glory, then there is no need to panic but rather to simply rest content with God’s goodness.

Referring to faith, Bishop J. C. Ryle asserted, “Faith is to prayer what the feather is to the arrow; without it, it will not hit the mark.” Faith in God gives flight and direction to our prayers, carrying them into his presence. It is faith in the person and ministry of our great high priest, Jesus Christ, who pleads with the voice of his atoning blood, before the throne of divine justice, that persuades poor stumbling believers that their prayers will reach the heart of God. A view of the ministering Saviour in heaven, so devoted to his people, brings calm and composure into the experience of the struggling or discouraged believer.

G. G. Hutton.