A Brief Meditation for the Month

September 2023

Once, when a little girl was asked, “What is faith?” she answered, “Doing God’s will, and asking no questions.” While her juvenile response may sound somewhat simplistic, it does get right to the heart of the issue, for genuine faith is always obedient to God. We are reminded from the words in Hebrews 11:6 that it is impossible to please God without faith. An illustration of such pleasing obedience in the exercise of faith is observed in the life of the Patriarch Abraham, of whom it is recorded: “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went,” Hebrews 11:8. Abraham’s faith was such a simple childlike faith. When God told him what to do, he just did what he was told and trusted God for the rest.

The words of the Lord Jesus to his disciples are most compelling: “Have faith in God,” Mark 11:22. If we truly know God, how can we fail to put our faith in him? God is so faithful and reliable, it is an insult for us not to trust him, and yet how often we become anxious and distressed while claiming to believe in him. Before the children of Israel entered the promised land to confront all the obstacles in their way to possessing it, God, through Moses, required them to trust him, saying: “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God,” Deuteronomy 7:9. Their history is sufficient proof that even when the Israelites were on occasions so unfaithful, God remained consistently faithful. Every promise God made he kept, every obligation he fulfilled, every disobedience he punished, yet every need that arose, he supplied. When Joshua settled the tribes in their promised inheritance, it is recorded: “There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:45. This shall surely be the testimony of the completed Church in heaven when all the redeemed of the Lord shall raise their voices in praise that not one of God’s promises to his people failed. He remained faithful and true to them throughout their earthly pilgrimage, often strewn with difficulties, grief, pain, and many varied hardships. In the Song of Solomon, an inquiry is made regarding a depiction of affection and grace in the relationship between Christ and his beloved Church. The question is: “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” Song of Solomon 8:5. What a beautiful picture is presented to us of the Church collectively and the individual believer, pilgrimaging through this wilderness world. Christ Jesus willingly supports, while the one he loves willingly leans upon him with trusting confidence. The child of God does not journey alone but enjoys the sweetest companionship a soul can experience this side of glory. We may well ask ourselves why we don’t enjoy more of this sacred privilege. On one occasion during the earthly ministry of the Saviour, he was journeying with his disciples in a ship when a terrible storm arose as he slept. In fear for their lives, the disciples roused the Saviour, who immediately calmed the storm. Having done so, he then addressed the disciples with a question loaded with rebuke—“Where is your faith?” Luke 8:25. The disciples ought to have known they were as safe as on dry land while they were journeying in his company. After all, it was Jesus who initiated the journey, Luke 8:22, and would see them safe to its end. How often does our faithful God and Saviour need to pull us up short with that searching question, “Where is your Faith?” Child of God, know that while in his company, you are safe, but without him, you cannot survive. Trust him, lean upon him, love him, and obey him.

G. G. Hutton.