Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:16.
Faith is trusting God—believing that He loves us, and knows best what is for our good. Thus, instead of our own, it leads us to choose His way. In place of our ignorance, it accepts His wisdom; in place of our weakness, His strength; in place of our sinfulness, His righteousness. Our lives, ourselves, are already His; faith acknowledges His ownership and accepts its blessing. Truth, uprightness, purity, have been pointed out as secrets of life's success. It is faith that puts us in possession of these principles.
Every good impulse or aspiration is the gift of God; faith receives from God the life that alone can produce true growth and efficiency.
How to exercise faith should be made very plain. To every promise of God there are conditions. If we are willing to do His will, all His strength is ours. Whatever gift He promises is in the promise itself. “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). As surely as the oak is in the acorn, so surely is the gift of God in His promise. If we receive the promise, we have the gift.
Faith that enables us to receive God's gifts is itself a gift, of which some measure is imparted to every human being. It grows as exercised in appropriating the Word of God. In order to strengthen faith, we must often bring it in contact with the Word. In the study of the Bible the student should be led to see the power of God's Word. In the creation, “he spake and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:9)....
Viewed from its human side, life is to all an untried path. It is a path in which, as regards our deeper experiences, we each walk alone. Into our inner life no other human being can fully enter. As the little child sets forth on that journey in which, sooner or later, he must choose his own course, himself deciding life's issues for eternity, how earnest should be the effort to direct his trust to the sure Guide and Helper!
As a shield from temptation and an inspiration to purity and truth, no other influence can equal the sense of God's presence. “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” He is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Hebrews 4:13; Habakkuk 1:13). This thought was Joseph's shield amidst the corruptions of Egypt. To the allurements of temptation his answer was steadfast: “How ... can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). Such a shield, faith, if cherished, will bring to every soul.—Education, 253-255.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 126
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