Sunday Considerations: Precious Faith

There is a legend that a traveler over the desert who was nearly perishing with hunger, came upon the spot where a company had lately encamped. Searching about for some article of food, he found a small bag which he hoped might be a bag of dates. Opening it, he discovered that it contained shells and silver coins. Throwing it down, in bitter disappointment, he exclaimed, “Alas! it is nothing but money!” A single date or a fig would have been worth more to him—than than a chest-full of gold. There is a time coming to all of us when we would gladly surrender the wealth of the whole world for what an apostle once called “a like precious faith.”

Peter was partial to this word, precious; it is one of the ear-marks to establish the identity of authorship in the two Epistles which bear his name. He speaks of the precious blood of Christ, of a precious cornerstone, of the precious trial of our faith, and of precious and exceeding great promises. Among this jewel-cluster, there is none more full of meaning than when he speaks of “those who have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Faith is confiding trust. “Ah—but my faith was anything but precious to me,” says some one, “for I trusted a man who wronged me out of thousands of dollars.” Your faith, my friend, was not a wrong principle—but you bestowed it on the wrong person. His worthlessness made your trust worthless. Without mutual confidence, all the sweetest fellowship of domestic life and all the operations of trade would come to an instant halt. If faith in one another is so indispensable to the ordinary transactions of life, faith in the divine Redeemer is indispensable to our salvation. It is the very core of Bible-religion. But this saving faith is vastly more than a good opinion about Christ, or a belief in Christ. Multitudes of unsaved sinners have this. Saving faith is not only a confidence in the atoning Savior; it is a strong grasp of this Savior and a union of heart and life to him. It is the act of trust by which I, a person, unite myself to another person, even to the Son of God.

Saving faith is unspeakably precious, because it is the source of all my spiritual life. No grace—until that grace comes. Faith drives the nail which fastens me to Jesus, and then love clinches it. Faith ties the knot, and true love makes it tighter and stronger every hour.
~ Theodore Culyer, excerpt from Words of Cheer for Christian Pilgrims, 1896.

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