Did the apostle need so to pray? Then well may I.
O great Author and Finisher of our faith, I would look up to You with thankfulness, but You have granted even the smallest portion of faith to so unworthy a creation as I am. Surely my soul, it is a great a miracle of grace that my God and Savior should have kindled belief in your stony heart, amid all the surrounding obstructions of sin and Satan which lay there, as when the miraculous fire from heaven, in answer to the prophet’s prayer, came down and consumed the wetted sacrifice (1 Ki. 18:36-38).
I Praise You, my God and King, this in the recollection of this unspeakable, unmerited mercy. And through this faith in my heart still be but as a grain of mustard seed, though it be but as a spark in the ocean, though it be as the drop of the dew in comparison of the river-yet, blessed, precious, Jesus, still this is faith, and it is Your gift. And is it not a token 14 of Your favour? Is it not an earnest 15 of the Holy Spirit and a pledge of the promised inheritance?
Babes in faith, as well as the strong in the Lord, are equally Yours; for it is said that “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48); and to as many as believed, You gave “power to become the sons of God” (Joh. 1:12). So it is by Yourself, blessed Redeemer, and not by the strength or weakness of the faith of Your people, that their justification before God the Father is secured. Precious is that Scripture which tells us that all who believe [in You]-whether great faith or little faith-“all that believe are justified from all things” (Acts 13:39).
But, my soul, while the consciousness of your possessing he smallest evidences of faith in your Beloved gives you a joy unspeakable and full of glory, do you not blush to think what ungrateful returns you are making to your Redeemer, in the littleness of your faith in such a God and Savior?
Whence 16 is it that your affections are so warm in a thousand lesser things, and so cold toward Jesus? Whence that His holy word you so often hear as though you heard not? Whence the ordinances of Jesus’ house, the promises of His Scriptures, the visits of His grace-whence [is it that] these pass again and again before you, and you remain so cold and lifeless in your affections?
Whence [is it] that the temptations of Satan, the corruptions of your heart, and the allurements of the world gain any influence upon you? Whence [is it] that you are so anxious about things that perish-about anything, about nothing deserving to be called interesting? Whence [is it that you are] so seldom at the court of the heavenly King, where you ought to be found daily, hourly waiting?
And whence [are you], under trials, or the need of answers at a Mercy Seat, fretful, impatient, and misgiving? Whence all these and numberless other evils, but from the weakness and littleness of your love to Jesus, your trust in Jesus, your dependence upon Jesus, and your communion with Jesus? All, all arise out of this one sad cause, my soul: your unbelief!
Jesus, Master, look upon me, put the cry with earnestness in my heart that I may unceasingly, with the apostles’ prayer, be sending forth this as the first and greatest petition of my soul: “Lord, increase my faith.”
15 earnest-given in pledge of what is afterwards to be received in fullness.
16 whence-from where