“A simple, confiding faith, living day by day, and casting it’s burden on the Lord, each hour of the day, will dissipate fear, drive away misgiving and deliver from doubt…That (the simple, divine faith) is the divine cure for all fear, anxiety, and undue concern of soul, all of which are closely akin to doubt and unbelief. This (again, the simple, divine faith) is the divine prescription for securing the peace that passes all understanding, and keeps the heart in quietness and peace”
“Yet, quite often, faith is too weak to obtain God’s greatest good, immediately; so it has to wait in loving, strong, prayerful, pressing obedience, until is grows in strength, and is able to bring down the eternal, into the realms of experience and time.”
Yeah, Bounds just said that our faith is too sucky to claim what God offers.
“Do we believe without a doubt? When we pray, do we believe, not that we shall receive the things for which we ask on a future day, but that we receive them then and there? Such is the teaching of the inspiring Scripture. How we need to pray, ‘Lord, increase our faith,’ until doubt be gone, and implicit trust claims the promised blessings, as its very own. This is no easy condition. It is reached only after many a failure, after much praying, after many waitings, after much trial of faith.”
What are our expectations in prayer? That God WILL deliver us, or that He HAS done so? And if He HAS done so…are we claiming that in the present, or merely looking to tomorrow? In an earlier chapter, he spoke about praying for “today’s daily bread”, in essence, offering “daily prayer for daily needs”. I need to get through TODAY. Today’s temptations, trials, frustrations. Why am I praying like I’m waiting for something?
“Trust is not a a belief that God can bless, that He will bless, but that He does bless, here and now. Trust always operates in the present tense. Hope looks forward to the future. Trust looks to the present. Hope expects. Trust possesses.”
Reading this, I think of the second REAL Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back. Luke is on Dagobah, in training with Yoda. His X-Wing sinks into the swamp, and Luke tries to use the force to get it out. Of course he fails (Luke really sucks, btw), and Yoda saves the day (and the X-Wing) but taking it out himself. At the end of the scene, cry-baby Luke says, “I don’t believe it.” To which Yoda responds, “That is why you fail.” Luke only hoped in the force, Yoday trusted it.
“Neglect of the inner chamber (spiritual disciplines generally and prayer specifically) is the solution of most spiritual failures…to be much on our knees in private communion with God is the only surety that we shall have Him with us either in our personal struggles, or in our efforts to convert sinners.”
When do my spiritual failures happen? When I am not “much on my knees in private communion with God.” May this change. Today.