[b]Faith, in its practical exercise[/b](John Newton's Letters)That faith which justifies: purifies the heart, works by love, and overcomes the world. That faith which justifies the soul, does likewise receive grace from Jesus, whereby the heart is purified, and the life regulated as befits the Gospel of Christ.Faith is of great use and importance in the daily concerns of life. Faith gives evidence and reality to things not seen, and realizes the great truths of the Gospel--so that they become abiding and living principles of support and direction while we are passing through this wilderness. It is a believer's privilege to walk with God in the exercise of faith, and, by the power of His Spirit, to mortify the whole body of sin, to gain a growing victory over the world and self, and to make daily advances in conformity to the mind of Christ. Faith, in its practical exercise, has for its object the whole word of God; and forms its estimate of all things with which the soul is at present concerned, according to the standard of Scripture. When our Lord was upon earth, and conversed with His disciples, their eyes and hearts were fixed upon Him. In danger He was their defender; their guide when in perplexity; and to Him they looked for the solution of all their doubts, and the supply of all their needs. He is now withdrawn from our eyes; but faith sets Him still before us, for the same purposes, and, with the same effects, as if we actually saw Him! His spiritual presence, apprehended by faith, is . . . a restraint from evil, an encouragement to every service, and affords a present refuge and help in every time of trouble.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
I cannot imagine a better, more cheering or a more comforting statement with which to face all the uncertainties and hazards of our life in this world of time than that contained in Matthew 7 verses 7-11. It is one of those great comprehensive and gracious promises which are to be found only in the Bible . . . this is the promise that comes to us: 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.' . . . There is no doubt about it, it is certain; it is an absolute promise ... made by the Son of God Himself, speaking with all the fullness and authority of His Father. The Bible teaches us everywhere that that is the one thing that matters in life ... it emphasizes that what really matters in life is not so much the various things that come to meet us ... as our readiness to meet them. The whole of the Biblical teaching with regard to life is ... summed up in that one man Abraham, of whom we are told, 'he went out, not knowing whither he went'. But he was nevertheless perfectly happy, at peace and at rest. He was not afraid. Why? An old Puritan who lived three hundred years ago answers that question for us [b]'Abraham went out, not knowing whither he went; but he did know with whom he went.'[/b] That is the thing that matters. . . He was not alone, there was One with him who had told him that he would never leave him, nor forsake him; and though he was uncertain as to the events that were coming to meet him, and the problems which would arise, he was perfectly happy because he knew his Travelling Companion.... Our Lord does not promise to change life for us; He does not Promise to remove difficulties and trials and problems and tribulations. He does not say that He is going to cut out all the thorns and leave the roses with their wonderful perfume. No; He faces life realistically, and tells us that these are things ... which are bound to come. But He assures us that we can so know Him that, whatever happens, we need never be frightened, we need never be alarmed.- MLJ