Streams in The Desert

Active Faith

Then Jesus said to him, “‘If you are able?’ All things are possible for the one who believes.”

[Mark 9:23 NET]

Seldom have we heard a better definition of faith than was given once in one of our meetings, by a dear old colored woman, as she answered the question of a young man how to take the Lord for needed help.

In her characteristic way, pointing her finger toward him, she said with great emphasis: “You’ve just got to believe that He’s done it and it’s done.” The great danger with most of us is that, after we ask Him to do it, we do not believe that it is done, but we keep on helping Him, and getting others to help Him; and waiting to see how He is going to do it.

Faith adds its “Amen” to God’s “Yea,” and then takes its hands off, and leaves God to finish His work. Its language is, “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him; and he worketh.’

[Days of Heaven upon Earth]

“I simply take Him at His word,

I praise Him that my prayer is heard,

And claim my answer from the Lord;

I take, He undertakes.”

An active faith can give thanks for a promise, though it be not as yet performed; knowing that God’s bonds are as good as ready money.

~ Matthew Henry ~

Passive faith accepts the word as true

But never moves.

Active faith begins the work to do,

And thereby proves.

Passive faith says, “I believe it! every word of God is true.

Well I know He hath not spoken what He cannot, will not, do.

He hath bidden me, ’Go forward!’ but a closed-up way I see,

When the waters are divided, soon in Canaan’s land I’ll be.

Lo! I hear His voice commanding, ’Rise and walk: take up thy bed’;

And, ’Stretch forth thy withered member!’ which for so long has been dead.

When I am a little stronger, then, I know I’ll surely stand:

When there comes a thrill of heating, I will use with ease My other hand.

Yes, I know that ’God is able’ and full willing all to do:

I believe that every promise, sometime, will to me come true.”

Active faith says, “I believe it! and the promise now I take,

Knowing well, as I receive it, God, each promise, real will make.

So I step into the waters, finding there an open way;

Onward press, the land possessing; nothing can my progress stay.

Yea, I rise at His commanding, walk straightway, and joyfully:

This, my hand, so sadly shrivelled, as I reach, restored shall be.

What beyond His faithful promise, would I wish or do I need?

Looking not for ’signs or wonders,’ I’ll no contradiction heed.

Well I know that ’God is able,’ and full willing all to do:

I believe that every promise, at this moment can come true.”

Passive faith but praises in the light,

When sun doth shine.

Active faith will praise in darkest night—

Which faith is thine?

~ Selected ~

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

For the one who enters God’s rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works.

[Heb 4:10 NET]

What a rest it would be to many of us if we could but exchange burdens with Christ, and so utterly and forever transfer to Him all our cares and needs that we would not feel henceforth responsible for our burdens, but know that He has undertaken all the care, and that our faith is simply to carry His burdens, and that He prays, labors, and suffers only for us and our interests. This is what He truly invites us to do. Come unto Me, He says, all ye that labor and are heavy–laden and I will rest you, and then He adds, Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me. He takes our yoke and we take His and we find it a thousand times easier to carry one of His burdens than to carry our own. How much more delightful it is to spend an hour in supplication for another than five minutes in pleading for ourselves. Are we not weary of carrying our wretched loads?

‘Twas for this His mercy sought you,

And to all His fulness brought you,

By the precious blood that bought you,

Pass it on.

Prayer Guide

Make the path for your feet level, so that all your ways may be established.

[Prov 4:26 NET]


Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

~ George Washington ~

Life is a sheet of paper white

Whereon each one of us may write

His word or two, and then comes night.

Greatly begin! though thou hast time

But for a line, be that sublime.

Not failure, but low aim is crime.

~ James Russell Lowell ~

God keep us through the common days,

The level stretches white with dust,

When thought is tired, and hands upraise

Their burdens feebly since they must;

In days of slowly fretting care

Then most we need the strength of prayer.

~ Margaret E. Sangster ~


Lord God, help me to realize the influence of the individual life. And as I would care for my own, may I seek to do for others; and may I not criticize, but help all who are trying to make the world better. Amen.

Today With God

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

[Matt 16:16 NET]

Under the power of the Holy Spirit Peter had a glimpse of Jesus in His glorious beauty. He saw Him as the Messiah who had been promised so long. At last the Promised One had come, and now Peter saw and believed in Him as the Christ. Not only so, but he saw Him, too, as divine – the Son of the living God.

This confession shows us what we ought to think about Christ. He is the Messiah, God’s Anointed One. He became man, thus coming down close to us.

Then He is the Son of God, divine; possessing all power, infinite in His love and grace, able to do for us all that we need, and to lift us up to eternal life and glory. So we have here a most comprehensive creed.

If our belief is like Peter’s, and if Christ is all to us in our life that we make Him in our creed, we are resting on the rock. But we must make sure that we have Christ in our life as well as in our creed.