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Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, pt. 3

In her chapter, "How to Enter In," Hannah W. Smith wrote:

Jesus saves me now. It is He.

Jesus saves me now. It is His work to save.

Jesus saves me now. I am the one to be saved.

Jesus saves me now. He is doing it every moment.

Let us sum this up. In order to enter into this blessed interior life of rest and triumph, you have two steps to take: first, entire abandonment, and second, absolute faith. No matter what the complications of your experience, no matter what your difficulties, or your surroundings, or your "peculiar temperament," these two steps will certainly bring you out into the green pastures and still waters of this life hid with Christ in God. You may be perfectly sure of this. And if you will let every other consideration go, and simply devote your attention to these two points, your progress will be rapid, and your soul will reach its desired haven far sooner than you can now think possible.

In "Difficulties Concerning Faith," she wrote:

Your idea of faith, I suppose, has been something like this. You have looked upon it as in some way a sort of thing, either a religious exercise of soul, or an inward gracious disposition of heart; something tangible, in fact, which, when you have secured it, you can look at and rejoice over, and use as a passport to God's favor, or a coin with which to purchase His gifts. And you have been praying for faith, expecting all the while to get something like this, and never having received any such thing, you are insisting upon it that you have no faith. Now faith, in fact, is not in the least this sort of thing. It is nothing at all tangible. It is simply believing God, and, like sight, it is nothing apart from its object. You might as well shut your eyes and look inside to see whether you have sight, as to look inside to discover whether you have faith. You see something, and thus know that you have sight; you believe something, and thus know that you have faith. For, as sight is only seeing, so faith is only believing. And as the only necessary thing about seeing is, that you see the thing as it is, so the only necessary thing about believing is, at you believe the thing as it is. The virtue does not lie in your believing, but in the thing you believe. If you believe the truth you are saved; if you believe a lie you are lost. The believing in both cases is the same; the things believed in are exactly opposite, and it is this which makes the mighty difference. Your salvation comes, not because your faith saves you, but because it links you to the Saviour who saves; and your believing is really nothing but the link.

. . .

You would not be able to live in this world and go through the customary routine of life a single day, if you could not trust your fellow-men. And it never enters into your head to say you cannot. But yet you do not hesitate to say, continually, that you cannot trust your God! And you excuse yourself by the plea that you are "a poor weak creature" and "have no faith."

This series, excerpting the classic book by Hannah Whitall Smith, began here, and continued here.

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