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May 28, 2024

Live By Faith, Not By Feeling

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How do you start reading the Bible?

The book Encouragement for the Depressed is based on a classic sermon from C. H. Spurgeon, delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London on the evening of August 27, 1871. Spurgeon battled discouragement himself for most of his years of ministry, and he was well acquainted with how to gently encourage others who were downtrodden. He himself had learned to hold fast to the promises of God in his own struggles, and so he encouraged others to cast their burdens on the Lord, knowing that He is steadfast and will comfort His children as they walk with Him.

Here is an excerpt of Spurgeon’s sermon, based on Zechariah 4:10 that says, “For who hath despised the day of small things?” :

You have but small faith, and that faith, being small, your feelings are very variable. I often hear this from young beginners in the divine life: “I was so happy a month ago, but I have lost that happiness now.” Perhaps tomorrow, after they have been at the house of God, they will be as cheerful as possible, but the next day their joy will be gone. Beware, my dear Christian friends, of living by feeling. John Bunyan puts down Mr. Live-by-Feeling as one of the worst enemies of the town of Mansoul. I think he said he was hanged. I am afraid he, somehow or other, escaped from the executioner, for I very commonly meet him, and there is no villain that hates the souls of men and causes more sorrow to the people of God than this Mr. Live-by-Feeling.

He that lives by feeling will be happy today and unhappy tomorrow; and if our salvation depended upon our feelings, we should be lost one day and saved another, for they are as fickle as the weather, and go up and down like a barometer. We live by faith, and if that faith be weak, bless God that weak faith is faith, and that weak faith is true faith. If thou believest in Christ Jesus, though thy faith be as a grain of mustard seed, it will save thee, and it will, by and by, grow into something stronger. A diamond is a diamond, and the smallest scrap of it is of the same nature as [the British Crown Jewels], and he that hath but little faith hath faith for all that; and it is not great faith that is essential to salvation, but faith that links the soul to Christ; and that soul is, therefore, saved.

Instead of mourning so much that they faith is not strong, bless God that thou hast any faith at all, for if he sees that thou despisest the faith he has given thee, it may be long before he gives thee more. Prize that little, and when he sees that thou art so glad and thankful for that little, then will he multiply it and increase it, and thy faith shall mount even to the full assurance of faith.


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