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Active Faith


"If thou canst believe, all things are possible. to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).


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



The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert.

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