Ongoing faith is essential for answered prayer, effective service, spiritual stability and real communion with God. This book answers many questions about faith, such as: How may we assess the state of our faith? How can faith be strengthened? What are the most dangerous doubts? How should difficult doubts be handled? What is the biblical attitude to trials? How can we tell if troubles are intended to chastise or to refine? What can be done to obtain assurance? Can a believer commit the unpardonable sin? Exactly how is the Lord’s presence felt?
Faith, Doubts, Trials Assurance
To possess only a small degree of faith is a major catastrophe for Christian believers, because faith is central and crucial to the spiritual life and the key to proving the Lord. This chapter is not about saving faith, but the ongoing faith which is essential for answered prayer, effective service, spiritual stability, and real communion with Christ. What a sad situation it is when our faith must be described by our Saviour as ‘little faith’, a feeble, shrivelled, diminutive trust in Him.
A low level of happiness in spiritual things is a sure sign of a low level of faith, for when we are convinced about the wonderful things of God we cannot help being thrilled and warmed by them. In Philippians 1.25 Paul says – ‘I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith.’ Active faith here is linked with progress and enjoyment, for it brings tremendous spiritual pleasure. So how depleted is our faith? How urgently does it need repair and revitalisation? If the test-questions suggested here lead to discouragement, the next chapter proposes remedial steps for the rebuilding of faith.
Table of Contents
1. Testing Our Level of Faith
2. Eight Ways to Strengthen Faith
3. Faith’s Companion Virtues
4. The Causes of Peter’s Little Faith
5. Causes and Cure of Doubts
6. The Shipwreck of Paul and the Trials of Believers
7. Do We have a Personal Thorn?
8. Is My Trouble a Reproof or a Trial?
9. Gaining and Keeping Assurance
10. Assurance and Gratitude
11. Assurance and the Unpardonable Sin
12. Feeling the Presence of the Lord