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O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink

The last few months I have had the opportunity to study the Bible with the aged. We have been working our way through the book of John and this evening we arrived at chapter 11 “The Death of Lazarus.” Prior to diving into the Word we discuss and sing a hymn that one of the dear attendees chooses.

By God’s providence she searches out a hymn that correlates with the passage at hand and this evening she chose “O For A Faith that Will Not Shrink.” I wish I could bring you into the room this evening. As I sat around a table with precious aged souls who are all beyond the years double my age and heard the words of this song roll off their lips a bittersweet conviction swept over me. Do Hannah’s actions and words reveal her faith?

O, for a faith that will not shrink,

Tho' pressed by every foe,

That will not tremble on the brink

Of any earthly woe!

That will not murmur nor complain

Beneath the chastening rod,

But, in the hour of grief or pain,

Will lean upon its God.

A faith that shines more bright and clear

When tempests rage without;

That when in danger knows no fear,

In darkness feels no doubt.

Lord, give us such a faith as this,

And then, whate’er may come,

We’ll taste, e’en here, the hallowed bliss

Of an eternal home.

This hymn strikes a chord in most Christians, for we often find ourselves worrying when we should be worshipping and waiting. The German Christian, George Mueller, was a man who learned to replace fear with faith. When asked about his ability to trust God in crises, he replied, “My faith is the same faith, which is found in every believer. It has been increased little by little for the last 26 years. Many times when I could have gone insane from worry, I was at peace because my soul believed the truth of God’s promises. God’s Word, together with the whole character of God, as He has revealed Himself, settles all questions. His unchangeable love and His infinite wisdom calmed me…It is written ‘He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.’”[1]

My readers, my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, does your faith reveal to the world your belief in the truth of God’s promises, His Word, His character? As I heard and read the line “I will not murmur nor complain” an ache welled up in my soul. My conversations, my thoughts within my mind, and my speech do not always align with that which I know to be true of my revealed Messiah, my God. Why do I fear? Why do I worry? Why do I become anxious? Why do I murmur and complain? Because my faith lacks (Luke 17:5-6). My actions reveal that I truly do not have complete trust and confidence in my Lord, a man who raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11). A man who laid down His life for my sins and raised Himself up again (John 19-20). Woe is me of little faith (Matthew 8:26).

To those reading take heart. Rejoice in the revelation of the sweet convictions the Lord brings our way! Take time to reflect on what your thoughts and actions reveal about what you actually believe about God! There is no need for doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, stress, or complaining for those who are in Christ! It is time to bolster your faith my friends. Hope and trust in the mighty power of God who raises men from death to life (Ephesians 2).

Stop living like the world, like those without hope, like those who have not seen the truth. Start living in the light of that which God has revealed and pray with me that our faith will not shrink, we will not murmur nor complain, and we will solely trust in our Lord, our Savior, and our God all for His glory! Amen

[1] Robert J. Morgan. Then Sings My Soul. (Nashville: W. Publishing Group, 2011), 103.

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