From Streams in the Desert Vol. 2, June 9,
by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
“If Thou Canst Believe…”
“…all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23)
What should be the attitude of a Christian when placed in a difficult and trying situation—a place of severe testing? There can be but one attitude! A simple and unwavering trust in God! A refusal to look at the difficult circumstance, but above it. The only sure way to do this is to live very close to God. As the turbo-supercharger enables an airplane to maintain full power at an altitude of thirty thousand feet, where an ordinary plane has lost four-fifths of its power, so the Christian who walks with his God, listening and obeying, keeps strong at the toughest heights of life. The fact is that God is stronger than any temptation and danger; and the person who has God in his heart is unconquerable.
It is true that God often seems to place His children in positions of profound difficulty, leading them into a tight corner—from which there is no way of escape—contriving a situation which no human judgment would have permitted.
During such periods, the words of Jesus quoted above take on added significance. It should be clearly understood that this kind of faith in God is the most practical approach to the problems and testings of life—it is not sense, or sight, or reason, but taking God at His word. Experience reveals that such a faith will not make the sun rise sooner, but it will make the night seem shorter.
A story is told by Francis Browne of a little pilgrim band sitting by the seashore recounting their losses, while one tells of a ship that went down with all his household, and another, the sweet memories of a lost youth, and others of vanished gold, of proud honors gone, and of faithless friends: “a stranger seeming from all sorrow free,” said:
“ ‘Sad losses have ye met,
But mine is heavier yet.
For a believing heart hath gone from me.’
“ ‘Alas!’ said the pilgrims: ‘Thine, stranger, is life’s last and heaviest loss.’ ”
Life’s greatest loss is the loss of faith. “Christ’s anxiety to retain Peter’s faith,” says one writer, “can only be explained one way. He did not interfere between him and failure, but He did interfere between him and the loss of faith. A man is lost when honor, truth, and character are gone; but when faith has gone, he has suffered the greatest loss.”