149 – The Difficulty of Faith
Who, said one of a company, would really refuse to trust the blessed God?
None of us, certainly, said Gotthold, so long as he has also faith in his own hand or purse; otherwise, to trust in God is a difficult, nay, an impossible task, for an earthly-minded, sinful, and timid heart. Such a heart cannot trust God without God’s help, nor depend upon His grace without His grace’s aid.
Faith has many enemies and gainsayers; and therefore it is a fight, and only keeps its ground by fighting. It has to comprehend the great God and His whole heaven in a little heart; and that is no easy task. A mother takes and carries about her child in her arms; soothes, fondles, kisses it; gives it meat and drink, and is very patient with it. But how long is it ere the child, on its part, learns to know the mother, returns her embraces and smiles, and shows her love and respect?
For myself, I can say with thankfulness, that now, through many trials, conflicts, struggles, temptations, sighs, and prayers, I have come so far, that I am beginning to believe that God is my gracious Father, and that I have an interest in the crucified Jesus, and in His merits, blood, and death. This is a lesson which I learn from day to day. Like a tender infant at the mother’s breast, I lie at the Savior’s wounds, and imbibe from them His blood and spirit, that I may grow in strength. Lord, I believe: help Thou my unbelief!
Christian Scriver was a Minister in Magdeburg. In 1671 he published Invisible Things Understood by Things That Are Made, also known as Gotthold’s Emblems. The short book has been beloved for centuries.