Three Levels of Faith

Rob and I are walking through a storm right now that came up suddenly and without warning. I wish I could tell you that I have not been afraid of the storm. But I would not be telling the truth. This week I have been desperate to hear my Sweet Jesus' voice. I have realized again how lost I am without Him and how frightening life can be if I cannot see very far ahead of me. This is a week when my prayers have been frightened whispers in the night as we walk a road that is broken and full of unknowns.

I have gone back to some of my favorite mentors in the faith--Charles Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, and Mrs. L.B. Cowmen, whose comforting words let me know that I am not the first one who has felt this way. I wanted to share an entry in her book, Streams in the Desert, because I know that someone else needs to hear these words:

"There are three levels of faith in the Christian experience. The first is being able to believe only when we see some sign or have some strong emotion. This may be genuine faith, but it is imperfect. It is continually looking tonfeelings or some other sign instead of the Word of God. We have taken a great step toward maturity when we trust God without relying on our feelings...

While the first level of faith believes when our emotions are favorable, the second believes when all feelings are absent. And the third level transcends the other two, for it is faith that believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all seem to urge to the contrary."

I am realizing how much I rely on feelings, a sign, a clear assurance of His favor. I have heard Him ask, in the middle of the tempest,

"Shawn, I am perfectly trustworthy. Can I trust you to believe that even when you don't clearly see My face or know where I am leading you?"

And, like the father in the gospel of Mark whom Jesus confronted about his level of faith in Christ's desire to heal his son, I keep saying over and over again, with my whole heart,

Lord, I believe! Help me in my unbelief!

Mark 9:24

Be still my soul! The winds and waves still know,
His voice who ruled them,
While He dwelt below.

Katherina von Schlegel