by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
The character of faith
What is the nature of faith? ... Faith, obviously, is not a mere matter of feeling...; if faith were a matter of feelings only, then when things go wrong and feelings change, faith will go. But faith is not a matter of feelings only; faith takes up the whole man including his mind, his intellect, and his understanding. It is a response to truth, as we shall see....
Faith is not something that acts automatically ... magically.... Many people conceive of faith as if it were something similar to those thermostats which you have in connection with a heating apparatus. You set your thermostat at a given level ... and it acts automatically.... Now there are many people who seem to think that faith acts like that. They assume that it does not matter what happens to them, that faith will operate and all will be well. Faith, however, is not something that acts magically or automatically. If it did, [the disciples, during the storm on Galilee—Luke 8:22-5] would never have been in trouble, faith would have come into operation, and they would have been calm and quiet and all would have been well. But faith is not like that....
What is faith? Let us look at it positively. The principle taught here is that faith is an activity; it is something that has to be exercised. It does not come into operation itself; you and I have to put it into operation.... That is exactly what our Lord said to these men. He said: "Where is your faith?" which means, "Why are you not taking your faith and applying it to this position?" ...Faith is a refusal to panic.... Does that seem to be too earthy and not sufficiently spiritual? It is of the very essence of faith.
Spiritual Depression, pp. 142-3
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
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