William H. Bathurst, 1796-1877

And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Luke 17:5 & 6

When the world seems at its worst, Christians must be at their best. ~Author Unknown

Discouragement can easily cause our faith to shrink, and we may even at times consider quitting our service for God. Perhaps we have all experienced these sentiments:

I've taught a class for many years;
Born many burdens, toiled through tears--
But folks don't notice me a bit;
So I'm discouraged...I'll just quit.

~Author Unknown

One of the chief characteristics of spiritual maturity is the ability to persevere--even in the face of adversity. God often permits difficulties to come into our lives simply to allow our faith in Him to become stronger. A faith that is never tested and strengthened soon becomes a shrinking one. But if our faith is real, it will stand every test and prove to be an overcoming faith.

This hymn text, which is an exposition of Luke 17:5, is from William Bathurst's Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use. The song was originally titled "The Power of Faith". The first three stanzas describe a victorious faith amidst some of the most difficult circumstances in life. The final stanza affirms the believer's desire to have such trust that even now life becomes a foretaste of Heaven itself.

William Hiley Bathurst was a minister who wrote more than 200 hymn texts. The composer of one arrangement of the music, William H. Havergal, father of Frances Ridley Havergal, was also a prominent minister and writer of many hymns.

O, for a faith that will not shrink,
Though 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.

That bears, unmoved, the world’s dread frown
Nor heeds its scornful smile;
That seas of trouble cannot drown,
Nor Satan’s arts beguile.

A faith that keeps the narrow way
Till life’s last hour is fled,
And with a pure and heavenly ray
Lights up a dying bed.

Lord, give me such a faith as this,
And then, whate’er may come,
I’ll taste, e’en here, the hallowed bliss
Of an eternal Home.

*For Today*: Romans 1:17; Galatians 6:9; Ephesians 6:16; II Timothy 1:7

Ponder this question--Could I stand to lose everything and still have an implicit faith in God and know with certainty that He is in abolute control?

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal--the same melody as "Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee"

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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