“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
“Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23).
What is faith? In the simplest manner in which I am able to express it, I answer: Faith is the assurance that the thing which God has said in His Word is true, and that God will act according to what He has said in His Word. This assurance, this reliance on God’s Word, this confidence is faith. No impressions are to be taken in connection with faith. Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do with faith. Faith has to do with the Word of God. It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make any difference. We have to do with the written Word and not ourselves or our impressions.
Probabilities are not to be taken into account. Many people are willing to believe regarding those things that seem probable to them. Faith has nothing to do with probabilities. The province of faith begins where probabilities cease and sight and sense fail. A great many of God’s children are cast down and lament their want of faith. They say that they have no impressions, no feelings, they see no probability that the thing they wish will come to pass. Appearances are not to be taken into account. The question is—whether God has spoken it in His Word.
And now, beloved Christian friends, you are in great need to ask yourselves whether you are in the habit of thus confiding, in your inmost soul, in what God has said in His Word, and whether you are in earnest in seeking to find whether the thing you want is in accordance with what He has said in His Word.—George Müller.
When the great missionary, John G. Paton, was translating the Scriptures for his South Sea Islanders, apparently there was no word for “believe” in their native tongue. For a long while he was well-nigh baffled. One day a native came into his study, and, tired out, flung himself down on a chair, rested his feet on another chair, and lay back full length, saying as he did so something about how good it was to lean his whole weight on those chairs. Instantly Dr. Paton noted the word the man had used for “lean his whole weight on.” The missionary had his word thereafter in translating the Scriptures. Try it for yourself and see, in any verse that uses the word “believe.”