HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fails not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32).
Our faith is the centre of the target at which God doth shoot when He tries us; and if any other grace shall escape untried, certainly faith shall not. There is no way of piercing faith to its very marrow like the sticking of the arrow of desertion into it; this finds it out whether it be of the immortals or no. Strip it of its armour of conscious enjoyment, and suffer the terrors of the Lord to set themselves in array against it, and that is faith indeed which can escape unhurt from the midst of the attack. Faith must be tried, and seeming desertion is the furnace, heated seven times, into which it might be thrust. Blest the man who can endure the ordeal!
Paul said, “I have kept the faith,” but he lost his head! They cut that off, but it didn’t touch his faith. He rejoiced in three things–this great Apostle to the Gentiles; he had “fought a good fight,” he had “finished his course,” he had “kept the faith.” What did all the rest amount to? St. Paul won the race; he gained the prize, and he has not only the admiration of earth today but the admiration of Heaven. Why do we not act as if it paid to lose all to win Christ? Why are we not loyal to the truth as he was? Ah, we haven’t his arithmetic. He counted differently from us; we count the things gain that he counted loss. We must have his faith, and keep it if we would wear the same crown.
So many of us are distracted by the things around us, the positions, the titles, the clothes and property. They are an earthly possession that they put in front of the Word of God. I pity some of them because they cannot read to defend their own cause, but rely on others who read but without an understanding. Oh that we forsake all and say like Paul I have kept the faith and he, Paul ran a very good race. If you look at his past you will never see the crown. Yes God targeted his faith and in the end, he won the prize.