Streams in the Desert - Feb 22

by L. B. E. Cowman and Jim Reimann

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“If you can”? . . . Everything is possible for him who believes. (Mark 9: 23)

I seldom have heard a better definition of faith than that given in one of our meetings, by a sweet, elderly black woman, as she answered a young man who asked, “How do I obtain the Lord’s help for my needs?”

In her characteristic way, pointing her finger toward him, she said with great insistence, “You just have to believe that He’s done it and it’s done.” The greatest problem with most of us is, after asking Him to do it, we do not believe it is done. Instead, we keep trying to help Him, get others to help Him, and anxiously wait to see how He is going to work.

Faith adds its “Amen” to God’s “Yes” and then takes its hands off, leaving God to finish His work. The language of faith is, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this” (Ps. 37: 5).
~from Days of Heaven upon Earth

I simply take Him at His word,
I praise Him that my prayer is heard,
And claim my answer from the Lord;
I take, He undertakes.
Active faith gives thanks for a promise even though it is not yet performed, knowing that God’s contracts are as good as cash.
~Matthew Henry

Passive faith accepts the Word as true—
But never moves.
Active faith begins the work to do,
And thereby proves.
Passive faith says, “I believe it! every word of God is true.
Well I know He has not spoken what He cannot, will not, do.
He has instructed me, ‘Go forward!’ but a closed-up way I see,
When the waters are divided, soon in Canaan’s land I’ll be.
Lo! I hear His voice commanding, ‘Rise and walk: take up your bed’;
And, ‘Stretch to Me your withered hand!’ which for so long has been dead.
When I am a little stronger, then, I know I’ll surely stand:
When there comes a thrill of healing, I will use with ease my reclaimed hand.
Yes, I know that ‘God is able’ and full willing all to do:
I believe that every promise, sometime, will to me come true.”
Active faith says, “I believe it! and the promise now I take,
Knowing well, as I receive it, God, each promise, real will make.
So I step into the waters, finding there an open way;
Onward press, the land possessing; nothing can my progress stay.
Yes, I rise at His commanding, walking straight, and joyfully:
This, my hand so sadly shriveled, as I reach, restored will be.
What beyond His faithful promise, would I wish or do I need?
Looking not for ‘signs or wonders,’ I’ll no contradiction heed.
Well I know that ‘God is able,’ and full willing all to do:
I believe that every promise, at this moment can come true.”
Passive faith but praises in the light,
When sun does shine.
Active faith will praise in darkest night—
Which faith is thine?


Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim; (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 85-86). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Categories: spiritual