endurance

 

April 1, Saturday 2017

 

There was a division in the crowd because of him. -John 7:43

I define faith as the power of continuing to believe what we once honestly thought to be true until cogent reasons for honestly changing our minds are brought before us. The difficulty of such continuing to believe is constantly ignored or misunderstood in discussions of this subject. It is always assumed that the difficulties of faith are intellectual difficulties, that a man who has once accepted a certain proposition will automatically go on believing it till real grounds for disbelief occur. Nothing could be more superficial. How many of the freshmen who come up to Oxford from religious homes and lose their Christianity in the first year have been honestly argued out of it? How many of our own sudden temporary losses of faith have a rational basis which would stand examination for a moment? I don't know how it is with others, but I find that mere change of scene always has a tendency to decrease my faith at first- God is less credible when I pray in a hotel bedroom than when I am at College. The society of unbelievers makes Faith harder even when they are people whose opinions, on any other subject, are known to be worthless. 

God, strengthen my faith so that the worthless opinions of others will not sway me. May your will be done in me, no matter what.