LIFE OF FAITH
H. H. POPE SHENOUDA III
: Life of Faith
: H. H. Pope Shenouda Ill.
: Dar El Tebaa El Kawmia.
: August 1989 - First edition.
Legal Deposit No.: 5606/1989
: COEPA 1997
H.H. Pope Shenouda III, 117th Pope of
Alexandria and the See of St. Mark
How Great Faith Is
What is Faith? Conviction of Unseen Realities
Degrees and Kinds of Faith
The Relationship of Faith with Peace and Fearlessness
The Relationship of Faith with Purity of the Heart
Simplicity of Faith
Obedience of Faith or a Life of Submission
Not knowing where to go to
What Strengthens the Faith
What Weakens the Faith
The Test of Faith (Are you in faith?)
In the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit One God. Amen.
Faith is not merely adopting a set of beliefs that you may say in
the "Creed", but a way of life or adherence to that which leads
To what benefit is believing in God without having a
relationship with him, obeying and loving Him?
In addition, what is the benefit of believing in eternity and in life
after death if one does not prepare for it by repentance, spiritual
vigil, and loving God?
And to what benefit is believing in virtues if one does not live
them? Therefore there is a big difference between theoretical
faith which does not save the soul, and practical faith, the fruits
of which are evident in one's life.
This book was written to explain to you the meaning of faith, its
stages and types and its importance in our lives and its
St. Paul wrote, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in
the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves" (2 Cor.
Not everyone who says he believes has faith, but is measured
according to God's saying "You will know them by their fruits"
There are those who claim to have faith, but have neither the
heart nor the life of a believer. So what then is the life of a
The life of faith is linked with peace, tranquillity and lack of
fear, for when you become afraid, then the Lord will say to you
"O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matt. 14:31).
The life of a believer is also associated with purity of behaviour,
for the believer feels the presence of God, who sees, hears and
records all that he does. For this reason the believer feels
ashamed and afraid of wrong doing in front of God.
The life of a believer is a life of submission to the will of God.
Having faith that God is the maker of all things, and all that He
permits to happen is for our own good. In this way, God's
children live in peace, happiness and satisfaction with all that
God grants them.
The life of faith does not believe anything is impossible for the
Lord, who said, "All things are possible to him who believes"
Therefore the believer does not quiver in times of distress, but
believes wholeheartedly that God has many solutions, and will
interfere to fulfil His will.
The believer does not enter into an argument with God about
His doing, but accepts all things and confidence in God's
wisdom and love.
The believer concentrates on the unseen than the visible things,
"For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things
which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:18).
The heroes of faith are not only those who defended their faith,
but also those who lived a fruitful life of faith that worked in
This book before you, gives you a clarified ideas on the life of
faith, how it acquired, and how to test if you are really in faith
Pope Shenouda III
HOW GREAT IS FAITH
The importance of faith is clearly seen in the apostle's words
about the Lord, "But without faith it is impossible to please
Him" (Heb. 11:6).
The importance of faith also shows in the apostle's description
as one of the three great virtues "faith, hope and love" (1 Cor.
13:13) and the life of righteousness "Now the just shall live by
faith" (Heb. 10:38).
Faith is the beginning of the road which leads to God, for how
can you be united with God and God in you, to walk with Him
and keep His commandments, if first, you do not believe in His
existence, His divinity or in His book the Bible and all that it
Thus, faith is the beginning of the road to God and an
elementary necessity for salvation according to the Lord
Himself "He who believes and is baptised will be saved" (Mark
16:16). "That whoever believes in Him should not perish but
have everlasting life" (John 3:16). "He who believes in Him is
not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned
already" (John 3:18). He also reprimanded the Jews by saying,
"You will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am
He" (John 8:24).
Salvation is available to every one through the blood of our
Lord Jesus, but it can not save without faith. As St. Paul and
Silas said to the Jail keeper "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:31).
Through this faith, the gospels were written and preached by
John, the evangelist inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote "But
these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His
name" (John 20:31).
Faith is the beginning of a life with God. Faith is also our
companion throughout our lives, and the importance of faith in
its relationship with righteousness.
Thus spoke the apostle about righteousness that was credited to
faith "By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of
the righteousness that comes by faith" (Heb. 11:7). And about
faith that was credited to righteousness, "And it was credited to
him as righteousness" (James 2:23). The Bible also speaks of
justification by faith, "Therefore, having been justified by
faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"
Faith is a necessity to miracles and their acceptance. How great
is our Lord's saying to the blind man of Jericho when He said,
"Your faith has healed you" (Luke 18:42, Mark 10:52). And
His saying to the man with leprosy, "Your faith has made you
well" (Luke 17:19). To the sick woman He said, "Take heart
daughter, your faith has healed you" (Matt. 9:22). When He
heard the two blind men shouting "Have mercy on us, Son of
David" (Matt. 9:29), He said to them, "According to your faith
will it be done to you" and their sight was restored.
On the other hand, we see the Lord in His home town that "He
did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith"
The power of God can do miracles for you, but it awaits your
faith. He will grant you according to your faith. For this reason,
miracles happen to some and not to others although the power
of God is the same.
What about he, who is weak in faith? He has to pray as did the
boy's father who said, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"
(Mark 9:24). Here we see that God performs miracles in general
according to faith, but on other occasions, He performs miracle
that we may believe. In both cases faith is coupled with the
miracle, either it comes before or is caused of it.
Faith, regardless of type, is a source of power.
It is sufficient that a person believes in an idea, so you see him
working with Christ's power to carry it through. Faith gives him
perseverance, might and courage which he would not have
Thus, where there is faith there is power. A prayer in faith is a
strong prayer. He who believes in prayer and its effect prays
with warmth, assurance and power. A sermon preached by a
person who believes in every word, makes a strong sermon, and
through it, his faith is transmitted to the hearts of his listeners.
The importance of faith lies in its association with many virtues.
The fruits of faith are strength, peace, courage, tranquillity and
restfulness. Its fruits are a life of purity and righteousness, a life
of submission and devotion to God, a life of prayer and many
A few questions then come into mind:
-What is faith?
-What is faith, the basis of salvation and redemption?
-What is faith, the basis of all these virtues?
-What is faith, the basis of miracles and God's words who said,
"Everything is possible for him who believes" (Mark 9:23)?
WHAT IS FAITH?
Any worshipper of God can use the word `faith' if when he
does not believe in the Truth. He may have the name of a
believer, but does not have the heart of one.
Faith does not automatically make you a believer if you are born
a family which believes in the existence of God. But faith has a
much deeper than this, it encompasses the whole spiritual life,
At one occasion, the disciples of the Lord were unable to heal a
epileptic boy from the demon, so they asked the Lord for the
reason and He answered them "Because of your unbelief"
(Matt. 17:20) and rebuked them by saying "O faithless and
perverse generation" (Matt 17:17).
A generation be unbelievers, which God came for, but where
they really unbelievers? How alarming! Here the Lord says to
His disciples "I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it
will move" (Matt. 17:20). Truly, what is this faith of a seed
which can move a mountain? As the apostle says "Examine
yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves"
(2 Cor. 13:5).
The Bible tells us of something strange, more dangerous... what
is it? It is the state of a human being who seems to be believing
in God, he prays and performs miracles but he does not believe
in Truth! and even not accepted in the eyes of God! Here is
what the Lord Himself said "Not everyone who says to Me,
`Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 7:21).
The Lord continues "Many will say to Me in that day, `Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons
in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And
then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me,
you who practice lawlessness!' (Matt.7:22-23).
What shall we call those who say 'Lord, Lord... in your name
we did this and that'? Are they really believers? Maybe it's only
an apparent faith, or faith by name, or only mental faith, but it's
not the real faith accepted by God.
What then is the real faith which is accepted in the eyes of the
Lord? We ask Him and He answers "Not everyone who says to
Me, `Lord, Lord,' ... but he who does the will of My Father in
heaven " (Matt. 7:21). This also reminds us of the story of the
five virgins who also used the expression 'Lord, Lord,...' and
they stood behind the closed door saying "Lord, Lord open the
door for us", and they heard from the Lord the clear and
terrifying answer "I tell you the truth, I don't know you".
The expression 'Lord, Lord' does not necessarily help if you are
awaiting the bridegroom with a lamp without oil, or if you
arrive after the door is closed.
Therefore what is faith? and what is its connection to oil which
signifies the Holy Spirit? and what is its connection with the will
of God who is in heaven?
This faith is alive and is accepted by God as we'll see later...
Faith is not simply a belief but also a life.
You can test it by its fruits in your life... as the Lord said "You
will know them by their fruits....every good tree bears good
fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Therefore by their fruits
you will know them" (Matt. 7:16-20).
This is how you can test yourself: Does your faith bear fruit?
Because 'by their fruits you will recognise them'.
This is what John the evangelist teaches us "Now by this we
know that we know Him" how? "If we keep His
commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep
His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him " (1
John 2:3-4). Faith is tested through a life of obedience to God's
commandments, and he who does not have this obedience is not
considered a believer of Truth, and can not claim to know God.
The apostle Paul lists in his letter to the Hebrews (Heb. 11)
wonderful examples of faithful men. They show practical faith
in their private lives. Enoch for example; the bible did not say
that he defended his belief like other heroes of faith. But Enoch
was a hero of faith because he "He pleased God." (Heb. 11:5)
and "Walked with God" (Gen. 5:22,24).
You may not be as spiritually knowledgeable as were the
apostles, but no doubt you can also lead the same life as our
father Enoch, who walked with God. You can live like other
men of faith who St. Paul mentioned "They were strangers and
pilgrims on the earth... they desire a better, that is, a heavenly
country." (Heb 11: 13,16).
Our father Abraham was a man of faith who "Obeyed when he
was called to go out " (Heb. 11: 8), and went out after God
"Not knowing where he was going." He was a man of faith in
accepting God's timing and even when he was to sacrifice his
only son, confident that God can raise the dead (Heb. 11:17-
His wife Sarah is also considered a hero of faith because she
believed the Lord for "She judged Him faithful who had
promised." (Heb 11:11).
Heroes of faith are not only those who defended their belief, but
are also those who believed in the Lord, walked with Him, who
were righteous and pleased Him (Heb. 11:33). Also those who
"Were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might
obtain a better resurrection." and those who "Had trial of
mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and
imprisonment. .. of whom the world was not worthy " (Heb.
11:35-38) "And all these, having obtained a good testimony
through faith" (Heb. 11:39). In all these examples, the bible
gives us a wide spectrum of the meaning of faith.
Paul tells us that faith "Is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1).
You hope for many things after death. You hope for eternal life
with angels and the saints, to see the Lord in Paradise and
resurrect from the dead into a spiritual body. You desire eternal
peace after the general resurrection. Faith is without any doubt,
complete confidence that these matters exist without having
Faith Is Beyond The Level Of Our Senses
Faith does not contradict but beyond our senses. Faith is a
higher power than our limited senses. Our senses are only
capable of detecting physical or materialistic things, but there
are other matters, which are beyond the material sense. The
senses are also limited in what they can physically detect.
Instruments are often used to sense details and gain information
which the senses alone can not accomplish. How much more is
it for the non-physical, which the apostle called "invisible
things". Faith is not what is seen by the human eye (2 Cor. 5:7).
The soul can not be seen or felt by the senses. The fact that the
senses do not feel the soul does not mean that it does not exist
but rather, unable to detect it. The senses are limited in scope
and the level of the soul.
Faith Is Beyond The Level Of The Intellect
The intellect may guide you to the beginning of the way but
faith continues with you on the way to the end. Faith does not
contradict the intellect, but leads it to a higher level the mind
alone cannot reach.
What the mind cannot understand is called unattainable. We
often describe God as infinite because He has no limit. The
human mind is limited, and can only understand the limited
matters. The mind can bring you to know God and some of His
qualities but of faith, "God has revealed... to us through His
Spirit." (1 Cor. 2:10). God shows Himself to the believer to
what they can bear to comprehend.
The mind may not grasp many things but must accept them. By
nature, the mind does not refuse all that it does not understand.
There are for example in our physical world, many inventions
only experts can understand. In spite of this, the normal mind
can accept and deal with these things without knowing how
they work. The mind accepts death, and speaks about it, but
does not understand it.
If the mind accepts many things in our world without
understanding them, then clearly nothing should deprive the
mind from accepting other matters not of this world.
The mind does not understand how miracles happen, but it
accepts them and finds joy in them.
A miracle is called a miracle because the mind fails to grasp it
and cannot explain it. But the mind accepts it by faith... faith,
with infinite power, greater than that of the mind, can perform
things the mind fails to understand. This power is the power of
God the almighty.
We respect the mind, and at the same time we know its limits.
We can not accept the proud mind which desires to understand
all things, refusing that some are beyond comprehension.
The mind should be humble to know its limitation "For I say,
through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you,
not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but
to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of
faith" (Rom. 12.3). The mind should submit matters beyond its
level of understanding to faith.
If the mind wanted to nullify all that it does not understand it
would end up destroying itself, lose the element of faith and put
itself in a very narrow circle of very limited range of
Believers are moderate, they esteem the mind and use it in
religious and spiritual affairs. There are philosophers and people
of high intellect among the believers, who do not depend on the
mind in pride or trust in its ability to understand all things.
However, in simplicity and humility they confess that their
minds are limited and are unable to understand all this
associated with God. With faith, their hearts and minds accept
all that is beyond the level of the mind.
The simple and humble mind accepts faith and miracles.
We mean humble in the sense that the mind is not proud of its
own understanding or destroys all that is does not understand.
But does not complicate matters or insist on placing everything
within its own limits. We will refer to this point later when we
speak about the simplicity of faith.
Faith is not only a prayer said, but a life we live. If you are
living a life of faith, the fruits of faith apparent in your practical
life. Examine your faith against the virtues which are clear in the
believer's life and these are many. As the apostle says,
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith" (2
Conviction Of The Unseen
The apostle said about faith: "Faith is the substance of things
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). We
want to know what this verse means:
Conviction: is certainty, confidence and belief without doubt. It
is not simply an idea, opinion or knowledge gained from reading
or hearing about it, but certainty that unseen matters exist.
Here is a clear difference between believers and men of science.
The things that are not seen are not in the working field of the
researchers. If they are not sure of something, they investigate it
thoroughly with their instruments and apparatus. The same also
applies to men of material beliefs.
Believers are not like this, they follow God's saying "Blessed
are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John
The believer accepts the creation from nothing. The scientist's
research refuses this matter, and refuses that five loaves of
bread fed five thousand men (excluding the women and
children) and that twelve baskets full of bread where left over.
The believer accepts all this.
The believer accepts firstly that God is powerful. He also
accepts everything in a certain range of this unlimited power.
The believer frees himself from the doubts of the researches and
the investigations of the unbeliever. Not only does he accept the
unseen, but moreover, he lives according to and focuses his
mind and affection on the unseen according to what the
apostle's words. "While we do not look at the things which are
seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which
are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are
eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18).
You will ask, how can I see the hidden? And I tell you by faith.
What are then those unseen matters? The first is probably God
Himself, His qualities, His works, and all things pertaining to
1- God, His Qualities And Works
God is unseen, as John the evangelist said "No one has seen
God" (John 1:18). Actually who can see the divinity? No one!
However, in spite of this, you believe in Him with all your heart,
and with all certainty. This faith does not at all rely on your
physical senses. You may say you see Him with your trained
spiritual senses (Heb.5:14). This non-physical senses were
trained to see the unseen, and we have the following examples
from the Bible:
David said "I have set the Lord always before me; Because He
is at my right hand I shall not be moved." (Ps 16:8). So how
did he see the Lord in front of him and at his right hand all
times? No doubt he saw Him with an eye of faith. In some of
the translations it is written "I have seen the Lord...." that
means that he is continuously seeing the unseen and focusing on
Him with mind and feeling.
With the same meaning Elijah said "As the Lord of hosts lives,
before whom I stand"(1 Kin 18:15). How was he able to feel
that he stands before God? And how was he able to always see
the Lord in front of him? Not through the bodily senses since
they can not arouse a believer's heart. But it is by faith that the
Lord is before him. It is faith that sees the unseen.
If you are in faith, you will have confidence that God is always
before you and will act according to this belief, that God sees
you and hears you...
If you live in faith, you are sure that God is in the midst of His
people, according to His promise "...I am there in the midst of
them" (Matt. 18:20) and "I am with you always, even to the end
of the age." (Matt.28:20). You do not see Him with the eye of
your body, but you believe that He is in our midst. You do not
need to see Him physically to believe. You believe without
seeing, or you perceive the unseen.
What is a spiritual life my brothers and sisters? It is not simply a
shift from what is felt and visible to the unseen.
We live the unseen with confidence that He is in front of us.
This becomes the difference between the believer and the non-
The non-believer desires to see everything with his eyes, or else
he can not believe. The believer does not allow his eyes, senses,
or external happenings shape his beliefs. But his heart believes
in the existence of unseen matters. On one occasion, God
rebuked His disciple Thomas who would not believe without
seeing when God said to him "Do not be unbelieving, but
believing", "Because you have seen Me, you have believed.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed"
We mentioned earlier, faith in God is among the conviction of
unseen matters. Not only faith in the existence of God but also
faith in His attributes and in His works.
You believe in His goodness and choices for your good, the
almighty who has dominion over all things. You believe that He
is able to do everything, for "The things which are impossible
with men are possible with God" (Luke 18:27), and you believe
in God's love for you and for others.
You may not see all these qualities physically, but you believe in
them. You believe that God takes care of the universe, and
preserves its beauty. You believe that He labours and takes care
of every individual. You will either see His work or the results
of His work or you will not see anything at all.
2- The Timing Of God
The following were described as men of faith "These all died in
faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them
afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed
that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. " (Heb.
11:13), these people waited for the things promised in faith, and
believed in what the Lord said to them.
And things promised "Which God has prepared for those who
love Him" were all unseen matters, as explained by the apostle
as "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the
heart of man" (1 Cor. 2:9).
God's warnings are also unseen things. Noah believed the Lord
when He said that He will flood the whole world even though
floods were unknown to Noah. No flood had ever happened
before in his days or the days of his ancestors. However, he
believed that this which never happened before, would happen.
He laboured to complete the ark, enduring the mockery from
others, these were years of faith.
Noah heeded to the warning of God, and was therefore
considered a man of faith. Through faith he had seen the flood
before it happened. Through faith, he entered the ark with his
wife, his sons and his son's wives. Our teacher Saint Paul
teaches us, "By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not
yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving
of his household " (Heb. 11:7). The others, who did not heed
God's warning, and had no faith in God's truth were destroyed.
Lot and the city of Sidom also experienced God's warning
before it happened. As this was the first time that fire came
down from heaven, it was also the first time that a flood
happened in the time of Noah.
The people of Sidom who did not accept the warning of God
were destroyed as were who also did not believe it in the days
God's warning in regard to eternity and judgement lies ever
before us. Inspite of this, many are still immersed in evil and sin
as if God had not warned them. They do not fear God in their
hearts or judgement in eternity.
We spoke about God, His attributes and works, His promises
and warmings as unseen matters, we should also add that:
3- Dwelling Of The Spirit And His Work In Us Are Unseen
Samuel anointed David with oil and the spirit of the Lord came
upon him (2 Sam. 16:13). No one saw the unseen Spirit of the
lord, but it happened.
No one was able to see the Holy Spirit descend on the new
believers when the disciples place their hands on them (Acts
8:17). The Holy Spirit also came on those anointed (1 John
2:20,27). No one saw the Holy Spirit but its fruits showed in
You may be aware that there is an inner power working in you
and for you, without your seeing it. It is what the Lord said
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come
upon you" (Acts 1:8). This power, the power of the Holy Spirit,
guides you to do good, helps you and protects you from sin.
Here we say that our whole life becomes in fellowship with the
Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14).
What is this fellowship? How does it take place? How can we
be in fellowship with the Godly nature, this an unseen nature?
We believe in God's active spirit working in the church, we do
not see it but we believe in it.
The apostle said, "Do you not know that you are the temple of
God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"(1 Cor.3:16),
"Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy
Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?" (1 Cor. 6:19).
We do not see the Spirit, but we see its fruits.
The Lord said that through the fruits of the holy spirit, we can
stand before governors and kings, "For it is not you who speak,
but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you" (Matt. 10:20).
How does the Spirit of the Father Spirit speak through us? All
these things are unseen matters.
4- The Grace Of God In Us Are Things Unseen.
We attain visits of grace, which fill us with God's love. We do
not see it but we feel it. Grace working in us, is without doubt
is the work of the unseen things.
Saint John the evangelist said "Grace and truth came through
Jesus." (John 1: 17). What is this grace working in us? And the
grace that Saint John enjoyed. He said "But by the grace of God
I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain." (1
Cor. 15: 10), and he also says about us "For sin shall not have
dominion over you, for you are not under law but under
grace." (Rom. 6:14), and urges Timothy to "Be strong in the
grace that is in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim. 2: 1).
We do not see this grace with our physical eye, it is amongst the
unseen matters, but we feel its presence in our lives. The grace
of God in us is beyond our senses as we accept this grace from
God. The church grants grace every time it repeats Saint Paul's
words "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of
God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all." (2
Here we move to another point, the element of blessings
5- Blessing Are Unseen
A blessing can be directly from God, from parents, from the
church through the priest and all these are unseen matters.
God said to Abram father of fathers "I will make you a great
nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you
shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you ... And in
you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:2,3).
Abram saw the fruits of this unseen blessings in his life. Isaac
blessed his son Jacob and he became blessed. Esau lamented
because he lost this blessing (Gen.27). Jacob blessed Ephraim
and Manasseh by saying "The Angel who has redeemed me
from all evil, Bless the lads" (Gen. 48:16). Ephraim became
exceedingly blessed, more than his brother when Jacob placed
his right hand on Ephraim's head (Gen. 48:17-20).
What is this blessing? How was it passed from the hands of
Isaac and Jacob? How was it given through the apostles, and
from the hands of the men of faith?
All these unseen matters we believe in and in its blessings
although we do not see them. We ask for the blessings of our
mothers, fathers, from priests and men of God. Abram was a
blessing to the world according to the Lord's promise to him.
Joseph was also a blessing in the house of his master and to all
Egypt, as was the blessings of Elijah.
Through all the above examples, we would still be unable to
give a precise meaning to the word blessings, for it has wider
meaning than our limited vocabulary can describe. An unseen
matter, which we can only see its fruits. However, a blessing
itself, who can see it and define it?
How was Jesus Christ able to bless through His hands the five
loaves of bread and the two fish? This food given out was
enough to feed thousands of people, and despite this, twelve full
baskets were left over? How did this happen? What was the
cause and its effect?. All these things are unseen matters.
6-Faith In The Presence Of Angels And Their Works
We believe in the existence of angels, and the unseen spirits. We
may not have seen an angel in our whole life, but despite of this,
we believe they close to us "The angel of the Lord encamps all
around those who fear Him, And delivers them. " (Ps 34:7). We
believe that the angels fill the church, and have confidence that
they are with us in all that we do "Are they not all ministering
spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit
salvation?" (Heb. 1:14).
Many are glad if they see the Virgin Mary or the saints in a
It is far greater to believe that they are around you without
seeing them. It is not necessary that God sends you a white
dove during your evening church meetings, but you believe
without seeing that the church is full of the spirits of angels.
And the wings of the saints flutter upon it, the saints that God
sent to serve humanity.
Gehazi the disciple of Elisha was afraid when he saw the
enemies surrounding the city, but Elisha, the man with opened
eyes saw the angels defending the it against the enemy. He
comforted his disciple by saying "Do not fear, for those who are
with us are more than those who are with them" (2 Kin 6:16).
Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of Gehazi to see
and the conviction in unseen matters.
7- Belief In The Spirit And The Other World
We can not see the spirit, but presume its existence. When a
person dies, we say that his spirit, which we have not seen, has
left his body.
Faith is concerned with the destiny of this spirit, if it will go to
heaven or to hell. Likewise, with the return of this spirit to the
body in the general resurrection, and the destiny of the
resurrected person in eternity after the last judgment.
All these matters, the spirit, resurrection, eternity, judgment,
heaven, grace, hell, are all unseen matters and through faith we
have a conviction in those things. Actually, no one can speak
about the eternal life, and all things associated with it, except by
faith. Likewise, he who believes in the second life believes in
8- People Believed In The Coming Of Christ Without
Even the Samaritan woman said to the Lord "I know that
Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes,
He will tell us all things" (John 4:25).
Thus, everyone knew, according to God's promise that the
Messiah was coming. They were eagerly awaiting for Him.
They understood what had Isaiah said, "Behold, the virgin shall
conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel"
(Isaiah 7:14). They believed nevertheless, although they never
saw the Virgin.
The wait by the Old Testament people through faith for the
Messiah is like our wait for the Second Coming of Christ in the
New Testament. Waiting for Christ's Second Coming on the
clouds according to the Lord's promise (Mat. 24:25) and the
two angels who appeared to the disciples (Acts 1: 11).
We probably have not seen the Lord on the clouds in the glory
of His Father and His saints. And through faith, we believe in
His Second Coming in this form although we have never seen it.
9-Redemption Is Also From The Unseen Matters
Jesus redeemed us by taking away all our sins and dying for us
through His love "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have
turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on
Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6). John the Baptist also
said about Him "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the
sin of the world!" (John 1:29). John the evangelist said "And He
Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only
but also for the whole world." (1 John 2:2). St. Paul said
"Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was
against us." (Col.2:14), and "having made peace through the
blood of His cross" (Col. 1:20).
We only see the cross; some may see it superficially! But, all
gifts the cross has from love, redemption, forgiveness,
cancelling of the written code, taking away the sins of the
world, and also what the cross carries from peace, all these are
unseen matters. We see them through faith.
Peter - before believing in all this - saw the cross as loss and as
shame! Therefore he said "Never, Lord" (John 16:22). The
Lord rebuked him because Peter did not see the unseen
The cross represents the goodness of God to us. The rulers at
that time did not see this because their eyes were blinded, "For
had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of
glory." (1 Cor. 2:8).
10- The Hidden Benevolences Of God
We only thank God for the benevolences we see and know.
However, there are also unseen things we should thank Him for.
When we enter the life of faith we automatically enter in a life
of perpetual appreciation, as the apostle said "Giving thanks
always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:20).
In our life, we also have to thank for the temptations, because
we feel that they have hidden benevolences in them from God
that we do not see. And if we saw them we'll no doubt be
singing with James "Count it all joy when you fall into various
trials" (James 1:2).
From this, we see that faith gives a spiritual meaning to
suffering, pains that God allows for the special grace that is in
them. All from unseen matters, but we accept them in faith
having confidence in God's love who does good. We also have
confidence in what the Bible says "We know that all things work
together for good to those who love God." (Rom. 8:28).
11-The Existence Of God In Our Lives And His Power
Working In Us.
How beautiful is the Lord's saying to Jacob "I am with you and
will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this
land." (Gen. 28: 15). The Lord was with him and watched over
him wherever he went although he has not seen the Lord
physically. It is very comfortable for the soul to feel that the
Lord is with us and to believe it. This allows us to live in
serenity and joy.
The above was not only a blessing to Jacob but the Lord says "I
am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matt. 28:20).
Our feeling that God is with us, gives us a feeling that a Godly
power is walking with us and protecting us.
This power is working in you and is with you from the moment
you receive the Holy Spirit and He then accompanies you for
the rest of your life. In the time of the first church the people
saw the kingdom of God being established in power (Mark 9:
1), "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they
spoke the word of God with boldness." (Acts 4:31). It was said
that St. Stephen was "Full of faith and power, did great
wonders and signs" (Acts 6:8), and that he stood before the
synagogue "And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the
Spirit by which he spoke" (Acts 6: 10). That is the power in
faith. He who believes but is afraid to show his faith is a person
with weak faith, he does not believe in the power of God
working with him.
The woman who was bleeding for twelve years felt that if she
could just touched the edge of the cloak of Jesus a power
would come out of Him to heal her, and that is what happened
(Matt. 9:22, Lk 8:46).
If you believe in the power of God and hold steadfastly to it,
you will surely obtain it.
Let it be that you have this faith and this feeling in all aspects of
your life: in your service, prayer and works.
Even in your fall, believe that there is a power to save you. If
you are weaker than the devils then believe that God who loves
you is stronger, and that He is able to save you from sin. And in
strong faith pray to God to grant you the power you need to
succeed in your spiritual life, ask Him who "always leads us in
triumph in Christ" (2 Cor. 2:14).
Even if you have been waiting long time, just believe that the
power of God will reach you and save you. This power of God
is unseen, but it exists, and is ready to work with those who ask
for it by faith. You need to experience this power which is
accompanying you, not only in the life of repentance but in all
aspects of your spiritual life so that when you speek, others will
feel the strength and the effect of the words you are saying.
The believer is a strong person believing in the power of God
working in him.
Paul said, "To this end I also labour, striving according to His
working which works in me mightily." (Col. 1:29) and he says
about God "To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly
above all that we ask or think, according to the power that
works in us." (Eph. 3:20).
It is faith in the unseen power of God that prompted Saint Paul
to claim confidently, "I can do all things through Christ who
strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13).
We ask ourselves: is this phrase only applies to Saints like Paul?
The Lord answers "If you can believe, all things are possible to
him who believes." (Mark 9:23).
Perhaps this power is a test for our spiritual lives. Are we in
faith? Is it a power we are glad of and live in serenity with?
In the church, we rejoice in the many unseen things.
12-What Happens In The Baptism
Saint Paul says "For as many of you as were baptised into
Christ have put on Christ." (Gal. 3:27). How great is this
sacrament! Who has seen its promise? Ananias told Saul, "And
now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptised, and wash
away your sins." (Acts 22:16). Who saw these sins being
washed away? These are unseen matters, which we accept by
faith, as the apostle about Christ, "He saved us, through the
washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Tit.
3: 5). The salvation we obtain by rebirth is an unseen matter,
but we believe in it according to the Lord's saying, "He who
believes and is baptised will be saved." (Mark 16:16).
What is the meaning of a second birth? Moreover, what does it
mean to be born from above, from God, and to be born from
water and spirit? The Lord spoke about it in (John 3:3-6). They
are all unseen matters; the rebirth from God is an unseen
sacrament. We see a person immersed in the baptism font but
we do not see how he is reborn from the spirit. Blessed are
those who believe without seeing. This, the church calls a
The apostle says "Buried with Him in baptism, in which you
also were raised with Him through faith ... forgiven you all
trespass" (Col. 2:12). He gives the same meaning in his letter to
the Romans, and he adds that the old person was crucified with
Christ, that we may live with Him (Rom. 6:3-6). Who has seen
this death, burial, resurrection, forgiveness of sins, the new
life, crucifixion of the old self... these are all unseen matters, but
we believe in them.
13-The Sacrament Of The Holy Eucharist
You see in faith the bread and wine in front of you transform
into the body and the blood of the Lord. Here you can not rely
on your senses to judge, because the bodily senses see only the
visible matters. But the spiritual senses heed to what the Lord
says "This is my body... This is my blood" (Matt. 26:26,28),
"Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His
blood, you have no life in you... My flesh is food indeed, and
My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My
blood abides in Me, and I in him." (John 6:53-56).
I do not dispute what the Lord said but I accept it in faith.
In faith we are sure of what we do not see for what is seen is
bread and wine. This is what Saint Paul says "The cup of
blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of
Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of
the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. 10:16), and he also says
"Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the
Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and
blood of the Lord. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy
manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the
Lord's body." (1 Cor. 11:27,29).
How can we know if this is the body of the Lord, so as not to
gain judgment upon ourselves? Here, by faith, we go beyond
the level of the senses, and the level of the intellect.
Our minds make us tired when we accept the sacraments of the
church. Our senses do also tire us. We need the simplicity of
faith to believe all what Jesus Christ and the apostles said
14-To Accept The Sacraments Of Christianity
To accept the laying of hands that Barnabas and Saul obtained
from the disciples, so that they could go on to service (Acts
13:2,3), and also the laying of Saint Paul's hands on Timothy (2
Tim. 1:6). We believe that this is a sacrament.
We accept the power the Lord gave in His saying "If you
forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the
sins of any, they are retained " (John 20:23) "Whatever you
bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose
on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 18:18).
This honour is unseen but we see it through faith. It is not for
everyone and no one can take it by himself, but he who is called
by God just like Aaron was (Heb. 5:4).
Seeing the unseen is the real spiritual sight: maybe it is what the
Lord meant in His saying to his disciples "But blessed are your
eyes for they see " (Matt. 13:16). What do they see? It sees
Jesus Christ and His miracles. It sees the unseen just like the
revelation, which Saint John saw. Further, how Saint Paul saw
the third heaven and many other signs (2 Cor.12: 2,7).
The Lord rebuked those who did not have this spiritual sense by
saying "And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see
with their eyes " (Matt. 13: 15) the disciple also wrote the same
thing about them (Acts 28:27). The expression they closed their
eyes could mean that they did not train themselves to see the
spiritualities or that they refused to see the spiritualities because
of their interest in material things.
Gehazi did not see what his teacher Elisha saw (2 Kin 6:17).
The companions of Saul did not see anything during the Godly
vision he saw, the Bible said that they "Stood speechless,
hearing a voice but seeing no one." (Acts 9:7).
DEGREES AND KINDS OF FAITH
Degrees Of Faith
People differentiate from one another in the kind of faith and
the degree of faith they have "As God has dealt to each one a
measure of faith" (Rom. 12:3).
Some may exaggerate by saying that a person with little faith is
not at all a believer. This judgment is against the teachings of
the Holy Bible, as we will see later. Some may mix between the
word 'believer' and 'the chosen one', as if these two words mean
the same thing. Let us then meditate on the different kinds of
faith and its degrees.
1. There is the newly converted believer and the apostle
ordered not to swell the believer up with pride or else he will
"fall into the same condemnation as the devil." (1 Titus. 3:6).
2. There are those with little or weak faith, following are
examples from Bible about this kind:
a) Those who complain about God's care in food or
clothes. The Lord gave them an example of the lilies of
the field, and that not even Solomon in all his splendour
was dressed like one of these. The Lord then rebuked
them by saying "Now if God so clothes the grass of the
field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the
oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little
faith?" (Matt. 6:28-30, Luke 12:28).
b) The Lord also rebuked the disciples, when they thought
that they did not take bread with them by saying "O you
of little faith" (Matt. 14:31).
c) The Lord rebuked Saint Peter when he became afraid
after walking with Him on the water and began to sink,
the Lord rebuked him and said "O you of little faith,
why did you doubt" (Matt. 14:31).
d) Similarly, when the disciples got frightened when the
waves covered the ship during the Lord's sleep, then the
Lord said to them "Why are you fearful, O you of little
faith?" (Matt. 8:26).
Thus fear and doubt in the help of the Lord are evidences
of little faith.
e) The apostle gave an example of a person of weak faith
who eats only vegetables, the apostle also ordered that
one should not judge or mock such a person and said
"To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be
made to stand, for God is able to make him stand."
Here I admire the father of the boy with an evil spirit, when the
Lord asked him "do you believe?" so as to heal his son, the
father answered "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark
The person with weak faith needs those who pray for him, so
that the Lord may help him. We should not mock him for God
is able to make him firm in faith.
3. There Is A Third Kind Of Faith And That Is The
We mean by that the person who believes in the Lord but in
certain limits, and his faith does not exceed these limits. An
example of this kind of faith are Mary and Martha, who
believed that the Lord is able to heal their brother from sickness
so as not to die. If he dies however, then their faith was not yet
that far that his being risen from the dead was possible.
Therefore, each one of them said to the Lord "If You had been
here, my brother would not have died." (John 11:21,32). When
the Lord said to Martha "your brother will rise again" she
answered Him "I know that he will rise again in the
resurrection at the last day " (John 11:24) and when the Lord
went to the tomb and said "take away the stone" Martha said
"Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four
days" (John 11:39).
God did not refuse this limited faith but He gave it a chance to
That's why He said to Martha "He who believes in Me, though
he may die, he shall live." and He rebuked her at the tomb by
saying "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you
would see the glory of God?" (John 11:25,40). He gave her the
chance to see the glory of God in rising her brother Lazarus
from the dead, so that she believes and also the Jews, who saw
the miracle, would also believe.
Here faith came after the miracle and not before it.
May be it happened like that because this miracle was the first
of its kind, namely rising a dead after four days of being dead
A fourth kind, from the weak faith, is the slow heart in
faith. Maybe it comes from a slow understanding, or from no
comprehension, so the person's faith does not come quickly.
This was the kind of faith the disciples of Emmaus had in
respect to the resurrection of the Lord. The Lord rebuked them
by saying "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all
that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have
suffered these things" (Luke 24:25-26). He then began to
explain to them what was written in all the Scriptures
concerning Christ. so that they believed, or so that he cures this
tardiness in their faith resulting from their little knowledge or
In this example we could also say that it is sound to rectify the
misunderstandings concerning the faith. It is much better that
way than to despise and to mock such persons, it won't bring
any good results and it won't read to the real faith.
There Is A Dangerous Case Of Faith And That Is
The Dead Faith.
Saint James the apostle said, "Faith by itself, if it does not have
works, is dead." (James 2:17,20). He also said that this kind of
faith can not save the person (James 2:14) and he saw that the
living faith should have works or deeds to show it, "I will show
you my faith by my works." (James 2:18).
There Is Also Faith Which Is Not Firm
An example of that is Jesus Christ before being arrested, said to
His disciple Peter "Satan has asked for you, that he may sift
you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should
not fail" (Luke 22:31,32). At this time Peter's faith failed but he
turned back again to his first power.
There Are Other Cases The Bible Describes As
Deviating From The True Faith:
a) Saint Paul the apostle said "But if anyone does not
provide for his own, and especially for those of his
household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an
unbeliever." (1 Tim. 5:8).
b) He said about the young widows when their sensual
desires overcame their dedication to Christ "They desire
to marry, having condemnation because they have cast
off their first faith." (1 Tim. 5:11,12).
c) He also said "For the love of money is a root of all
kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the
faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves
through with many sorrows " (1 Tim. 6: 10).
d) He said "Guard what was committed to your trust,
avoiding the profane and idle babblings and
contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge by
professing it some have strayed concerning the faith"
(1 Tim. 6:20,21).
In all these examples, can we deny the relationship between
faith and deeds?
With a false deed it is said that a person denied the faith, or
refused it, or went astray from it, or deviated from it. May be
with these examples as measures we can examine ourselves,
doing what the apostle said: "Examine yourselves as to whether
you are in the faith." (2 Cor. 13: 5).
8. The Most Dangerous Case Is To Retreat From Faith
The apostle says "In latter times some will depart from the
faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons"
(1 Tim. 4: 1). The expression to retreat from faith means that
they were in faith and then they retreated from it.
The apostle speaks about the great retreat that will happen
before the coming of Christ "for that day will not come until the
rebellion occurs" (2 Thes. 2:3).
This is from the general point of view but from the individual
point of view the apostle says "Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him"
(Heb. 10:38). Here he speaks about the retreat of a believer
who was living in faith.
So long the believer can retreat so the believers are not the
chosen ones, because the chosen ones stay in their faith all their
lives until they meet the Lord.
The above are illustrations of negative kinds of faith, let us
explain the positive ones.
To Grow In Faith
Saint Paul the apostle says to the Thessalonians "We are bound
to thank God always for you, brethren,... because your faith
grows exceedingly" (2 Thes. 1: 3) and he also said to the people
of Corinth that their faith increases (2 Cor. 8:7).
Faith is a virtue like all the other virtues, one can grow in it.
To Keep The Faith And To Maintain It.
The apostle says about himself in his last days "I have finished
the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me
the crown of righteousness" (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
He also says to the Colossians "to present you holy, and
blameless in His sight if indeed you continue in the faith,
grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the
hope of the gospel" (Col. 1:23).
To Be Firm In Faith
Saint Peter the apostle says about the devil's wars "Resist him,
steadfast in the faith " (1 Pet. 5:9).
To Be Rich With Faith
Saint James the apostle says "Has God not chosen the poor of
this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He
promised to those who love Him?"(James 2:5).
To Be Filled In Faith
It was said about Stephen "they chose Stephen, a man full of
faith and the Holy Spirit...And Stephen, full of faith and power,
did great wonders and signs among the people" (Acts 6:5,8).
The following qualities are said to be indispensable to faith.
14. Faith Working In With Love
Saint Paul the apostle says "For in Christ Jesus neither
circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith
working through love." (Gal. 5:6), may be he mentioned the
expression 'working faith' because faith without deeds is dead
(James 2:20). And the expression 'love' is connected with the
whole law and the prophets (Matt.22: 40).
There is a great kind of faith:
15. Faith That Performs Miracles
The Lord spoke about "signs will follow those who believe:"
(Mark 16:17), and Saint James the apostle said "And the prayer
of faith will save the sick" (James 5:15).
The Peak of this matter is clear in the Lord's saying "All things
are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23).
16. Faith Of Confidence And Believing
It is what the Lord used to ask for from those whom a miracle
happened to them. And sometimes He asked "do you believe?".
He asked the blind men who asked Him to heal them "Do you
believe that I am able to do this?" (Matt. 9:28).
The Lord blessed this kind of faith, as well as He said to the
Canaanite woman "great is your faith! " (Matt. 15:28), and
also to the centurion "I have not found such great faith, not
even in Israel!"(Matt. 8: 10).
17. The Whole Faith
Saint Paul the apostle says "Though I have all faith, so that I
could move mountains ... " he considered that this faith that
moves mountains is the whole faith, that is, its peak and nothing
KINDS OF FAITH
There is a great difference between two kinds of faith:
theoretical faith and practical faith.
1. The Theoretical Faith
It is an intellectual or philosophical faith. It is just the
intellectual conviction in the existence of God and in the
existence of unseen matters without their influence on life.
There is a saying that proves that the devils have this kind of
faith. Then Saint James says about the dead faith, which is with
no deeds "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even
the demons believe--and tremble!" (James 2:19). The book of
Job gives us an evidence to that point because the conversation
between God and Satan proves this theoretical faith, then Satan
says to the Lord "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You
not made a hedge around him, around his household, and
around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the
work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the
land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has,
and he will surely curse You to Your face!" (Job 1:9-11). When
Satan took permission from God to act, he went to work
against Job, and in the second time Satan told the Lord "Stretch
out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he
will surely curse You to Your face!" (Job 2:5).
Hence Satan believes theoretically that, that is God, and that He
is the one who blessed the work of Job, and He is able to strike
what he has, and to strike his flesh and bones. Every expression
coming out of Job against God is considered a curse towards
God. Never the less Satan was fighting the kingdom of God and
God's children, and he still does.
The theoretical faith of Satan which Job spoke about is a dead
faith according to what the apostle said "Faith without works is
dead" (James 2:20). Thus if faith without deeds is dead, then
what is the faith that is loaded with bad deeds opposing every
The theoretical faith is easy. How easy is it to prove the
existence of God with the intellectual proofs and the many
evidences, the most important is however the practical faith.
This leads us to the important kind of faith
The Practical Faith
It is the faith, which signs show in the practical life, the life of a
believer believing that God is in front of him, he sees and feels
Him, and he acts worthy of this faith.
He loves this God who he believes in His existence, His care,
His protection, and he talks to this loving God through his
prayers and his imploring, and he fears to do anything that may
hurt His loving heart... and in tranquillity in His actions, he does
not fear and does not trouble, but lives in perpetual peace, he
yields his whole life to His wise disposal.
In this way, faith leads the believer to many uncountable virtues.
This kind of faith is the subject of this book, as we will as to
describe how faith leads our whole life to become
a life of faith.
This understanding takes us to another quality in the qualities of
the true faith:
2. Perpetual Faith
We mean by that, that it does not have occasions. Our faith
does not only appear when being in church, or in a spiritual
meeting, or when praying, or when reading the Bible, or when
having communion; but this faith is apparent at any time and in
any place, outside the church as well as inside. God is always in
front of us and is always on our minds with faith that does not
change. He is not only the Lord of churches or the Lord of the
Bible but He is the Lord of the heart and the mind together and
the Lord of life.
3. Faith Without Seeing
This faith does not depend on the senses and is consistent with
what the Lord said "Blessed are those who have not seen and
yet have believed." (John 20:29). It is not like the scientists who
do not believe in anything unless they get it in their laboratories
and convince themselves of it with their eyes and instruments,
and not like the Sadducees who denied the existence of the
angels, the resurrection and the spirits (Acts 23:8), because they
have not seen anything from all that...
4. Faith Of Confidence And Test
It is not faith in God what we read about in the theological
books or in the religious institutions, or in the churches and in
the Sunday schools with all their kinds.
But it is the faith in God that we test in our lives. We were in
companionship with Him, we let Him enter in every detail of
our lives, and practically tested what David said "Oh, taste and
see that the Lord is good" (Ps 34:8). We found that God is
wonderful, to the most extent, beyond what the mind can
Our whole life is fellowship with Christ. We tasted His beauty,
His love and His care, we also saw His power and His glory.
We saw how He enters into our problems and solves them in
ways that could not have occurred to us before.
Because of our test we gained confidence not built on books,
but on what we felt by our hands, that's why our faith is a true
faith destined in our hearts.
5. A Strong Faith
It is faith that is able to do anything (Mark 9:23), it can
overcome any obstacle, it does not see anything impossible. It
was said about Zerubbabel "Who are you, O great mountain?
Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!" (Zech. 4:7).
It is faith that can place its foot in water so as to cross the Red
Sea in the days of Moses (Ex. 14:22), and to cross the Jordan
river in the days of Joshua (Joshua 3). It can walk inside the
great sea or river with waters surrounding it like a gate on its
right and on its left without any fear.
It is faith that can strike the rock and water comes out of it (Ex.
17:6). It is faith that walks in the desert without any food or
guide collecting its food from the manna descending from
heaven day by day (Ex. 16:21) guided by the cloud in the day
time and by the fire rod at night (Num 9:15-23).
It is the strong faith which Elijah said through it "There shall
not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word" (1 Kin 17:
1), and thus "it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land
for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the
heaven gave rain" (James 5: 17-18), and that is how he could
close and open the sky.
There are many examples about this strong faith. There are
many other examples of this kind but they appear in another
6. Faith Which Is Steady
It is a steady faith and is not at all affected by external
circumstances; it believes in God's love either on mount Carmel
or on Golgotha.
Abraham believed in the love of God that gave him descendants
from Sarah in hopeless circumstances, exactly how he believed
in the love of God as He said to him "Take now your son, your
only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah"
Abraham when he raised his hand with the knife to slay his son
Isaac did not doubt in the love of God, nor in His timing. His
faith was never shaken in God, and not even that he will have
descendants from Isaac as many as the stars of the sky and the
sand of the sea.
Steady faith does not change according to the external
circumstances surrounding it, because its confidence is steady in
God, and its peace of heart is not affected by the external
circumstances but from God Himself, His love and the truth in
7. Faith As A Gift
There is normal faith and faith which is considered a gift from
the Holy Spirit, and no doubt the latter has a higher degree
which overcomes the normal faith.
Saint Paul the apostle, says in his speech about gifts "There are
diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. ... But the manifestation
of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to
one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another
the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith
by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same
Spirit, " (1 Cor. 12:4-9).
Faith as being among the fruits of the Spirit is also seen in
It becomes clear that we can not separate the faith from the
works of the Holy Spirit; either from the fruits of the Spirit, or
from the Spirit's gifts; and each of them has its degree.
8. The Sound Faith
How often do people believe in ideas or beliefs political or
social, and their belief gives them a power to carry these ideas
out and to transfer them to the minds of the people.
The sound faith that has a spiritual nature and has a deep
relationship with God "exhorting you to contend earnestly for
the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude
3) this pure and virtuous faith. This lets us say that Faith is not
just a belief but a life... or it is a life built on belief, or it is an
experienced belief lived by the people and not just ideas in
What we want to speak about in this book is this life, the life of
THE RELATIONSHIP OF FAITH WITH PEACE
From the qualities of the believer it is his heart that is full of
peace and tranquillity. He does not trouble at all, does not
agitate, and does not fear because he believes in God's
protection. The believer keeps his inner peace whatever the
external circumstances seem to be disturbing.
The person, who feels that he stands alone, fears. He who
believes that God is with him does not fear.
1- David the prophet says, "Though an army may encamp
against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise
against me, In this I will be confident." (Ps 27:3) and if you ask
him about the reason in this attitude, then he answers in the
same Psalm "The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall
I be afraid?" (Ps 27: 1). David experienced God, His help and
His protection. When evil men advanced towards him to devour
his flesh he said "When the wicked came against me ...They
stumbled and fell." (Ps 27:2).
He does not receive his tranquillity from the amelioration of
the external circumstances surrounding him, but he
receives his tranquillity from God's work in these
circumstances and in him.
Consequently David says in the psalm of the shepherd "Yea,
though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil; For You are with me" (Ps 23:4).
If you have this faith, that God is with you, you shall not fear
even if an army besieges you, or if war breaks against you, and
even if you walk in the valley of the shadow of death.
2- Perhaps We Could Also See This Peace And Fearlessness
In The Meeting Of Elijah The Prophet With Ahab.
Ahab the king, was searching for Elijah the prophet everywhere
so as to kill him, and in spite of that Elijah went to stand before
Ahab. When Obadiah warned Elijah of the danger Elijah
answered "As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I
will surely present myself to him today" (1 Kin 18: 15), and the
meeting took place. Elijah met Ahab the king and was not afraid
of him. Elijah even rebuked him for following the Baals (1 Kin
18:18). Elijah did not fear due to his belief of standing in front
of the Lord of armies.
3-The Same Way, We See The Encounter Between David
And The Mighty Goliath.
David, the young man, was from faith, full of peace and not
fearing Goliath. He even spoke in confidence and told Saul the
king "Let no man's heart fail because of him; your servant will
go and fight with this Philistine" (1 Sam. 17:32). As for the king
and his whole army they were afraid and very frightened,
because they were not looking to God who is unseen, as David
was... but were concentrating their eyes on what they saw in
front of them "a champion " who was "Six cubits and a span.
He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a
coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand
shekels of bronze." (1 Sam. 17:4-7).
David the man of faith, when he entered the field of war he let
God enter with him, and he entered the spirit of faith and peace
to the hearts of the men of war with his saying "Who is this
uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the
living God?... Let no man's heart fail because of him; your
servant will go and fight with this Philistine" (1 Sam,
17:26,32), and he told the Philistine "You come to me with a
sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in
the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel"
(1 Sam. 17:45), that means: you come to me with seen matters
and I come to you with who is unseen.
We will notice that the name of God did not part from David's
tongue and it granted him peace.
With this faith, peace of heart and confidence, David advanced
towards this Philistine and told him with total confidence in
faith "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand... for the
battle is the Lord's" (1 Sam. 17:46,47).
Really the person who believes does not know any fear
whatever the circumstances surrounding him were. His peace of
heart does not leave him, but faith grants him courage and
4-In The Midst Of Distress, Whatever Kind It Is, We See
Faith Giving Peace.
A distress can be solved in two ways: one is with faith and the
other without. A non believer is troubled, afraid and worried, he
imagines the worst results, and thinking disturbs him... but the
believer accepts it with tranquillity and with a wonderful peace
of heart. Some may ask him about his feelings regarding this
distress and he answers "God will interfere in this problem and
solve it and it will be for the good". You may ask him how God
will interfere, and how God is going to solve it, and he answers:
I do not know, and I am not interested, but I know that we do
not have to take care of our problems because God takes care
Really, I do not know how the problem will be solved but I
know God who will solve it.
Thus, faith leads the believer to tranquillity. That's how the
children of God always live in peace and even in joy, feeling that
God is with them and that He takes care of all their matters,
and He does for them what they can not do for themselves.
5-Jonah, Being In The Whale's Stomach, Did Not Lose
Faith And Peace.
He even prayed to the Lord when he was in the whale's
stomach, a prayer full of faith, and he said in confidence "I will
look again toward Your holy temple." (Jon. 2:4). He made the
Lord a vow and said "With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay
what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord" (Jon. 2:9).
Even from inside the whale, he saw the Lord's salvation, getting
out of the whale, the holy temple and his sacrifice to the Lord
and the fulfilling of his vows.
It is faith the source of all peace and ease, no fear in it and no
6-When Faith Decreases, Then The Person Fears.
Peter in his faith, could walk with the Lord on the water
forgetting all the laws of gravitation. When he remembered
them and became afraid, he began to sink. The
Lord rebuked him saying "O you of little faith, why did you
doubt?" (Matt. 14:31).
That way, the Lord related fear, doubt and little faith together.
It is really a wonderful relation: doubt weakens the faith, a weak
faith leads to fear, and fear causes the fall.
In the same manner we speak about the disciples when waves
covered the ship they were on. Their sight of the agitated waves
covering the ship while the Lord was asleep, made them doubt
the Lord's care for them. Doubt weakened their faith and so
they became frightened, that is why the Lord rebuked them
saying "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" (Matt.
Every time you are afraid, rebuke your self for your little faith.
Tell yourself 'where is my faith that God exists and that He
controls everyone and sees everything. And where is my faith in
God's love, and in His interference in my problems, and in His
ability to do everything, and where is my faith in that God does
benevolences, and that no doubt He'll do me good?'
All these ideas strengthen your faith and grant you peace and
confidence in God's work.
Faith rests the soul, because he who believes in the existence of
God does not feel lonely, but has confidence that there is
a power beside him.
He believes in the existence of this power that is able to do
everything, which is all love and justice, and that can support
him. This power works for the best of all and has mercy on all
who are in distress. If the believer has confidence in this Godly
power then his heart is filled with peace, would not fear and
would not be troubled. The non believer on the other hand, tires
and stands alone in his distress losing the peace because he does
not have confidence in this unseen supporting power.
7-Saint Peter Was In Prison And He Had A Deep Sleep.
King Herod, so as to please the Jews, had James the brother of
John, one from the twelve disciples, put to death. He seized
Saint Peter also and put him in prison "delivered him to four
squads of soldiers to keep him ", He intended to kill him after
the Passover (Acts 12:1-4).
In spite of being in prison, with the strong guards, and the
expectation of being killed... Peter slept, having confidence in
the existence of a Godly guardian that guards him more than the
soldiers around him. It was a deep sleep, even when the angel
came to rescue him he struck Peter on the side to wake him up
What kind of peace of heart is that, that lets a person sleep in
such conditions when being imprisoned, and in that same night
King Herod was intending to kill him.
It is faith in God's care if God wanted him to live, or faith in a
happy eternity if God wanted him to die as a martyr.
In both cases the matter needs to be joyful. That is why peace
was filling Peter's heart. He was sleeping calmly and the
external matters did not bother him.
Maybe there was another reason for Peter's peace and that is
"Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was
offered to God for him by the church." (Acts 12: 5).
The believer is he who can sleep in God's embrace and rest. He
yields his life and all his troubles to God, and he says to God: as
long as you have received these matters so I will not trouble
myself with them. For me the matter is finished and is
transferred into your hands and I have confidence that You will
do the best out of it. I sleep and rest and You will give me sleep
"He gives His beloved sleep he loves" (Ps 127:2).
8-Daniel The Prophet And The Three Young Men As An
Example Of Faith Full Of Peace.
Daniel was awaiting to be thrown in the lions' den, and in spite
of that he did not lose his peace and his courage. He kept his
faith and he prayed to God the Lord, with strength and without
In the lions' den, Daniel's heart was stronger than the hearts of
all the lions that were with him, as if he were saying: what if
they threw me in the den? Is not God also there, or is not His
angel there who could close up the mouths of the lions?
Also the three young men they did not fear the fire.
No doubt, faith creates all courage and bravery in the heart and
it takes away all fear.
9-The Same Were The Saints On Their Way To
They were singing songs of joy and were praising God on their
way to death. Neither death nor suffering did trouble them.
Their faith was in the other life, in a happy eternity, and in
fellowship with God in Paradise. All this filled them with peace
and joy and were even looking forward to death, singing with
Paul the apostle "refresh my heart in the Lord" (Phil. 20).
Death does not frighten the believer but delights him.
10-In Every Distress, Obstacle And Difficulty The Believer
Does Not Fear And Does Not Lose His Peace.
A believer overcomes obstacles without fearing them. He feels
that God will solve the problems that come across him and that
God shall not leave him alone in the problems.
But for the non believer, the problems cause him reluctance and
fear, and by his unbelief he becomes a coward. The non-believer
may even imagine difficulties and intimidations that do not exist
as if "There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!"
A believer does not fear at all whatever troubles and difficulties
face him. He faces them with calmness and security having
confidence in God's work with him.
11-With Faith, People Preached About Jesus In Countries
Where Human Flesh Was Eaten And They Did Not Fear.
They entered unexplored Africa and in the jungles, and in
dangerous areas from weather conditions, nature and habits of
their people and they did not fear. Their belief in God the
protector, gave them power and courage. Also their faith in the
goodness and importance of their work; importance of bringing
the words of God to the souls there, so that these souls won't
perish in non faith. God gave them power and took away the
fear from their hearts so they accomplished their work. They did
not mind the emigration, nor the cruelty of the weather, nor the
barbarity of the people, nor the venturous weather.
12-By Faith, Noah Took Animals With Him On The Ark
As God told Noah to take animals with him two by two so he
did. God who gave the order kept Noah safe from them. They
were with Noah as they were with Adam in Paradise, to live
with them without fear and with peace in the heart, and so it
Noah had faith in God's word to him so he did not fear.
13-He Who Believes In An Idea, Faith In It Will Give Him
Power To Carry It Out.
That was how the reformers were in all times and places. They
believed in an idea so they endeavoured with all strength to
carry it out. Because of their faith, they endured many troubles
until they completed their work.
Gandhi for example, believed in the person's right in freedom,
and he believed in a policy without violence. This faith gave him
a wonderful power with which he liberated India, and gave
rights to the opposers whereby they obtained equal rights. He
was able to endure so that his followers would not face
violence, and so that they don't accept violence. His faith in the
idea gave him the power to carry it out. How greater it is then
to believe in God!
14-Even Faith In Science Does Miracles, An Example To
That Are The Astronauts.
I mean by that, what was being told to them about the non
gravity area, and how a person can walk in this area without
falling. Who has the courage to walk in the atmosphere without
fearing? What made the astronauts carry it out was their faith in
the scientists' research. Faith gives power and courage. How it
is then to have faith in God!
The difference between the most courageous people and the
most fearful is faith.
The courageous person, is he who has faith that no harm will
happen to him, or that he believes in his work and its necessity
whatever happened to him, or that he believes in the quality of
courage and fearlessness. However, the coward is the total
opposite of that.
15-Faith In Eternity Gives A Person Peace And Ease.
He has confidence that he will obtain his right if not on earth
then in heaven, and that he will not be oppressed either here or
there. This is also how he will obtain his full joy: what has not
come true on earth will surely come true in the eternal paradise.
That is how he lives at ease even if he was like poor Lazarus.
16-Faith In The Power And The Sign Of The Cross
He who believes in the cross, the sign of the cross, and the
power of the cross feels tranquil as he protects himself behind
If he is faced with fear or danger and he made the sign of the
cross his heart will be filled with peace. He will also feel that a
power protects him and this power prevents fear from him. He
feels that a power has entered his heart which was not there
before. The sign of the cross became a weapon for him.
Another person has a great faith in the effectiveness of the
psalms. He reads them at any time or in time of need and he
feels that the psalm has a special power that eases his heart and
grants him peace. If he was afraid and read Psalm 91 (he who
dwells in the shelter of the Most High), or 23 (the Lord is my
shepherd), or 27 (the Lord is my light and my salvation) ... he
feels immediately peace inside him and that the psalm's power
has descended upon him.
We know that the psalms were written through the Spirit (Matt.
22:43-44). As a book from the Bible David wrote them lead by
the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). That is why it has without any
Others have faith in the spirits of the saints and the work of
these spirits for them.
Accordingly, they feel peace when they ask for a prayer or help
of a certain saint they love and they have confidence in the
saints intercession with God.
I remember, in this occasion, an Ethiopian monk who was living
in a cave in Natroun valley. Once he got lost during the night as
he was complaining of weakness in the eyes. Night and darkness
fell upon him. So he drew a large circle on the desert land and
surrounded it with the sign of the cross at all sides and he then
slept inside it. In the morning, he saw traces of foxes and
animals outside the circle; they could not enter the circle to
I remember some time ago, I was travelling on a ship. The
waves became agitated and the passengers were afraid. I looked
and I saw among the passengers, a very good person. I had
much confidence in his holiness so my heart was rested. I said
to myself "it is impossible that God allows the ship to sink and
this good person, who loves God, is on board". Yes, the ship
was rescued and no harm happened.
It was just the existence of this person as a cause of peace and
to strengthen the faith. Maybe, that was also the feeling of other
There are many uncountable experiences and stories that
strengthen the faith but I do not have the capacity to mention
them all here.
However what I have mentioned is sufficient for this chapter
and now we may enter another sign of the signs of faith.
THE RELATIONSHIP OF FAITH WITH
PURITY OF THE HEART
No doubt you are ashamed to err in front of an innocent
person you respect.
You may be very cautious in his presence and are ashamed to
commit anything terrible in front of him. You don't like that he
takes a bad impression about you, or that you fall lower in his
eyes You even take care not to err in front of any of your
servants or chiefs lest they contempt you, or even lessen their
respect of you.
Consequently most of the sins are committed in secret either
because of fear or shame. It was said about the sinners that they
"loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were
evil" (John 3:19). The Lord said about His enemies who
conspired against Him "This is your hour, and the power of
darkness" (Luke 22:53).
If you shame yourself or fear from a person who sees you,
so how is it then in the presence of God?
If you completely believed that God is present in every place
you are, He sees you, hears you and watches over you, no
doubt you will be ashamed or afraid to commit anything wrong
in front of God. That is why, when Joseph was offered the sin
he refused it saying "How then can I do this great wickedness,
and sin against God?" (Gen.39: 9).
He considered it wrong against God to break His
commandments and it is disrespectful to God, if he did evil in
front of Him without bashfulness. Do you have these feelings?
Do you place God in front of you in every sin you fight to do?
Do you remember what the Lord said to each of the angels of
the seven churches (Rev.)? He told each of them "I know your
deeds" (Rev. 2:2,9,13,19 & Rev. 3:1,8, 1 5).
If you knew this you will be ashamed, afraid and will refrain
from sin because the fear of God will always be in front of your
eyes every time you try to do wrong.
You will even feel ashamed from the spirits of the angels
If you believe, from all your heart, that God's angels roam
around us (Ps 34:7) and that we "made a spectacle to the
world, both to angels and to men." (1 Cor. 4:9) then you will,
no doubt, be ashamed of yourself from the angels around you.
He will not bear to see your sins due to his holiness, so he will
leave you... You no doubt will be ashamed of yourself from the
spirits of the saints, your relationships and acquaintances... with
this shame you will part from sin and approach the life of purity.
If you believe that God is holy, you will be apprehensive to
show your uncleanliness in front of this unlimited holiness.
Every time you say 'holy, holy, holy' in your prayers you will
feel disgrace in your heart due to your past, and you will not
venture to commit any sin in the future. When Isaiah the
prophet, heard the seraphim glorify the Lord with this Hymn
"Holy, holy, holy" he cried out "Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips" (Is 6:2-5).
If you believe that God is the examiner of hearts and reader
of minds and that He knows all that goes on in your mind and
heart with respect to feelings, plans and plots, then you will be
afraid of His knowing your inside. You will be ashamed from
His Holiness and by leaving these ideas and feelings you will
reach the life of purity.
May be you will say: I believe in all these; that God exists,
that He sees and hears everything, that He examines hearts and
reads minds... and in spite of that I am still in sin... And I
answer you: may be you believe in all these theoretically but
you don't live a life suitable to your faith!
He who lives this faith that God sees him, the angels see him,
the spirits see him... If he practically puts this idea in his heart
he will be ashamed, his soul will lessen in his own eyes, and he
will not dare to continue committing sins. According to one of
the fathers every sin is preceded by lust, negligence or
Maybe the person, during sin, forgets God and His
kingdom. Maybe he also forgets that he is created in the image
and the likeness of God, if he really believed in that. Maybe he
is also forgetful of all God's commandments and warnings
although theoretically, he believes in all that but he does not live
it. He, as we have already said, has the name of a believer but
not the life of one.
Consequently, if you believe in eternity then put it in front
of you so as not to err.
He who believes that the day of the Lord will come like a thief
(1 Thes. 5:2), that God is just, that He'll give everyone
according to what he has done (Rev. 22:12), and he who
believes in life after death, judgment, repentance, punishment,
standing before God in that day when the books will be opened,
that ideas and wishes will be revealed, and the works of
everyone will be declared in front of all... he who believes in all
that, with a practical faith, it will be difficult for him to err but
will find a restraint inside him which dissuades him, fearfully and
shamefully... and you see him looking forward to meeting God
on that day.
Why do I speak about Eternity, I could say from another point
of view: If you believe in God's love you will be ashamed to
hurt His love.
Many times you say, "God is love" (1 John 4:8,16). During sin
you are not in a state of practical faith in His love, or may be
this love is not at all in your mind. If you really believe that love
is the holy bondage that binds you with God, how will you err?
"Whoever has been born of God does not sin" (1 John 3:9).
You will not err if you believe in virtue as a way of life.
Many speak about virtue. They invite others to it and glorify it a
lot. But they do not live it. They do not practically believe that
virtue can be their way of life. If they practically believed in
that, then they would have lived a pure life and reproved
themselves for their weaknesses.
He who also believes in the evanescence of the world will
renounce it and will not err.
As David the prophet, said "I am a stranger in the earth; Do
not hide Your commandments from me." (Ps 11 9:19), "For I
am a stranger with You, A sojourner, as all my fathers were."
(Ps 39:12). That's how the men of faith lived "they were
strangers and pilgrims on the earth. ... they desire a better,
that is, a heavenly country." (Heb. 11:13,16). They renounced
everything in this world and obeyed the apostle's saying, "Do
not love the world or the things in the world. And the world is
passing away, and the lust of it" (1 John 2:15, 17).
With this faith, they lived in the world without that the
world living in them.
They were those "And those who use this world as not misusing
it." (1 Cor. 7:31). With this faith - on a larger scale - lived the
monks, hermits, and he mountain inhabitants in devotion and
seclusion "Of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered
in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth."
This is how faith purifies the heart. As the apostle said "And
this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith ." (1
John 5:4). Our faith, that we live on earth "while we do not look
at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not
seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the
things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18). Yes, faith
in the evanescence of the world lets us overcome it and to
become purified from it and what it contains.
Faith in eternity gives the person wakefulness in his
conscious. This is how the person will always have a living
conscious: to judge every work, not only according to success
or failure, or according to its results in our lives... but to judge
the matters according to eternity... because every thing he does
has an effect on his eternal destiny and may be on the destiny of
others... every good he does is kept for him in Heaven, but he
will have to give an account of every wrong he does to people
or to himself on the judgment day.
Faith in the existence of God in front of us gives the heart
It grants the person humility in the heart and in action, and it
grants him fear and solemnity because he stands before God. As
it was said about Saint Peter during fishing (after the
resurrection of Christ) when he knew that the Lord came "He
put on his outer garment for he had removed it" (John 21:7).
In the presence of the Lord, every person stands in solemnity.
According to the person's feeling in the existence of God is his
measure of solemnity. That is how people differ one from the
other in their feelings during prayer, there are those who kneel
and those who prostrate in front of God's unlimited greatness...
but he who sits during prayer, what can I say about him?
The perpetual feeling that God exists - even not during prayer -
makes the person humble because majesty is only to God alone
haughtiness of a person is against faith.
Thus, we see angels in this perpetual solemnity.
The Bible says about the seraphim "each one had six wings:
with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and
with two he flew." (Is 6:2). If the seraphim covers his face and
feet in the presence of God due to His beautiful majesty, then
what shall we say? And how shall we be solemn and humble in
front of Him?
To this degree we see faith purifying the heart and granting it
fear, bashfulness and humility.
He who believes in God's importance to him will fear to err
wrong, because it is separation from God. How dangerous
is it to a person to be separated from God.
As for he who does, not believe in the danger of sin, and the
danger in its spiritual results, becomes lenient with it, falls, and
loses his purity. See to what extent the feelings of David were
concerning the danger of sin when he told the Lord "Against
You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight"
(Ps 51:4). See also Joseph, he believed that if he did anyone
wrong then it was against God (Gen. 39:9).
All these spiritual feelings either they prevent the person from
sin like Joseph, or they cause a contrite heart like that of
David's. Both are signs of purity of heart.
SIMPLICITY OF FAITH
Simplicity of faith; many intellectuals seek it but do not
find It. Once a philosopher passed by a simple peasant who was
praying with strong ardour while kneeling down in solemnity.
The peasant was talking to God with persistence and familiarity
as if he was standing before Him. The philosopher then said; "I
am ready to give up all my philosophy, in return that I acquire
something of the faith of this simple man who talks with all this
confidence to whom he does not see."
The philosopher felt that this simple man possessed something
very precious that with all his philosophy he could not obtain.
Simplicity of faith "believes everything" concerning God
and accepts it without investigation or argument, being the
argument which the intellectuals are famous for.
This simplicity reminds us of the faith of children who believe in
theological and spiritual facts. They have the confidence that
does not doubt or lie and does not oppose the mind. Maybe that
is one of the reasons that made Jesus tell His disciples "Unless
you are converted and become as little children, you will by no
means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3). The faith of
an adult may be deeper, but the faith of a child is more innocent,
simple and sincere; true faith has no doubt in it. May your faith
be strong like that of a child's.
I do not agree with those who say that children are non-
believers. Paul the apostle, tells his disciple Timothy "From
childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able
to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ
Jesus." (2 Tim. 3: 15). How great was the praise of Jesus to the
child He set in the middle of the disciples (Matt. 18:2,3).
He who follows the simplicity of faith, lives far from the
complications of the mind, and lives far from what the mind
presents from doubts, thoughts, and may be even misleading.
Really, the mind's balance is from God but it may err if
separated from faith.
Faith is a kind of splendour God presents to the mind so as
to enlighten it.
If the mind stands alone it troubles its owner with ideas. If
David, the young man, depended only on his mind and
thoughts, he would have feared Goliath. Saul and his army
did, but David depended on the simple faith, according to
what he told Goliath "This day the Lord will deliver you into
my hand" (1 Sam. 17:46). However, how did God give them all
in their hands? David did not think of that but left it to God
Himself because war is to God (1 Sam. 17:46). This is faith.
With it David won the war even more than those who used their
minds as to balance the matters.
Simple faith is a matter of confidence and not a matter of
Even if the mind said that war searches for the balance of
powers and how one side will overcome? The answer is simple:
if God entered the battle He would change the human idea of
the balance of power, and David with God's power will be much
stronger than Goliath without this balance of power. Here we
see that faith - with its simplicity - does not contradict the mind
and its balances.
He who lives in simple faith lives without anxiety because
anxiety usually comes because of much thinking or that a person
thinks about problems in an intellectual way. But in the
simplicity of faith the person does what he can and leaves the
more important point to God Himself and is not anxious. His
confidence that God works for him gives him peace of heart and
does not allow anxiety to overcome his feelings.
He who has this simple faith is not anxious because he leaves
God the control of his matters. If he has confidence in the good
care of God in his life, so he won't worry about tomorrow,
because the God of tomorrow will take care of it, and he will
welcome everything that happens in his life with the expression
"All things work together for good to those who love God"
But he who places his thinking in place of the Godly
arrangement will tire a lot and carry his anxieties instead of
letting God carry them for him.
The confidence of simple faith in granting prayers, takes
Maybe you all know the story of this village that suffered from
dryness. The people of the village decided to set a prayer day so
that God causes rain to fall. All went to pray and a young girl
went carrying an umbrella. When they asked her about the
reason, she said: "aren't we praying because of rain? What shall
we then do when God hears our prayers and it starts to rain and
we don't have any umbrellas?" She had faith that God will grant
their prayer. And because of her faith it did rain.
This simple faith has its strength regarding miracles and
visions. A miracle can happen to a person and not to another,
because the former, in his simple faith, believes and accepts it.
But for the latter, the difficulties that his mind presents, make
him doubt inside himself about its ability to happen.
The same also happens concerning visions. Some see the Godly
visions by their simple faith, and others do not owing to the
complications of their minds. This is very clear as it happened
during the appearance of the Virgin Mary in her church in
The mind tries to analyse everything scientifically or else it
will not believe. As for faith, it needs belief, in simplicity,
far from the complications of their minds.
That's why miracles and visions happen mostly to simple people.
But for most intellectuals, who disapprove of them and who
mock their believers, it rarely happens to them whether to bring
them to faith or so that they are a witness of them (John 15:22).
Even the Jews did not believe the miracle of the man who was
born blind and said that he who healed him was a sinner (John
9:24). The mind put the problem of healing on a Sabbath in
front of them, so that they lost faith (John 9:16).
That is why Jesus said of those and praised the simple "I thank
You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden
these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed
them to babes. " (Matt. 11:25). With the word babes, He meant
the simple faith. But those wise and learned in this verse are
those who are proud of their knowledge and understanding, and
who only depend on their minds far from faith, even some of the
spiritual men admitted in sorrow and said: "this is the fruit
which Adam and Eve ate from". they meant by that, the
knowledge away from God.
One of the nights I was coming back after visiting one of
the fathers in the mountai
n . Darkness was already spreading
and it was told to me "don't come back alone to the monastery
so that you don't get lost". I knew the way quite well and I
believed in God's guidance and in spite of that I said "If I get
lost then I'll spend the night in the desert till morning." I had
faith in my depth in God's protection, especially that many
bedouins spend the nights in the desert without fear, but it was
told to me "you are more simple than usual, and you don't know
the mountain. Because the mountain is full of insects, bears and
there is also the danger of fierce animals and other weather
conditions. The mind was always talking in my ears to remove
what I had in my heart from simple faith. I came back at that
same night to the monastery with one of the fathers. My mind
did not give me at that time any chance to experience the work
of God with those who walk at night in the desert. Or even, to
experience the faith of the bedouin who spends each night there,
and the care and protection of God is with him.
I thank God that He compensated me for that later on when I
lived alone in the mountain.
The mind can imagine danger everywhere and at the same
time does not give the thinking a chance in God's work. On
the contrary, it causes the non believer to be afraid.
That does not mean that a person throws himself in jeopardy
without wisdom. If a person was as cautious as can be and then
found himself in a so called 'danger' then with all simplicity he
will have confidence in God's protection and care, and sings
with the prophet David "A thousand may fall at your side, And
ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near
you. " (Ps 91:7).
Simple faith has confidence that God's hand will interfere
to rescue and solve any problem.
The person believes totally that God, as a lover of human
beings, and doer of benevolences, will no doubt interfere in the
problem according to His promise to His children and He'll
spread His hands to solve it.
But how does this happen? Simple faith does not ask that.
He accepts the work of grace in simplicity without
investigating how it works.
How many times did we try to solve our problems with human
methods and all these ways failed and did not have any results.
The fingerprints of God were clear beyond all thinking.
Simple faith has confidence in God's work, by belief and
Faith brings the person to trials. Tests deepen the faith and build
it on firm basis and not on theoretical ones. Faith and trials
strengthen one another until the person reaches conviction and
simplicity of faith.
Simple faith has confidence that everything is possible and
that nothing is impossible.
It has complete confidence that God can do all things and that
no plan can be thwarted (Job 42:2), even if it was difficult to
understand it happening. The person believes in the Lord's
saying "All things are possible to him who believes." (Mark
That's why simple faith, is beyond all doubts.
It is a strong faith, stronger than any doubt, because doubts are
the work of the mind, and the mind is proud of its measures.
But the believer has overcome the stage of the mind and has
lived in a higher and deeper level. Higher than the doubts is the
simplicity of faith.
Some try to transfer the problem of religion to philosophy
and to bring it out of the heart and the soul and restrict it
only to the limit of the mind.
That was what Saint Paul the apostle fought with all his might,
and said "Not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ
should be made of no effect." (1 Cor. 1:17-20)
No doubt, the simple believer who treasures up his faith in
himself, above the level of investigation, is stronger in faith than
some theologians who acquire their faith from books. They
think they have faith. It may be that faith that can be easily
shaken by the opposite intellectual thoughts.
Train yourself to the life of simple faith, and make use of the
experience that happens in your life or the life of others, and do
not let much thinking keep you far from faith.
OBEDIENCE OF FAITH OR A LIFE OF
He who believes in God's love, His watching over him, His
wisdom and handling of his life, and believes that God does
benevolence for him, yields his life to God to plan it as God
With that conviction, the person will always live in the
obedience of faith.
He yields his life to God and he is tranquil and glad. But he who
does not live the life of submission is troubled about his life and
keeps on thinking: what am I? and how am I? and when am I? is
it necessary that I change what I am doing? or shall I stay as I
am? Thinking tires him and most probably he loses his peace,
and continues in perpetual search and discusses the matters with
himself without end. He neither thinks of rest nor leaves the
matter to God like the man of faith.
The faithful person, when he yields his life to God does not
set any conditions on God, does not ask Him for guarantees
and does not observe God in His work with him.
He has full confidence in God, in His love, wisdom and ability.
He has faith that God knows what is good for him more than he
himself does. That is why he yields his life in His hands and
forgets it there.
As long as he has faith in God's work with him, he won't be able
to be anxious or interested, and won't tire himself with thinking.
The believer lives at peace more than he who thinks for himself
and his thinking tires him.
Many do not accept the submission to God unless their
human ways fail!
Their principal way is the complete reliance on their human
arms either on the esteem of their minds, abilities and tricks, or
their getting used to this way, owing to their false belief, or
their conviction that a person turns to God only in time of full
disability and failure. Then, at that time they come to God
because they have tried every trick and method and did not
reach their aim, and because their minds have grown tired and
exhausted without any use and there was no other way except
This is not faith but it is the pressing necessity to God.
Faith is that you seek God in the trivial as well as in big
Jesus said "For without Me you can do nothing." (John 15: 5).
That is because every power we have is from Him, even correct
thinking, good will and the ability to work. The intelligence on
what we depend on is also from Him. How true the saying of
the apostle is "For it is God who works in you both to will and
to do for His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13).
Our work in reality is to participate with God in His work
for us. This is our participation with the Godly nature, with
the Holy Spirit participating with God at work. Just what
Saint Paul the apostle, said about himself and his colleague
Apollos "For we are God's fellow workers" (1 Cor. 3:9).
Every work in which God does not participate in is not a holy
or a blessed work. The submission of our will and desire to Him
is a kind of participation with Him. We are like tools between
His hands doing His will. He conducts it as He wishes. It works
with His thinking and wishing, or yielding our will with His will
as a companionship of senses with the brain.
The most dangerous thing which can threaten the spiritual
life is the person's independence of God.
This is the big sin that King Saul committed so God rejected
him (1 Sam. 16). He used to work with his thinking and
planning away from God's advice and companionship and didn't
see that he is in need to let God participate with him at work, as
if he was saying: as long as I can do this work I'll do it with all
power and with all haste even without prayer because my will
alone will carry it out without depending on God, and if I fail,
then I will seek Him! God granted me a mind and will so why
don't I use them? There are many like Saul.
God granted humanity the mind and will but not
independent of Him
And not that it depends upon itself. The Bible says "And lean
not on your own understanding" (Prov. 3:5). We remember that
the sin of the first human was his attempt to obtain knowledge
without God (Genesis 3).
When the human starts to say "I know and I can, so what is the
use of God in this matter?" He then becomes separated from
the faith of God and enters the faith of ego.
The believer is not only satisfied with the dependence on
God but also yields everything to Him.
The believer tells Him: "My life is the work of Your hands and
it is now between Your hands, do with it what You want."
Where You want me to go I will go and what You want me to
be I will be. I don't have a special will, my only wish is that I do
Your will and to be one with Your will to want what You want,
You the doer of benevolence.
I don't mention anything that I know. Every human's wisdom is
foolishness in God's eyes (1 Cor. 1:20). The real wisdom is
from You God, alone. You are the wisdom (1 Cor. 1:24). You
are "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and
I admit that I don't know so I submitted my life in Your
You know good more than I do and You know the good for me
more than I do for myself . I have confidence in Your wisdom
and in Your planning of my life. Even if You wished me a test
or a distress I will accept it from You, considering that it is true
good from Your hands. Had it not been for your love for me,
You would not have accepted it for me. Really, in many cases
we don't know where the good is!
The life of submission does not know any complaints or
murmurs, but accepts everything with satisfaction and
As long as you have confidence in God's wisdom in His plans
for you, then why do you complain, murmur or worry. If
murmurs enter your life, this is a good indication which shows
that your faith has weakened
He who lives a life of faith and submission lives always in
joy and thankfulness.
The believer does not complain but gives thanks. The smile
does not leave his lips, cheerfulness does not leave his face and
joy does not leave his heart. He believes in God's wisdom and
love. He also believes that God's will is always good and useful.
He submits to God's will in joy.
He does not submit to God's will due to being obliged or
compelled, as if his heart was saying to God "what can I do oh
Lord? You are strong and I am weak. All what you do I accept.
I am awaiting the end of this matter". No doubt that these
thoughts are of a person who is tired within. He speaks with
complaining words in a yielding manner. Yielding is not at all
What is then the meaning of "let Your will be done" in the
life of faith and submission?
The believer says in complete satisfaction of heart: "God I
submit to your will because I like Your will from the depths of
my heart and I have confidence in You and in Your will. Your
will has corrected my thoughts, my opinions in certain matters,
and improved my way of life... how beautiful are your ways
Lord "How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past
finding out!" (Rom. 11:33). Your will is the most beautiful song
on my tongue, and the most beautiful news in my ears. So let
your will be done because there is no other will better than that.
I feel ignorant beside any will that opposes it, either it is for me
or for others."
The life of submission is not submission to the actual
matters without conviction!
It is not submission to the policy of a Godly pressure that
imposes itself on you and you are obliged to submit to it either
you want it or not
No my brothers and sisters, that is not the meaning of the
expression "let Your will be done". The life of submission
teaches us to feel that God's will is the full benevolence, and
that it is the best for us and it is a reason for our joy and
cheerfulness. That is why David was singing about God's
commands and tells the Lord "your commands are my lesson,
Your commands are my pleasure. I meditate on your commands
and I learn them" (Ps 119).
Submission to God should be real submission and not only
be appearance. Some think that they yield themselves to
God although they impose their plans on Him. Every time
God acts in his life he tries to stop God and says, "wait Lord so
that I see what You do with me." This matter is not good.
Do this and that so that I rest. This is how he tries to be a
planner, he plans and God does!
No, submission is not like that, but it is that you leave God do
what He does, and that you are satisfied with what He does,
and that you don't resist God's plans with your actions, and
don't resist His plans with what you do according to your
The believer leaves God the planning and does not accept
that he plans for himself.
What was the sin of Adam except that he began to manage
himself in obtaining knowledge? How to become like God?
How to build himself... that is why he fell.
The sin of Satan was that he began to manage himself, to
build and to enlarge as he likes.
"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the
stars of God... I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I
will be like the Most High." (Is 14:13-14). They are plans that
resemble daydreaming, Satan planned it for himself and he fell.
The same also happened to those who built the tower of
Bable. They planned how to build themselves and they
They said "Let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top
is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be
scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." (Gen.
11:4). Their planning was against them. What they feared was
what happened to them "The Lord scattered them abroad over
the face of all the earth." (Gen. 11:9).
The spiritual person does not do that but says in a life of
submission "Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in
vain who build it." (Ps 127: 1).
God is he who builds us and not ourselves, so let us yield
ourselves to Him so that He builds us.
That is how we live in peace, having confidence in God's work
in us and in His successful work. We stand and meditate and see
miracles from His planning. Having confidence that He does
benevolence whatever happens in front of us which seem to be
strange, difficult or against what we hoped for.
It is not important if we understand what God does, but
that we accept it with faith and submission.
The Bible is full of examples of submission in the lives of men
1-Our father Abraham, for example, whose story with God
began with God saying to him "Get out of your country, From
your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will
show you." (Gen. 12: 1).
Abraham neither asked why nor where but he just obeyed.
This is the life of submission that does not argue nor discuss,
but accepts and obeys without reluctance. It puts the
understanding to the side and concentrates itself on God.
2-That is also how Noah was in the arc, Jonah in the
whale's stomach and Moses in the Red Sea a life of
It is the obedience of faith. As long as God wants that then we
do not discuss with Him. What is our limited and weak mind
that we discuss with God the unlimited with full wisdom?
Moses, at the beginning of his message, argued with God on
how to go to Pharaoh (Ex. 3), but when he grew in faith and
submission he did not argue about entering the Red Sea.
3-Saint Mary the Virgin, lived her life as an example of
obedience and submission.
With her love of virginity, she was told to get engaged to a man
and to live with him in one house and she obeyed. God sent her
an angel telling her that she will be pregnant and give birth to a
son and she told him "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let
it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38) she gave birth
to Jesus, and saw all the miracles that surrounded this birth, and
was told to escape to Egypt and she accepted all that in
obedience of faith. Also in submission she returned from Egypt
and accepted to live in Nazareth (Matt. 2:23), about which it
was written that nothing good comes from it (John 1:46).
Her motto in this life of submission was her famous saying "may
it be to me as you have said"
4-Faith and submission also appear in the apostles' life in
their spontaneous obedience to the Lord's saying "follow
This is what the Lord told Matthew (Levi) at the tax collector's
booth (Mark 2:14). Matthew did not discuss but "He left all,
rose up, and followed Him." (Luke 5: 28) and did not think at
all of his responsibilities and work.
The same also happened when the Lord called Peter, Andrew
and the rest of the apostles. Peter summarises all the stories of
calling in his saying to the Lord "We have left all and followed
You" (Luke 18:28).
It is the obedience of faith that follows God wherever He goes
without question, inquiry or thinking about the future. Everyone
obeyed without knowing where he was going to (Heb. 11:8).
How many times are we called by God but we stay in our
relaxed perception of our future?
That's why we ask many questions and try to get what we can
from guarantees. With all this we get out of faith and become
viewers. To the future we see by our own eyes and are relaxed
about it, and not to the unknown future that we see through the
eyes of faith, and accept it through a life of submission and
5-Jeremiah the prophet, is an example of a life of faith,
submission and obedience.
He followed God, in faith, in ways he never thought he would
go through and at the end, he summarised his experience about
the life of submission in his deep saying "O Lord, I know the
way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to
direct his own steps." (Jer. 10:23). Why doesn't he guide his
steps? Because it is God who leads and guides these steps.
This is the life of submission that you walk after God and
not after your mind.
You walk not according to your wishes and desires and not
according to the wishes and/or advice of other people but after
God Himself who leads your life. He puts your life at any place
and position according to His wisdom. So ask yourself whether
God leads your life, or that a certain desire leads it and which
guides your actions and foot steps.
6-Joseph is a wonderful example of the life of submission.
God showed him in a vision that he will reign over his brothers,
and that they will all bow to him (Gen. 37: 10). How was the
promise fulfilled! His brothers took him and threw him in a well
to kill him. They then sold him as a slave. The Midianites pulled
him out from the well to sell him to the Ishamelites (Gen.
37:28), and then they sold him to Potiphar to serve in his house.
In all that, Joseph did not murmur against God but kept
quiet, and submitted calmly to what God allowed to happen and
followed in faithfulness and sincerity. He accepted life as a
slave. He was content with misfortune but misfortune did not
accept him! He was accused of a bad and false charge and was
thus thrown in prison as a criminal.
It did not happen that Joseph asked God why and where
are Your promises?
He kept quiet in a wonderful example of a life of submission
and obedience of faith, and never murmured. The only time he
strayed from the life of submission was after explaining a dream
to the king's cupbearer he told him "When it is well with you,
and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to
Pharaoh, and get me out of this house." (Gen. 40:14) When he
did that, the spiritual inspiration answered this demand by
saying "Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but
forgot him. " (Gen. 40:23). God did not forget Joseph who
stayed in prison in life of submission until He got him out in
7-David the prophet is also an example who led a life of
submission and obedience of faith.
David was taking care of the sheep in the wilderness. God sent
Samuel the king, to anoint David a prophet. Samuel did it but
did not hand him anything from the kingdom and David kept on
caring for the sheep without murmuring. He was then chosen a
servant of King Saul who was rejected from God as an evil
spirit from the Lord tormented him (1 Sam. 16:14) and David
did not reclaim.
He did not say I am the King chosen from God so how can
I serve this rejected person? But in a life of submission he
accepted this situation and he used to calm King Saul when the
devils tormented him. Saul kept on going after David from
wilderness to wilderness trying to kill him because he was
envious and jealous of him. And it never did happen that David
discussed with God or told Him 'where is Your timing? Where
is the holy anointment for a great prophet?' He did not say 'what
evil have I done so that I deserve all this?' But he waited in
calmness and submission for the salvation of God and it
8-The disciples of the Lord are also examples who led a life
The Lord called them for service as He said to Peter and
Andrew "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men "
(Matt. 4:19). Three years passed by and they were still
following the Lord without being of service. They did not 'fish'
anyone. Then the Lord was crucified and they feared and closed
themselves in the upper room so that the Jews would not get
them and in spite of all that they did not complain and remained
in the life of faith and submission.
When the Holy Spirit ascended on them on Pentecost the Lord
fulfilled His promise. In one day Peter could save three
thousand souls due to his preaching and if he would have saved
two souls a day he would not have come to this total number.
The life of submission tells the apostle "Wait on the Lord; Be of
good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say,
on the Lord!" (Ps 27:14).
Yes Lord I will wait for Your promise to save souls. But do I
have three years to wait or more? It is like that but "it is not for
you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own
authority" (Acts 1:8).
The life of faith does not question the Lord about the range
of awaiting His timing.
It does not say to the Lord, why did you Lord make Peter wait
more than three years to save souls? And why did you let
Abraham wait twenty five years so that Your promise is fulfilled
concerning the birth of Isaac? And why did You leave David to
be humiliated by Saul ten years until Your promise of becoming
a king was fulfilled?
The life of submission does not doubt and sees in a waiting
the Godly wisdom.
David was a young boy when he was chosen. Waiting was
useful for him till he grew older and mature and so that people's
love for him grew day by day. Also, waiting was beneficial for
Peter until he completed his discipleship to the Lord and until
the Holy Spirit descended over him and the disciples so that
they may all gain its power. Also the awaiting of Isaac's birth
was beneficial so as to become son of the promised.
9-Of the most beautiful examples of the life of faith is Isaac
being presented as a sacrifice.
Abraham was patient for twenty-five years until Isaac was born,
his beloved son who took his time. Abraham was completely
happy with him. Isaac grew older and then the Lord told
Abraham "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you
love, and go to the land of Moriah."(Gen. 22:2). Whose heart
can bear this? And whose mind can hear that without doubting?
Abraham who led a life of submission did not argue and
did not hesitate in carrying it out. But he woke up early the
next day and took Isaac to sacrifice him. He did not think to
himself more tender than God. He did not doubt at all in God's
love and judgement.
Obedience is not only in the simple matters, but appears in its
glory in the matters that seem difficult to carry out.
The life of submission appears in entering through the
narrow path and the road of agony.
As long as God agrees to this narrow door, so no doubt it will
be the best door and we do not discuss it but are happy about it.
We say that, through it you test the love of your children and
the purity of their hearts and that you prepare crowns for them
in Your kingdom.
The martyrs received all kinds of pains in joy with this faith.
And all your children Lord "Count it all joy when you fall into
various trials" (James 1:2).
NOT KNOWING WHERE TO GO TO
1-This is how our Father Abraham followed God to the
unknown, not knowing where the road will lead him, but
having confidence that God accompanies him through the way
and guides his steps.
2-This is also what happened with the pure apostles when
the Lord called them and they followed, and they did not
know where. At that time, Jesus did not have a known
residence and he did not even have a place to rest his head
(Luke 9:58). He wandered through the cities and villages
teaching and healing in despite not having an official profession
in the Jewish society, not having a known income and when He
called His disciples He even told them "Provide neither gold
nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your
journey..." (Matt. 10:9,10, Mark 6:8).
If one asked one of the disciples at the time: What is your
work? What is your future with Christ? He would have stood
with a big question mark not knowing any answer, except that
of a life of submission. It suffices him that he walks with Christ
in spite that in his being with Him and in His presence he does
not do anything. Jesus does everything and the disciples are just
3-Another example is of Saint Mark the apostle, when he
He entered it without knowing where to go to as there was no
church where he could stay, he did not have people there nor
residence. On the contrary, idolatry was everywhere and
Judaism was opposing the faith. But Saint Mark came to Egypt
with faith and God lead him to Anianos although he did not
have this matter at all on his mind.
What happened to Saint Mark happened also to the rest of the
apostles. The names and places may have been different but the
heart of the subject is the same, as if every apostle was saying:
if the service was a human work it would interest me to
know the plan of my way; but if the service is a Godly work
so I don't care where I go to as I am with God so I go
wherever He guides me.
4-John the Baptist saw that his duty was to witness the truth.
He witnessed the truth and rebuked King Herod saying "you are
not justified" and was not interested where it will lead to prison
or to death. The message of God was fulfilled in complete
obedience of faith. Life and destiny are submitted to God to
This was how Paul the apostle witnessed for the Lord not
caring where he got into "trouble or hardship or persecution or
famine or nakedness or danger or sword", he says with
confidence in the life of submission "In all these things we are
more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Rom.
In all these matters, the children of God walked in the way of
life, the life of submission.
All what interests them is that God leads them and they do not
care where to. They have confidence in faith, that it will lead
them to green pastures and to wells of living waters. Their
experience with God makes them happy with His guidance,
having confidence in His love.
5-Isaac, the son of Abraham carried wood and went after
his father not knowing where they were heading. All what
he learned in his life was submission and obedience, and Isaac
went with them to the place of where he was to be sacrificed.
Abraham tied him up and put him on the altar on top of the
wood (Gen. 22) and raised his knife. All this and Isaac was in
complete submission. He did not doubt in his father's love nor in
the love of God and he always gained.
With his submission, he gained the obedience of faith, his life
and God's promises.
6-The servant of Abraham, when he went out to search for
a wife for Isaacs did not know where to go to.
He yielded his paths to God to guide him. God planned
everything for him in a wonderful way that he stood astonished
in front of it. Everything happened according to what Abraham
asked him and that's why he said "Lord has prospered my way"
As if he was saying "I did not know where I was going to, but I
knew exactly that God would be with me"
The same nearly happened to Jacob on his journey to his uncle
Laban. How beautiful is the Lord's saying to him "I am with you
and will keep you wherever you go." (Gen. 28:15).
7-the Israelites in the wilderness, did they know where they
were going to?
They did not know anything. God used to guide them day by
day. They would go or stay according to God's guidance. This
guidance was in the form of a cloud during the day and a rod of
fire in the night. The people were in complete submission to
God's guidance not questioning
Moses did not have a plan for his journey nor a map to follow
as if he was saying: it is enough Lord that Your cloud is
above our heads and the rod of fire in front of us. We do not
plan our way but Your good will does. We are happy to be
under Your guidance. Wherever Your cloud goes we will also
go and wherever it stays we will stay under it.
Let the meeting camp in the wilderness move towards the
unknown. It is unknown to us but is in Your knowledge since
the beginning of time. That suffices us so that we yield
ourselves to this unknown, and we have complete confidence
that we are on the way to Canaan.
8-Saint Antonious, father of monks, when he entered the desert
did not know where he was going just like Saint Paul, the first
Also all the other travelling Saints and hermits when they
entered the unknown wilderness, did not have a certain place in
mind to go to. What was in front of them was the spiritual aim
to be alone with God in a calm and peaceful life, yielding their
lives totally to Him "lost in the pastures, mountains and the
If you ask anyone of the hermits where they are staying, they
would answer, "On a map I do not know where this place is
that I live in but on the map of love I know that I am in the
9-Some may ask: shouldn't every one make an estimation of the
cost according to the Lord's commandment Himself (Luke
The life of faith is far from the science of mathematics so then
what does Saint Luke mean by all this that everyone sits down
and estimates the costs of outlays?
The cost of outlay are: Do we have enough faith?
Do you have enough faith that you yield the whole matter to
God to manage it? You do what you can but this is the least
wanted. The principal point is your faith in what God does and
your yielding to Him in the whole matter.
This is our way when we wanted to build a church or any
project for service or caring. The main question was not "from
where do we pay the costs?" but the main question was, does
God agree with this project or not? If He allows it then He will
take care of the costs, we only have to start it and God's hand
completes the work with us "Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labour in vain who build it" (Ps 127:1).
Faith is that you close your eyes and look at God.
As long as you open your eyes you will walk with the bodily
senses, but if you close this bodily eye you will walk with heart
If you are convinced with your spiritual senses that God will go
with you on your path, walk in it even if it was through the
valley of the shadow of death, having confidence that there you
will not fear any evil because God is with you (Psalm 23).
10-This is the life of submission, where God chooses for us
what we want without choosing ourselves, taking advice
from the story of Lot and Abraham.
Lot chose for himself to live in Sodom where the valley was full
of tar pits (Gen 14: 10-11) and he knew where he was going to.
Abraham did not choose anything for himself, but God told him
"Get out of your country, From your family And from your
father's house, To a land that I will show you. " (Gen. 12: 1)
and what was the result? Lot cursed when he was in Sodom and
Abraham saved him (Gen. 14), all his money was burnt and he
lost everything there.
The life of submission of Abraham had a better result.
WHAT STRENGTHENS THE FAITH?
Faith is a virtue like all other virtues; it can be strengthened and
it can be weakened.
We do not have to only keep our faith, but to also follow all the
means that make it grow and increase (2 Thess.1:3 & 2 Cor.8:7).
What are the means that strengthen our faith? The means are:
1-Confidence In God's Qualities
a- Always put in your heart that God is a doer of benevolence,
so that you can strengthen your faith with His care and
protection. Always tell yourself "All things work together
for good to those who love God." (Rom. 8:28). Have
confidence that everything God does is benevolent, and that
everything He allows to happen will no doubt lead to good
whatever seems to be the matter. God showed benevolence
to Joseph when he was sold as a slave and thrown into
prison without any charges. All these distresses were in
God's plan for the good of Joseph, and for the good of the
whole region. This is what Joseph told his brothers who
sold him "So now it was not you who sent me here, but
God." (Gen. 45:8), "You meant evil against me; but God
meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this
day." (Gen. 50:20).
b- Have confidence that God is a father and that He is the
Living One. No doubt, He treats His children with
tenderness and gives them good gifts. God said in His
fatherly tenderness, that He engraved us on the palms of His
hands (Is 49:16). Even if a mother forgot her child, He
won't forget us (Is 49: 15). In His fatherhood He gives us all
that we need without asking.
c- What also strengthens the faith is to have confidence in
God's ability to do anything. He loves and wants
benevolences for you. He has the ability to do all, in spite of
the fact that the matter would seem difficult.
When our father Abraham raised his hand with the knife to
sacrifice his only son Isaac, he had faith that God is loving
and He inevitably wanted benevolence from all this.
According to God's promise Abraham had full faith that he
will have as many descendants from Isaac as the stars of the
He even had faith that if Isaac died, then God was able to
raise him from the dead and to fulfil His promise. "That God
was able to raise him up, even from the dead." (Heb. 11:
19). He is "A father of many nations in the presence of Him
whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and
calls those things which do not exist as though they did."
Moses entered the Red Sea and crossed it having faith in
God's ability to do anything and Joshua entered the Jordan
river and also crossed it; each one of them with his people.
d- Have confidence in the God's judgment, and that all His
planning is for good, even if you don't understand the depth
of His judgment.
If you believe in God's judgment, you will live in peace and
accept everything with satisfaction. But if your human mind
doesn't have confidence in God's judgement you will live in
murmur, complaints and psychological weakness. In all that
happens to you say to Him; "I have confidence Lord in
Your judgement and in Your good planning. And if my
understanding is not paralysed, no doubt, I will know later
what You meant, just as Joseph did." Have confidence, that
God is a doer of benevolence, that He is a loving father, that
He is wise in His planning, that He wants good for you and
that He is able. All these things deepen your faith and grant
you peace of heart.
2- Confidence in the sincerity of God's timing
God promised our father Abram that He will give him
descendants, and He did grant him many descendants,
although after a long time. He also promised him that his
descendants will be as many as the stars of the sky and so it
was, although his wife was barren and he was of old age.
God also promised His people freedom from captivity and
He did free them.
He promised Elijah to help him in the time of famine and He
did aid him with a miracle (1 Kin 17:3-6).
God promised our mother Eve that her descendants will
crush the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15); this promise was
fulfilled on the cross.
God also promised that He would pour out His Spirit on all
people (Joel 2:28), and He did that day on Pentecost and we
are still God's temple (1 Cor. 3:16).
All God's promises are sincere. We need them as much as
those long ago in history did.
These are everlasting promises from God. These would
comfort us when we live in them and in faith
example, in His saying; "I am with you always, even to the
end of the age." (Matt. 28:20), "For where two or three are
gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of
them." (Matt. 18:20), "I will give you a mouth and wisdom
which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or
resist." (Luke 21:15), "Do not worry about how or what you
should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what
you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit
of your Father who speaks in you." (Matt. 10:19-20), also
His saying about the church that the gates of Hell will not
overcome (Matt. 16:18).
May we live in these promises with all our hearts, so as to
strengthen our faith.
How wonderful it would be if you, dear reader, collect all
these promises and read them frequently and tell yourself.
No doubt God is sincere in His promises, and consequently
with no doubt I have to live happily with these Godly
promises. The continuous remembrance of God's promises
comforts the soul and strengthens the faith.
3- Look Unto God And Not Unto The Surrounding
The surrounding circumstances were calling for hopelessness
before crossing the Red Sea. But Moses called the people to
look unto God and said to them "Stand still, and see the
salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you ...
The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
The same also happened between David and the mighty
Goliath. If David looked to the mighty and challenging
Goliath he would have been at a loss. But through faith he
looked unto God who will capture him in His hand (1 Sam.
The same situation also happened in the miracle of the five
loaves and the two fish. When the disciples saw the existing
food and the thousands of people present they said "what is
this food to these people?" But Jesus looked up and blessed
the food. If the disciples also looked up with faith they
would have rested and saw the power of God.
Martha looked at the tomb of her dead brother who died
four days back, and said that he smells bad. But the Lord
told her haven't I told you that if you believed, you would
have seen the glory of God (John 11:39-40).
So we always have to look above so that faith enters our
We have to look up unto the loving God who is able to do
anything, and not to concentrate our thoughts on the
Don't look to the power of your enemies, but look unto God
who will rescue you from them.
Don't look at the sin which "has cast down many wounded,
And all who were slain by her were strong men.. " (Prov.
7:26), but look unto the Lord Jesus who "Will save His
people from their sins." (Matt. 1:21).
4-The stories of faith and companionship with men of faith.
That's why when God wanted to give lessons about faith He
said "Consider the lilies of the field... even Solomon in all
his glory was not arrayed like one of these." (Matt. 6:28-
29). So if the grass of the field. God clothed it like that, will
He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
He also said, "look at the birds of the sky" Once I did what
the Lord ordered and I looked at a bird in the garden of the
monastery with many grains in front of her. She only picked
up two or three and left all the rest and flew "She did not
store them in a barn" according to what the Lord said. She
had confidence that any place she flies to, the Lord will grant
her food, so why should she then store grains? Why should
she leave the high and the wide sky to stay near the grains to
store them just like what the ant does.
The Lord gave us a similar example in the story of the
manna and its collecting.
The people used to collect it according to their needs day by
day without storing it and those who didn't obey and stored
it, the manna became contaminated with "worms and stank."
Whenever a person reads stories about faith, about the
confidence in God and miracles happened with His Saints,
his heart will be filled with faith and he will come to love this
life full of faith. Also when he associates with men of faith,
he will learn to imitate their lives of faith. God's works in
their lives will excite him and he will take them as an
example. That is why one of the fathers said, "the news of
the saints are appetising".
For this reason, the Bible has registered many stories of
faith for us to be affected and to learn from them. It will
also strengthen our faith, as we see practical examples of the
life of faith we desire. We see in front of us the way the men
of faith went along, and how God treated them and how they
dealt with Him.
If reading affects a person then there is no doubt, their
association with someone of faith will have a deeper
So associate with those who have faith and absorb the faith
from them, the person acquires faith by submission more
than by learning. Look how they live, how faith appears in
their lives, how they deal with God, and how they react
towards certain circumstances. If you want to strengthen
your faith then no doubt you need this quality.
5-Humility Of Heart And Mind.
The humble person accepts all what comes from God with
satisfaction. But the mind that is proud of itself discusses,
argues and refuses what doesn't please it. So it won't reach
the faith the humble person reaches.
The humble person admits that his mind is limited and
that his abilities are limited and that he cannot absorb
God the unlimited, and does not perceive the depth of His
wisdom and qualities. Thus he accepts in faith and does not
doubt. If the mind presses down upon him, he would then lay
down before God and say: "Your wishes O Lord are above
my understanding and Your works are above my knowledge.
Who am I in front of You? All my knowledge is ignorance in
front of You".
I take from You via submission and not via inspection.
Give me O Lord the faith of children and not that of
philosophers and wise men (Luke 10:21).
Should we put the story of the three young men in the fire
without being burnt (Dan. 3:25) in our limited understanding
or should we accept it in faith, with a humble mind that bows
down before the miracle? The miracle is the work of God
who is able to do anything.
Faith needs the humility of the mind and the simplicity of the
heart and it also needs:-
6-The Experience With God
Throw yourself in the circle of God, live with Him and test
Him, try to rely on Him, at that time you will see His
miracles working with you. If however you limit yourself, all
your life, in the circle of the mind's abilities, the human
wisdom, the experiences of society, the people's advice away
from God, you eat everyday from the tree of knowledge... so
how will you then reach faith? Therefore, test practically the
existence of God in your life. Associate with Him so that you
know who He is, and as David the prophet said "Oh, taste
and see that the Lord is good." (Ps 34:8). Maybe someone
will ask: how can we experience God and I say:
7 - See God In Every Matter
People's faith does not grow stronger when they live in a
world they separated from God. They give reasons to
things that happen in this world without mentioning the name
of God, as if the world rotates without God.
a- An example: man can destroy the atom, use nuclear energy,
build space-crafts, reach the moon, rotate around the
universe and deal with electronics... People then speak out:
how great the human mind is! How great is the nation that
invented all those things! They fait to mention God's name
at all !
But the believer says: Glory be to You God the creator of
this human mind. You granted him all the possibilities, and
You revealed to him all the power You put in nature. If
Your believers know all this, so how is it then with You?
You who are unlimited, who can do anything? What
strengthens the faith of the believer is that he relates every
power and every miracle to God.
b- Another example: a person gets sick with a dangerous
illness, and a doctor can save him from death and is healed.
The sick person and his family admire the cleverness of the
doctor, so they thank him in the newspapers and praise him,
and consider him the cause for the healing. The name of
God is never uttered on their lips.
But the believer says: we thank God that He healed the sick
person, His hand was the doctor's hand.
c- A third example: a person is subjected to an accident that
would have costed him his life, had there not been a driver
who stopped the car a few centimetres apart from him. The
people shout and say: how skilful the driver is, but the
believer says: God granted this person a new life.
How beautiful it would be if you search for God's hand
in every incident so as to strengthen your faith.
Search for God's judgement and work this in your daily life.
At that time you will find God everyday, you touch and deal
with Him, and you feel His presence in all what happens to
you; small or big. In this way your faith will increase day by
d- A fourth example: if a believer passes by a garden and sees
a flower it would not be suffice to enjoy it's shape and smell
as the intellectual does, but will stand overwhelmed in front
of it and will say: what is this beauty O Lord that you
created? What are these wonderful colours that the most
clever artists cannot create. No doubt the artificial flowers
are accurate and beautiful but are not in this arrangement,
besides that they are lifeless without ripeness or smell. It is
Really, contemplating about nature in this manner
strengthens the faith.
People of the world admire nature as one; they separated it
from God. However, he, who wants to strengthen his faith, sees
God in nature. Isn't it His creation? This is how David the
prophet says "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the
firmament shows His handiwork." (Ps 19:1). Do you admire a
moony night without glorifying God the creator of the moon?
Remember God in this way so that He becomes a practical
reality to you and not just an intellectual reality to be proved
with evidences ... in this way you will everyday live with God .
If you desire to strengthen your faith then don't separate
God's creations from Him.
Do not be overwhelmed by the nature and forget God. Don't be
overwhelmed by the human mind and it's dealing with the
matter, but say: You are wonderful Lord! How did you create
the material world like this with its qualities and effects so that
the mind can use for all these aims. Do we wonder about a
doctor who extracts a medicine from a certain material, whereas
that we forget God who put this quality in this material so that
it can serve the doctor's aim!
Another matter can strengthen your faith:
8-Take The Lord As Your Friend:
If you did this, it would strengthen your faith because you
will build a relationship with God and talk with Him without
Many look unto the Lord as God or master. But did you
look unto Him as a loving friend, having confidence in Him
and in His loyalty. He knocks at your door and asks you to
open the door as a friend. He win enter and eat with you and
you with Him (Rev. 3:20). If you accepted God's friendship
and love, you will enter the real faith... you will look forward
to seeing Him as a friend, to tell Him your secrets, and enjoy
His companionship and love... you will take care as a friend
not to hurt His feelings or make Him angry. He, Himself, will
reveal His secrets to you as He did with Abraham (Gen.
God wants you like this because He said "No longer do I call
you servants... but I have called you friends." (John 15:15)
so take Him then as a friend or Father, and believe in His
sovereignty and power, and share your secrets with Him, and
He will share His with you.
From the stories of friendship and truth with God is the
anointment of Elijah to Elisha as a prophet.
One day the Lord told Elijah, the great prophet, "anoint Jehu
the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of
Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in
your place." (1 Kin 19:16).
Elijah did not say well, Lord I will anoint Jehua a king, but
how can I anoint a prophet in my place? Are you not in need
of my services? Does this happen now after my great efforts
for your sake, and after standing before King Ahab and his
wife Jezebel, and after freeing the land from all the Baal
prophets? Did Your love for me change?
Elijah did not say anything of the sort, and did not doubt in
God's love, but did what God ordered, having confidence in
God's love and wisdom. Elijah considered it familiarity and
friendship with God. God made Elijah participate with Him
in carrying out the Godly plan, even if he had to anoint a
prophet in his place. This does not mean that the friendship
between him and God is finished or reduced.
The proof is that God raised him, later on, in glory to Him in
heaven (2 Kin 2:1 1). Further evidence that He appeared
talking with him on mount Carmel. It is love that God made
clear to him even in the matters concerning him. The
anointment of a prophet in his place was the beginning of his
promotion to a better state greater than being a prophet.
9-Prayer For The Sake Of Faith
Pray for your faith that it may grow and increase.
Tell Him: Give me O Lord, that I believe in You with full
faith. Give me that I love and have confidence in You in
everything, and to believe that You do me benevolences even
if the world was dark in front of me. Let me feel that my
mind is much smaller to understand Your wisdom and
judgment. I know that You are a doer of benevolences, that
You are loving, that You see everything and that You are
capable of doing everything, and in spite of that my faith
often weakens... so help my weak faith.
WHAT WEAKENS THE FAITH
The devil labours continuously with all his efforts to
weaken the believers' faith. He and his companions try to
deceive even the elect (Matt. 24:24). It does not suffice them
only to weaken the faith, but even to turn their victim into an
apostate. This is how in the end of days many will abandon the
faith "Giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of
demons" (1 Tim. 4: 1). How dangerous is the Bible's saying
about the Second Coming of Christ "Nevertheless, when the
Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth" (Luke
What are the demon's tricks to weaken the faith? There are
many: some are terrible, and some are calm that nobody can
1- The Self
The self often opposes and refuses God because He is
against its sinful desires.
The self feels that God limits its freedom. It desires things God
does not agree upon, to enjoy this (liberty) or this negligence, it
thus separates itself from God, as the lost son did. He left his
father's house (Luke 15:11-14), to spend his share of the
money as he wishes ... or to refuse God. The apostates are
examples of those who refuse God and their motto becomes:
It is good that God does not exist, so that I can exist.
These people have misunderstood the real meaning of existence
and the real meaning of freedom. Liberty is not doing what one
wishes, ones wishes may be wrong, but the true liberty is to be
freed from all what assails the self... to be freed from bad habits
that enslave him, and from the sinful desires that defiles him,
and to be freed from the domination of material things on him.
All that prevents the self from souring towards God and from
being in God's companionship; which is the real existence.
From the hindrances of the self towards faith is the desire of
man to feel himself, in power, greatness and pride and here God
sees a rival.
Herod the king found that the new born in Bethlehem will
share with him the reign, thus he refused to have faith in
Him and tried to get rid of Him by killing Him. The Pharisees
are also examples like Herod, who saw Jesus taking their place
and familiarity as a teacher. They said one to another "You see
that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone
after Him!" (John 12:19). Many refused the faith in Jesus
Christ's resurrection because of their self, so as it won't be
evidence against them being guilty of this man's blood (Acts
5:28) ... The self is the greatest hindrance towards faith.
Accordingly, the Lord said: "If anyone desires to come after
Me, let him deny himself... " (Matt. 16:24).
He also said "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses
his life for My sake will find it." (Matt. 10:39). Thus, Saint
Peter the apostle says relating to faith "... Nor do I count my
life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race " (Acts 20:24),
"I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge
of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of
all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
and be found in Him." (Phil. 3:8-9). Are you like that? or...
Is your faith hindered due to your self? due to your wishes,
desires, ideas and passions?
Is there opposition between God and your self? If it so then
deny your self, resist it, overcome it, because better is a man
who controls his soul than one who controls a city (Prov.
The Pharisees, scribes, and priests took much care of their
selves. In each self, there were faults. Jesus used to discover
these faults without having to speak about them, just by
comparison it was revealed. For this reason they hated Him and
didn't believe in Him because He was the light that endangered
their darkness. Their selves were obstacles on their way of faith.
Not to forget that the devil's self was a reason for losing his
When he thought of how to magnify his soul. How to ascend to
Heaven and to sour up above the planets of God, and become
like the Most High (Is 14:14), so the (greatness) of his self
opposed his faith in God. As for the virtuous angels, they kept
their places because, in their faith in God, they considered
themselves "His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His
pleasure." (Ps 103:21).
Many find their selves beautiful in their eyes, their selves
are their idols.
What prevents them from the life of faith: the self love, self
esteem, the desire to magnify the self, to fulfil the self's
passions, and to run away from everything that reveals this self
and reveal it disadvantages ... thus they want their selves to live
in an atmosphere of coquetry, courtesy and praise. They are
annoyed from every sincere word, every reproach and every
punishment. So how can they live in faith?
If you were like this, try to improve yourself so that you humble
yourself before God and live in faith.
From the matters that also weaken the faith:
2-Domination Of The Senses.
This is what happened to Saint Thomas the apostle, when he
refused to believe in the resurrection of the Lord and said
"Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my
finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side,
I will not believe." (John 20:25). God condescended with the
weakness of Thomas's faith and permitted him to become sure
through his senses by saying "stop doubting and believe" and he
rebuked him saying "Because you have seen Me, you have
believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have
believed" (John 20:27,29). What the person sees we call
observation and not faith, but it may lead to faith.
Is this faith weak? There is even worse: he who sees and
still does not believe.
As an example of those are the priests who saw the empty tomb
and did not believe in the resurrection. The Pharisees who saw
the miracles of Jesus, like the healing of the born blind, and the
raising from the dead, and did not even believe. Those refused
faith due to reasons in their hearts. What our father Abraham
said to Lazarus applies to them "Neither will they be persuaded
though one rise from the dead." (Luke 16:31).
3-Submitting Faith To The Mind
The mind has limits which can not be overcome and that faith is
at a higher level than that. But there are people who want their
minds to perceive the unlimited, the miracles, and what is
beyond their understanding or else, they refuse all this!
They want theology to be submitted to scientific research and
this is logically impossible. It is not reasonable that the mind,
which is limited, subdues to the unlimited.
Maybe as an example of this, is what is known today as the
'New Theology', in some of the institutes, where they want to
submit the soul and miracle to pure scientific research or to
symbolic explanations. Thus they deny many of the miracles and
many stories told in the Bible and mix it with Mythology!
Really, the mind is lost if it tries to think highly of itself more
than it ought to (Rom. 12:3), and thus it strays away from faith
and tries to lead others in the same obliquity.
4- Associating With Doubtful People:
Just as associating with men of faith strengthens the faith, also
associating with doubtful people plants doubt in minds and
hearts. If it was persisting, or if, it has a deep effect or if the
level submitting knowledge to doubts is lower than the mind, or
if it was not deep enough in the faith.
For this reason the Bible prevents the association with
Saint John, the apostle, says "If anyone comes to you and does
not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor
greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.. " (2
John 1:10). That is why the church prevented the association
with the heretics and the banished.
How many people associate with non Christian groups like the
Jehovah witnesses for example, and the result is that they lose
their directions. How many church members associated with
strange groups or heretics and their beliefs where deeply
Considering behaviour and spiritualities, the association
with doubtful people weakens the faith:
You may be faced with a test or a problem and you accept it in
faith, and you submit the matter to God thanking Him for
everything. Then, a person with little faith visits you, and he
keeps on explaining how dangerous the matter is and frightens
you of its results, until you lose your peace of heart. It also
weakens your faith in God's care and you get worried.
Be careful with whom you associate and with whom you mix
This leads us to another point which also weakens the faith:
5- Yielding And Having A Weak Personality:
Mary Magdalene is as an example of those: she saw the empty
tomb, heard the angel's good news, even saw the Lord Jesus
after His resurrection, held on His feet, heard His voice, and He
gave her a message... but after all that she said three times
"They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not
know where they have laid Him." (John 20:2,3,13, 1 5), and in
this she denied the resurrection. What is the reason of this
transfer? and how did her faith weaken after seeing Jesus and
speaking with Him (Mark 16:9, Matt. 28:9)?
Mary Magdalene was young in age. Her personality weakened
due to the rumours which the Jewish priests spread against the
resurrection. She also weakened due to the disciples' non belief
in the resurrection (Mark 16:11,13,14). Doubts and suspicions
entered her heart, and she repeated it with her own mouth the
rumours she had heard.
The faith of Mary Magdalene could not oppose the
rumours and the people's talk.
She was inwardly moved due to the outer pressure and she
yielded to it.
Many people are inwardly moved. They retreat. from their first
faith, belief or behaviour, due to people's mockery and due to
that their personality is being weaker than the opposition.
God wants your personalities to be strong. As the apostle says,
"Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a
reason for the hope that is in you." (1 Peter 3: 1 5). The
children of God are not weak. They should be like those whose
faith or rather spiritualities are moved, and yield to any outer
ideas, but apply what the apostle says "Therefore, my beloved
brethren, be steadfast, immovable... " (1 Cor. 15:58).
Our mother Eve is also an example of the kind who deviated
from faith due to yielding. She deviated from faith as she heard
what the snake said and it resulted in her being sent out of
How many go after rumours and believe them. How many utter
words about the Second Coming and people believe them. They
say the Anti Christ is born, is in an American State, and that he
is now 17 years of age!! And also that the world will come to
an end this year or another! How many dates did the Jehova's
Witnesses fix about the second coming, and nothing has
The faith of some may weaken and they would follow those
who claim they saw visions and dreams.
They think that those who claim having visions and dreams are
true and that they come from God! They are cheated by what he
says, even if it was against their beliefs and spiritual principles.
God warned against those people since the days of Moses the
prophet, and said:
"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams,
and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the
wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, `Let us
go after other gods'--which you have not known--`and let us
serve them, you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or
that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to
know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart."
Yielding is one of the reasons that weakens the faith. Another
Fear weakens the faith and a weak faith leads to fear.
Peter, the great apostle, denied Jesus, when he feared. He
insulted, cursed and swore that he didn't know the man (Matt
26:74), and thus his faith weakened. Jesus told him before that
"I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail." (Luke
Many lose their faith due to fear. That is why Revelation puts
the cowards at the top of the list of perishers, and said "But the
cowardly, unbelieving, abominable... shall have their part in
the lake which burns with fire and brimstone." (Rev. 21:8). The
placement of the cowardly before the non-believers can mean
that the cowardly, due to their fear, became non-believers.
Pontius Pilate believed, deep within, that Jesus of Nazareth was
innocent of the charges set against Him by the Jews. He was
confident that the Jews handed Him due to envy. He tried to set
Him free and said about Him "this Holy person"... but finally he
submitted to his weakness, and presented Jesus to be crucified
because he was afraid the people would say about him that he
was against Caesar...
As for the spiritual person, he doesn't lose his faith at all
because he doesn't fear...
From the matters that also weaken the faith is:
Many lost their faith due to lust. As an example of those is
Demas who was Paul's helper in preaching. Saint Paul wrote
about him "Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present
world." (2 Tim. 4:10). Love of the world weakens the faith
because it is hatred against God (James 4:4).
Also from the examples of those who lost their faith, due to
lust, was the rich young ma
n ... He left Christ "Sorrowful, for
he had great possessions." (Matt. 19:22). Thus, the lust for
money may weaken the faith.
How many left Jesus for the sake of a woman or a position...
Solomon, the wisest on earth, lost his faith due to his lust
for women .
He "Loved many foreign women " (1 Kin 11: 1). "When
Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other
gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was
the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after
Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the
abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of
the Lord." (1 Kin 11:4-6).
This great wise man fell, however we believe that he repented in
his last days. The book of Ecclesiasts is evidence to his
Ananias and Sapphira lost their faith for lust of money, so
They both "lied to God" (Acts 5:4) and also "tested the Spirit
of the Lord" (Acts 5:9). They both died perishing.
Balaam lost his faith due to his lust for money. He was a
prophet and had beautiful prophecies about Jesus. Finally, he
fell in darkness due to "Wages of unrighteousness." (2 Pet.
2:15). He thus caused people to fall and taught Balak the way
of sin (Rev. 2:14)... he and others perished.
The lust for greatness and overcoming others lead to the
loss of faith of many:
Maybe one of those was Diotrephes who "who loves to have the
preeminence among them". Thus, he opposed Saint John and
drove away many brothers out of church (3 John 1:10)
The lust for Godliness lead the great Cherubim to lose his faith
and became a devil. He was earlier an angel of light with
greatness and beauty.
Indeed, lusts are from the matters that weaken and stop the
faith. From the reasons that also weaken the faith are distresses
and the pressure of outer circumstances.
8- External Circumstances
As an example of such cases is Gideon. When his faith
weakened concerning the care of God, the angel told him "The
Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!" Gideon said to
Him, "O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this
happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our
fathers told us about, saying, `Did not the Lord bring us up
from Egypt?' But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered
us into the hands of the Midianites"? (Judges 6:12-13).
In this way, the faith may weaken if the distress lasted long
or if it became stronger.
The faith of the disciples weakened and they doubted when the
waves of the sea broke over the boat. They told the Lord "Do
You not care that we are perishing?" (Mark 4:38-40).
When the Israelites stayed long in the service of Pharaoh they
were discouraged and their faith in salvation weakened (Ex.
There is another dangerous reason that weakens the faith:
9-The Devil's Deceptions.
Among these misleading are the false visions. Satan -so as to
teach the people- "transforms himself into an angel of light."
(2 Cor. 11:14). He can even perform false miracles as it was
said about the lawless one at the end of time "According to the
working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish."
(2 Thes. 2:9, 10). The prophet said that this will cause the great
rebellion before the coming of Christ (2 Thes. 2:3). Namely the
loss of faith due to these Satanic misleading which deceive the
Satan may deceive people with dreams and false prophecies,
with ideas, misleading and innovations so as to destroy the faith
in their hearts... he may even send them "false prophets will rise
and show great signs and wonders ." (Matt. 24:24). He may
tell them "here is the Christ". The Lord warned "If anyone
says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!' or `There!' do not
believe it." (Matt. 24:23).
All this needs setting apart, as the prophet said "Do not believe
every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God;
because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1
One of the main factors that weakens the faith is
Doubt weakens the faith and a weak faith produces doubt...
This is exactly what we said about fear. Each of them causes the
other or results from the other.
a- Doubt was one of the wars the devil fought against our first
parents to lose their faith. He told them "Has God indeed
said ... you will surely not die? " (Gen. 3:1-4).
If you are faced with doubts concerning the existence of
God or other principle beliefs then do not fear. These
are from the enemy's wars and not your denial of faith,
and especially, if your heart was refusing it. In such
circumstances, you have to pray so that God lifts up these
wars from you, and that you change your way of thinking,
and occupy yourself with another subject. But if the doubts
are from you and you are convinced with them so you have
to treat them with a pure spiritual understanding by asking
the specialists in theology, and by reading useful books in
There are other wars against doubt lighter than this, we
mention the following:
b- Doubt in God's aid or in that God has abandoned you.
The Lord rebukes this kind of doubt by saying "O you of
little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matt. 14:31). Here He
relates between doubt and little faith, because the person
with a strong faith would never doubt in God's love and
They many perpetual distresses may sometimes press on
the heart and one would say, "Why do You stand afar
off, O Lord? Why do You hide in times of trouble?" (Ps
This is blame and not weakness in the faith. It seems to the
psalmist that the Lord is standing afar, but the Lord keeps
guard with all love and care the security of His children, like
the eagle that teaches its youngsters to fly, and like the
father who teaches his son to swim. He leaves him for a
while to train and gain experience. He watches him with all
care. If He sees danger surrounding him, He will hurry to
There is also the example of the mother who teaches her son to
walk. She leaves him to fall down and stand up again to
strengthen his bones and muscles and to learn. However, if she
hurried to carry him in her arms after each cry, that will harm
him, because he will not learn and his bones will not be strong
The distresses are a school to train us to pray and to hold
onto God. We are also trained in faith and we see how God
works, and with which strength. For sure, God works, in
spite that we do not see Him and do not feel His work.
The person may doubt if he only looked to troubles and not to
God. That is how we see Peter doubt when he looked to the
water beneath his feet and did not see Jesus who held his hand.
As the faith of Peter decreased so did he start to sink and then
the Lord rescued him.
The children of God may be like "lambs among wolves" but
they do not doubt or fear. As long as the good shepherd is
among the lambs so the wolves and not even the lions will
Our father Abram did not doubt in God's love and care, in spite
of the difficulty of the matter of giving his son Isaac as a
sacrifice, as if he were saying:
My heart is not tenderer than the heart of God on my son
Isaac, and I can't manage the future of Isaac as God does.
As long as God agrees on something then, no doubt, I have also
to agree upon it, because I do not have God's wisdom or love.
So let it be His will.
He who does not doubt lives always in tranquillity and
He always lives in security and the outer circumstances will not
tire him. He does not impose on God certain solutions, and if
God does not carry them out, he will be angry. Nevertheless, he
agrees on any solution coming from God according to His
How many troubles does doubt cause in the heart and the
mind... like doubt, fear, disturbance and little love. Doubt in
itself is tiredness, a burning fire.
Doubt is heated by confidence and love. He who loves a
person doesn't doubt in him. That is why we are with God
and we do not doubt in Him because we love Him and have
confidence in Him. Our faith in Him doesn't allow us to doubt in
His Godly and Fatherly deeds with us.
Holy is He in all what He does.
Faith kids fear and doubt. Fear and doubt on the other side
kill the faith.
Hold on to your faith because it is a strong and victorious
element. You will then live in joy, peace, tranquillity, without
fear, and without any doubt all the days of your life.
THE TEST OF FAITH
Are You in the Faith?
There are many ways to test the faith. They could be all
deduced from the preceding chapters. We want to say here that
the apostle - in the life of faith - does not speak merely about
faith, ie. to confine in the name of the Lord, but he specifically
1-Faith Expressing Itself Through Love (Gal. 5:6):
Test your faith in love according to what the apostle explained
in (1 Cor. 13) "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not
envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not
behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no
evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears
all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all
things." (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
Do you have all these qualities so as to have a sound faith? The
apostle said "And though I have all faith, so that I could
remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." (1 Cor
13:2). With this love, you can examine your faith... Yet in
general, you can examine your faith through your deeds.
2-To Examine Faith Through Deeds
This is because the apostle says "I will show you my faith by my
works." (James 2:18). Through deeds you can examine your
faith if it is alive or dead because "Faith without works is dead."
(James 2:20), and a dead faith can not save anyone (James
Saint Paul the apostle, spoke a great deal about the importance
of faith. We see him say: "They profess to know God, but in
works they deny Him " (Titus 1: 16). In his first letter to Timothy
he stresses upon this point and says, "But if anyone does not
provide for his own, and especially for those of his household,
he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1
Tim. 5:8). The young widows overcame their dedication to
Christ because "they have cast off their first faith." (1 Tim. 5:
12). Those who love money "have strayed from the faith " (1
Tim. 6:10), and those who are interested in impure and false
chatter "strayed concerning the faith." (1 Tim. 6:21).
Therefore, the person's behaviour may be a test of his faith.
Saint John the apostle, said "I know Him, and does not keep His
commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. " (1 John
2:4), "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk
just as He walked." (1 John 2:6), and thus we say:
3-Examination Of Faith Through The Purity Of Heart
He who believes that God is in front of him, that God is holy
and hates sin, that He is just and rewards everyone according to
his deeds, fears to err in front of God, is ashamed to do any
wrong, and is ashamed to hurt the heart of the loving God; if he
does believe in God's love!.
Here the apostle says "Whoever sins has neither seen Him
nor known Him. " (1 John 3:6). For sure, he who sins doesn't
have in mind that God sees, hears and records everything during
his sin committing... and for sure he who does wrong doesn't
completely believe that there is a God who "Gives freedom to
the prisoners." (Ps 146:7) hence, if one says to the oppressor
"God is present" then he fears and trembles.
For sure, the arrogant or the inflated with pride does not feel at
all that he is standing in front of God. When Herod spoke to the
people they praised him saying "This is the voice of a God, and
not of man". Herod was glad to hear this praise. He didn't have
faith that God is in front of him, and for this reason, "An angel
of the Lord struck him, ... And he was eaten by worms and
The real believer can be tested through religious devotion
without envying the worldly matters. The believers are content
with whatever the circumstances are (Phil. 4:1 1).
Another point in the life of faith is:
4-Faith Is Tested Through The Power It Grants That All
Things Are Possible:
Do you have the power of faith that you feel that everything is
As the Lord said "All things are possible to him who believes"
(Mark 9:23). Do you feel that something is hard or impossible?
or that your faith doesn't believe in God doing it? Do you doubt
the matters that need miracles? Can you say what Saint Paul the
Apostle said "I can do all things through Christ who
strengthens me. " (Phil. 4:13). Are you moved by obstacles and
difficulties that you say "its not possible". Does despair fight
Despair is against faith and against hope in all directions.
No doubt those who commit suicide have lost their faith and
their hope. They felt that there is no solution. They also lost
faith in life after death in eternity and their destiny in it.
Also those, who submitted themselves to the present situation,
to external pressures or to sin, didn't have any, faith at all that
there is power that can support and deliver them.
Faith is a power for those who can use it in confidence and
without any doubt.
I fear that faith in the hand of some is used like the staff of
Elisha in Gehazi's hand (2 Kin 4:3 1). I also fear the same
thing concerning people who carry the cross on their hands:
they care to carry it and to perform its sign without having faith
in it. They carry the cross but do not have the power that is
concealed in it and in its deeds...
Do you think that Moses's stick separated the Red sea? Or is it
the faith of Moses carrying and using it in the name of the
Do you have the power of faith that Moses had when he
stretched his hand over the Red Sea?
You often pray, but does your prayer have faith that it gives it
strength? How wonderful is the Bible's saying about Elijah "he
prayed earnestly" (James 5: 17). This prayer was not ordinary
as the prayers of rest of the people, because it could stop the
heavens from giving rain and another time it did.
Test your faith through the power you have as a result of your
relationship with God.
5-Test Of Faith During Distresses.
Trials face every man. There is a big difference between the
believer and the non-believer's souls that accepts this trial. If
the trial disturbs your peace then know that your faith is
The believer accepts trials believing that they are for the good
and that God will solve them. He is not disturbed or troubled
and his heart is not burdened with sadness and pain.
He faces it with three verses, "All things work together for good
to those who love God." (Rom 8:28), "Count it all joy when
you fall into various trials " (James 2: 1), and also "All things
are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23). With this faith,
his heart rejoices in the trial and people are comforted through
The believer places God between him and the trial; the trial
disappears and God appears. He remembers God's hand with
the saints in all their trial "The Angel of His Presence saved
them." (Is 63:9). He remembers what happened to Moses,
Joseph, David, Job, Daniel and the three young men. All these
increase his faith in God and increase his confidence in God's
interference and in His word. Thus he is not shaken in trial, he
doesn't doubt, doesn't feel sad and doesn't feel anxious... but
says with the psalmist "Our soul has escaped as a bird from the
snare of the fowlers; The snare is broken, and we have
escaped....Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made
heaven and earth." (Ps 124).
He tells the Lord: as long as You accept the trial then I am
happy with it.
I do not only accept it or approve of it, but I am happy that the
Lord gave me the blessing of this trial... It is lovely what was
said about the apostles after being whipped "So they departed
from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were
counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." (Acts 5:41).
The believer sees the door of God open in spite that all
other doors seem to be closed.
He believes in God who has the keys of Heaven and earth "He
who opens and no one shuts." (Rev. 3:7). The believer chants
with Saint John saying "After these things I looked, and behold,
a door standing open in heaven." (Rev. 4: 1). To test the faith
is to see all doors open in front of you, and every time you see a
closed door in front of you, you say: This is not the door God
wants me to go through. God has many other doors open.
There are doors that are now closed but God will open them
later on with this faith you can calm down.
6-To Test The Faith According To Some Commandments:
a- From the means to test the faith: the tithes and giving's
in general , and especially if this believer was in need, or if
he was asked to give from his belongings. The meek in faith
say, "if the whole salary or the whole income doesn't suffice,
then how is it if reduced by a tenth?" The believer says if I
give my tithe, this will bless the rest will be suffice and will
The tithe is a spiritual test the Lord gave i
n Malchi :
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be
food in My house, And try Me now in this, Says the Lord of
hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And
pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room
enough to receive it. ' (Mal. 3: 10). If the person - in spite
of this Godly promise - doesn't pay, so no doubt his faith is
weak concerning God's promise and blessing, and even
previously the doubt in His commandment.
If this was His the feelings about tithes then what about
s : give to the one who asks you (Matt.
5:42), and what about the commandment "Go, sell what you
have and give to the poor." (Matt. 19:21), and what about
"Sell what you have and give alms." (Luke 12:33)?
In this way, your faith is tested: Is God capable of
supporting you after you pay your share to the poor? Is He
capable to support you without storing up treasures on
earth (Matt. 6:19)?
b- Among The Commandments To Test The Faith: Keep
The Lord's Day:
Do you rejoice in the Lord's day so that you can spend it
with Him? Or do you prefer other several occupations than
the Lord? Are material matters more important in your
eyes? It's a test for your faith.
c- Also From The Important Tests: To What Extent Do
You Love Prayer:
Do you forget it and some times time passes where you
don't pray? Does it happen that when you stand up for
prayer that you think how it will finish so as to occupy
yourself with more interesting matters? Does it happen
during prayer that you meander away in your thoughts and
forget that you are standing in front of god talking to Him?
If you are like that then your faith is not at all strong in God,
in His companionship and in the pleasure of speaking with
Thus if we put the remaining praying matters and the
remaining clauses of the spiritual works, there will be a field
for testing your faith.
7- Test Your Faith In The Extent Of Caring About Your
Do you concentrate your mind and heart upon this world and
how successful you are and how you enjoy yourself in it?
Are you interested in your eternity and your destiny in the
other world, and how you prepare yourself for it, as the Lord
says "Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and
you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when
he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and
knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those
servants whom the master, when he comes, will find
watching" (Luke 12:35-37).
The spiritual wakefulness is a deep test of faith.
Where is the faith of those who neglect their eternity, where
is their faith? Where is their faith in the other life, and their
preparation for it with repentance and good deeds, with love
and companionship with God, and with oil in their lamps?
8-Test Your Faith In The Correctness Of Belief
Is it a sound faith without contrivances, false beliefs, and
particular understandings? Is it the faith that was once
entrusted to the saints (Jude 3) and was entrusted to reliable
men who were also qualified to teach others (2 Tim. 2:12).
Is it in accordance with the teachings of the Bible, or do you
follow people spreading their own teachings? With this, you
can test your faith .I say this because belief has a practical
effect on the spiritual life.
9-Test Your Faith With The Sound Qualities It Has
Is your faith a practical one? Is it firm that no outer
circumstances can shake it? Does it weaken or does it have
doubt? Is it filled with peace and doesn't fear? Do you know
the life of submission and the obedience of faith? Is your
faith a living and prosperous one? Does it grow and
I don't want to mention the rest of the qualities of faith so
that you can test yourself.
But if you want more measures, you can read this book
again from the beginning.
- BACK TO MAIN MENU
- LIFE OF FAITH
- CHAPTER 1
- CHAPTER 2
- CHAPTER 3
- DEGREES AND KINDS OF FAITH
- CHAPTER 4
- THE RELATIONSHIP OF FAITH WITH PEACE AND FEARLESSNESS
- CHAPTER 5
- THE RELATIONSHIP OF FAITH WITH PURITY OF THE HEART
- CHAPTER 6
- CHAPTER 7
- OBEDIENCE OF FAITH OR A LIFE OF SUBMISSION
- CHAPTER 8
- WHAT STRENGTHENS THE FAITH?
- CHAPTER 9
- CHAPTER 10