quietness and in confidence shall by your strength,"
This was said to Israel but I think no one can doubt that it is good for
any people at any time. It is good for us.
This may be called the "age" of noise. There is such a nervous tension
that many people love a noise more than quietness. There are many
families that live in a noise from radio or television for hours after
supper, any day, and even when they sit down in the home in the daytime,
they turn on these noise-making gadgets and sit in the midst of this din
even when they try to talk to others. It is almost impossible to carry
on a conversation under such circumstances. Certainly there is no chance
of any serious thought. The word of God has no place in such a state of
confusion. If you are a guest you sit still and let your ear drums be
battered with the noise until you want to scream.
It is not that I am opposed to the radio or television. We have one of
each in our home. We turn on the television almost every night, and get
the news and the weather report, and, sometimes, a good picture. Then we
turn it off and spend a while talking. Then we have a chapter from the
Bible, and prayer. This settles our nerves. We endeavor to never retire
until we are quite in spirit and in mind. We do not spend the whole
evening in a din of noise. We take time for loving conversation and for
devotion to God in scripture and prayer and talk on the word of God. We
have time for serious thought. At times we spend a long while thinking.
Noise hits the nerves with sledgehammer blows. This is not usually
known. People are "a bundle of nerves" these days, and do not know what
causes it. Husband and wife ought to take time out from this din, to
talk to each other. They ought to cultivate each other as long as they
live. It is distressing to know that many couples grow away from each
other as long as they live. It is distressing to know that many couples
grow away from each other, until they are almost strangers, and have to
have a noise, in order to tolerate each other. Children ought to be
cultivated by parents. They should talk with these youngsters of things
in which THEY are interested, and ought also, to try to get the children
interested in thing in which the parents have an interest. Less noise in
the home and more loving tolerant conversation would cause the home to
be a real home for all in it.
Many modern business establishments know the value of quietness, and
have provided those who work with, and among, typewriters, with
noiseless machines. They testify that this makes for more efficiency. It
is true. Quietness makes any person more efficient, in every line of
work, from housekeeping right on down the line to every job. Paul says
that we should be ambitious to be quiet. He indicates that it will lead
us to be satisfied to attend to our own business, instead of trying to
look after the business of other people, and thus causing confusion in
the community and in the world. A person whose nerves are frayed become
trouble-makers, sooner or later.
It is highly necessary that people learn the value of quietness. The
world is "on edge", and is tending toward suicide, crime, and even
With with quietness should go confidence. We should cultivate faith in
God, so that we are not in a state of uneasiness and tension. It is true
that many people are in a constant state of tension. Even when they are
sitting quietly, their nerves are "tied in a knot". They are not aware
of this, unless they have someone to call attention to it. Then when
they try to "let go" they find they have been sitting there with their
nerves taut, and their being in a strain. Let them remember that God is
One whose will for them is GOOD, WELL-PLEASING and PERFECT. If this is
true, He wills good for them. They do not have to be tense, in order to
get things, and get their work done. Calmness, tranquility, absence of
tension makes them more efficient.
Frayed nerves make people sick. It saps their strength, and they are
much debilitated. Then ANY disease can prey on them. It may be headache,
asthma, rheumatism, indigestion, or something else.
Tension increases the danger of driving an automobile. In many cases,
the person who is in a tense state will increase speed until he or she
is driving at a dangerous rate. This is not because the driver wants to
get there soon; it is because he or she is so tense that, unconsciously
the accelerator is pushed down more and more. Then as the car approaches
an intersection the driver can't afford to stop, or even slow down, and
sometimes crashes into another car, and there is a collision. Maybe the
driver is maimed or killed, or some innocent person in another car is
killed or injured. A tense driver is not a safe driver.
Tenseness causes less efficiency in spiritual matters. The tense person
cannot sit still and listen to a sermon of more than a few minutes in
length, or lose interest in a short time, and squirms on his seat till
the meeting is over. He has not any patience to calmly or deliberately
read religious books or papers, and thus misses many good things that
would do him great good. He has the "fidgets", and the extent of his
reading is the headlines of the daily paper, or perhaps he acquires a
fondness for exciting literature, and fills mind full of that which is
positively filthy and harmful.
Quietness and confidence is an asset that we need in every endeavor. The
American people must acquire it, or we will have to build bigger insane
Paul wrote these words he meant it. I wonder if we --- any of us ---
take them seriously. Praying is more than making petitions. None of us
could do that, unceasingly.
The apostle said, in another place, that we should PRAY, and MAKE
PETITIONS, and GIVE THANKS. This shows that praying is not making
petitions. It is being in an attitude of mind, that we are depending on
God. Depending on God, believing in Him, trusting Him, thinking
hopefully of Him --- all this is prayer. Literally, it means, "TOWARD
WELL HAVING". We should unceasingly, be in an attitude that not only
wishes "well having", but actually tends toward it. It is an attitude of
mind --- thought --- faith --- expectancy. Making petitions should be
done because we ARE praying --- because we are in a state of mind that
expects it to be well with us --- that tends toward this result. I would
certainly recommend making petitions to God. This can be done
intermittingly. But being in the ATTITUDE can be done UNINTERMITTINGLY.
I found this to be most beneficial. There are several persons for whom I
am praying. Being in a constant state of expectancy for them. I can make
petitions often. And I do not forget thanksgiving. For each one I make
petitions many times each day --- in fact, many times an hour.
Have you asked me to pray for you --- for your healing, your happiness,
your usefulness, your success? Please do not think I forget it for long
hours, or for days. I am always in a state of expectancy of good for
you. And very often I make petitions for you, and each time I do this, I
precede it by thanksgiving for you. I don't want you to think I am
careless about it. My very life is made up of prayer, petitions,
thanksgiving for you.
Let us suppose that your name is John. I am always expecting that God
will bring good to you. Then, very often, I say, "God, I thank Thee for
John --- for the good that he has had, and for the good that He shall
have --- for Thy answers to my prayers for Him. Heal Him I pray," or I
mention whatever blessing John is to have. This takes only a few
seconds. And I always pray bye the authority of Christ --- in His name.
It does not hinder me from what else I am doing. And I do not do things
that are at variance with the spirit of prayer. Perhaps I make petitions
again within a half hour, or an hour --- depending on how many are
included in my prayer treatments.
And there is great benefit to those for whom I am praying. God does
answer prayer, even in the face of those who would deride me for
SAVED THROUGH FAITH
grace you are saved through faith",
Mankind are in a great sea of grace. They are surrounded by it on every
side. Paul says that in this state or condition, we are saved through
faith --- this is, through believing. It is not by works.
Salvation is a continual process. Paul here does not speak of it as
something that is past. "You ARE saved". That is, you are saved every
day. There are many conditions to be saved from. Salvation from all of
them is through faith.
There is salvation from the dominion of sin, and salvation from every
hurtful state or condition, into usefulness and happiness. It all comes
There is need of faith every day, just as there is need of salvation in
some form continuously.
Paul says that faith is God's oblation. This is a gift for the purpose
of winning our favor. It is god's will that we should love Him. He gives
faith in order that we shall do so. Loving Him, we claim His blessings.
He has promised these blessings. In Christ, all His promises are
affirmative. He has given to each one a measure of faith, Rom. 12:3. He
tenders faith to all, Acts 17:31.
We often wish we had more faith. The only way to get it, is to use what
faith we have. Step out of the promises. Prove the will of God, by
putting it to the test.
This we do by the renewing of our minds. Too often we are conformed to
this age of unbelief. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our
minds. We are then in a position to prove that the will of God is good,
and well-pleasing, and perfect. This we do with the mind. To be
spirit-minded is life and peace. To be flesh-minded is death to the
things that really matter.
The great need of mankind is faith. God gives that. But it is to be
cultivated by our thoughts, in order to serve us in salvation from every