We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

The Courage of Faith

What is your approach to everyday difficulties? Do you bootstrap your way through hardship, or do you melt under calamity? Author Francois Fenelon of the 17th century weighs in on the “courage of faith,” teaching why merely persevering through hardship is not an option. He writes:

“May the courage of faith sustain you. It is a courage which is unassuming, and which does not inspire a conscious strength whereon to rely. Those who possess it have no self-confidence, and yet they never lack in time of need; they are rich in poverty. If they unintentionally go astray, they turn it to profit by learning humility thereby. They continually return to their centre by acquiescing in all that deprives them of self-will. They surrender themselves to God, no longer dwelling in themselves, or trusting in their own strength. In their silent suffering and moment by moment dependence on grace, an inward life grows through death unto self. All that they thought they lost they now find in abundance in God.”

Do you see what Fenelon is getting at here? In all our journeys and trials, we are not to depend upon our own selves for strength, comfort, or salvation. Rather, turn your hearts toward the King and Friend who will bear your burdens. He does not give His children more than they can bear-if they obey His command to cast all their cares upon Him.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

If you have never read Fenelon’s wisdom I highly recommend starting with the small volume, Dialogues of Fenelon.

Published in: on August 29, 2011 at 2:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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