Our third quote in this little series, makes the very important point that however precious our experiences of God might be, a warm glowing feeling inside us never actually produces faith. Some of my readers might be surprised to know that I wholeheartedly agree. Faith on the other hand, DOES produce feelings, as in the other two quotes, Spurgeon quotes our hymn:
There are some who fancy that faith cometh by feeling. If they could feel emotions either of horror or of exquisite delight, they would then, they think, be the possessors of faith; but till they have felt what they have heard described in certain biographies of undoubtedly good men, they cannot believe, or even if they have a measure of faith, they cannot hope that it is true faith. Faith doth not come by feeling, but through faith arises much of holy feeling, and the more a man lives in the walk of faith, as a rule, the more will he feel and enjoy the light of God’s countenance. Faith hath something firmer to stand upon than those ever-changing frames and feelings which, like the weather of our own sunless land, is fickle and frail, and changeth speedily from brightness into gloom. You may get feeling from faith, and the best of it, but you will be long before you will find any faith that is worth the having, if you try to evoke it from frames and feelings.“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame;
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name;
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”
Charles H. Spurgeon, vol. 18, Spurgeon’s Sermons: Volume 18, Sermon No. 1031, “How can I obtain Faith?” electronic ed., Logos Library System; Spurgeon’s Sermons (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1998).