“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” -Luke 17:5
The important request which the Apostles made.
They said unto the Lord, ‘Increase our faith’.
We know not the secret feelings from which this request sprung. Perhaps the hearts of the apostles failed within them, as they heard one weighty lesson after another fall from our Lord’s lips. Perhaps the thought rose up in their minds, ‘Who is sufficient for these things? Who can receive such high doctrines? Who can follow such a lofty standard of practice?’ These, however, are only conjectures. One thing, at any rate, is clear and plain. The request which they made was most deeply important: ‘Increase our faith’.
Faith is the root of saving religion. ‘[H]e that cometh unto God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’ (Heb. 11:6). It is the hand by which the soul lays hold on Jesus Christ, and is united to Him and saved: it is the secret of all Christian comfort, and spiritual prosperity. According to a man’s faith will be his peace, his hope, his strength, his courage, his decision and his victory over the world. When the apostles made request about faith they did wisely and well.
Faith is a grace which admits of degrees. It does not come to full strength and perfection as soon as it is planted in the heart by the Holy Ghost. There is ‘little’ faith and ‘great’ faith; there is ‘weak’ faith and ‘strong’ faith: both are spoken of in the Scriptures; both are to be seen in the experience of God’s people. The more faith a Christian has, the more happy, holy and useful will he be. To promote the growth and progress of faith should be the daily prayer and endeavour of all who love life. When the apostles, said, ‘Increase our faith’, they did well.
If we have any faith let us pray for more of it. It is a bad sign of a man’s spiritual state when he is satisfied to live on old stock, and does not hunger and thirst after growth in grace. Let a prayer for more faith form part of our daily devotions. Let us covet earnestly the best gifts. We are not to despise ‘the day of small things’ in a brother’s soul, but we are not to be content with it in our own.
*Excerpted from Day By Day With J.C. Ryle: A New Daily Devotional of Ryle’s Writings by J.C. Ryle (Christian Heritage, 2011).
About J.C. Ryle:
J. C. Ryle (1816 – 1900) was the first Bishop of Liverpool. He was one of the most authoritative churchmen of his time and his writings have been in constant demand throughout the last hundred years. His popularity was due to his clear and simple style, his longevity due to his being a profound thinker and compassionate pastor.
Where to Buy:
Day By Day With J.C. Ryle: A New Daily Devotional of Ryle’s Writings by J.C. Ryle is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below: