INCREASE OF FAITH
The way in which most men get their faith increased is by great trouble. We do not grow strong in faith in sunshiny days. It is in stormy weather that faith grows stronger. Faith is not an attainment that drops like the gentle dew from heaven; it generally comes in the whirlwind and the storm. Look at the old oaks; how is it that they have become so deeply rooted in the earth? Ask the March winds, and they will tell you. It was not the April shower that did it, or the sweet May sunshine, but the rough wind shaking the tree to and fro, causing its roots to strike deeper and to take a firmer hold. And so must it be with us. We cannot make great soldiers in the barracks at home; they must be made amidst flying shot and thundering cannon. We cannot expect to make good sailors on the Serpentine; they must be trained far away on the deep sea, where the wild winds howl, and the thunders roll like drums in the march of the God of armies. Storms and tempests are the things that make men tough and hardy mariners. They see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep. It is thus with Christians. Great faith must have great trials. Mr. Great-heart would never have been Mr. Great-heart if he had not once been Mr. Great-trouble. Valiant-for-truth would never have put to flight those foes and have been so valiant, if the foes had not first attacked him. We must expect great troubles before we shall attain to much faith.