Moses taking one extra “whack” at the rock
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith:
and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God.
Few persons are aware of the extent of their own deficiency in this respect. Most persons take the matter so completely for granted that they do not suspect themselves, and therefore do not examine themselves on the subject.
There is something so monstrous in not trusting God, that we should have thought it must be a rare thing among good people. But experience teaches very differently. Many aim at perfection, and few attain it. In almost every case the reason of the failure is the want of confidence in God.
Many persons live for years always intending to begin to form habits of prayer, or habits of particular examination of conscience, and never really begin either the one or the other. The real cause of this procrastination is want of confidence in God.
Men try to give up habits of sin, and either intermit their efforts, or abandon them entirely, through want of confidence in God. When a man is scrupulous, it is mostly from want of confidence in God.
Our knowledge of our own misery, which makes us brave when we have confidence in God, makes us cowardly and mean-spirited when we are destitute of that confidence. Many persons take up supernatural views of things as intellectual convictions; and yet, when they are thrown into circumstances which, as it were, compel the acting on these principles, we behold not a vestige of them in their conduct. This also is a result of want of confidence in God.
We really, far more than we believe, look at religion, at prayer, and at grace as if the whole was a lottery, or something like it. A real believing prayer is by no means common. This is probably the reason why such an immensity of prayer seems unanswered. Many men content themselves with a mere indeterminable hope, which can never carry heaven by storm as confidence does. Let us look into ourselves and see if we really have true and solid confidence in God. Many remain beginners all their lives, because they have not confidence in God.