Ellet J. Waggoner : The Present Truth : July 20, 1893
“Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
Many people do not believe that statement, because they have wanted some things very much, and have not obtained them. Others have attempted such seemingly impossible things as removing mountains, and have failed. And yet the word is true. The only trouble is that people do not observe the conditions. They forget that the promise is not that a man shall have the thing simply because he thinks he wants it, nor simply to amuse him or gratify his vanity. He is to have it only in response to his faith.
“Well,” says one, “I tried as hard as I could to have faith, but it didn’t do any good; I didn’t get what I asked for.” Of course not; the fact that you tried to have faith shows that you didn’t have any. Faith is not credulity, nor is it the imagination. It is not an effort to make yourself believe something that may or may not be so. It is the simple acceptance of a fact, and the acting upon it as a fact, although it is unseen. Faith deals only in facts. There is nothing uncertain about it. It simply enables a person to grasp unseen things, and to know things of which he would otherwise be ignorant.
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10.17. Where there is no word of God, there can be no faith. His promise is what faith is built upon. So when the Lord says that if we shall say to a mountain, “Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea,” and shall have perfect faith, with no doubt in the heart, it shall be done, He does not mean that our action is to be based on a freak of fancy, but on a word from the Lord. He can speak to us by His word concerning the things that personally concern us, as well as He could to Enoch, Abraham, or David. Knowing that His word cannot fail, we do not make an effort to believe in it, but believe without trying. Nobody has to make an effort to believe what he knows to be true. And when God has not spoken a thing, we ought not to want to believe. He who acts upon this principle will find that faith always brings its object.