By William Bridge
When discouragements arise, it is the duty of every Christian to exercise faith. You know what David said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” And the Scripture is most express for this: Isaiah 50:10, “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” First, it is possible a servant of God may go though times of darkness and discouragements arise. The commandment is express that he is to trust in the name of the Lord, and stay on his God. So also our Savior Christ commands His disciples, John 14:1, “Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
There was a great cloud arising upon Christ’s disciples. Christ was to be taken from them by death, the Shepherd was to be stricken, and the sheep scattered. Now the only means against trouble that Christ prescribes is this: “Ye believe in God, believe also in me;” and He gives many arguments to press thereunto in this 14th chapter. This time was the time of Christ’s own trouble. Christ was now to die, and to bear the sin of many, and to lie under the sense of His Father’s wrath and displeasure. Whereupon He says, that His heart was heavy unto death. But though it was the time of His own trouble, yet He sets Himself to comfort His disciples against their trouble, and the only means and remedy that He prescribes is this, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” So that I say, when discouragements arise, it is the duty of all Christ’s disciples then to trust in God by Christ.
What is faith made for, but for such a time as this? Every grace is to be exercised in its season. If a man has sinned, then he is to repent; that is the season for repentance. If a man has received any mercy from God, then he is to be thankful; that is the season for thankfulness. If another poor Christian is in want, than he is to exercise his charity. If God’s face shines upon a man, than he is to rejoice; that is the season of spiritual joy. So, when discouragement arises, then he is to exercise faith; and that is the season, the proper time for the people of God to exercise faith.