May 30th, 1962                                                  Learning Faith                                                     Late Mr. N. Daniel


Genesis 21:7 "And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children such? for I have born him a son in his old age."


This is the victory of faith. A faith not just one person's -- it was a joint victory. Victory through the faith of both Abraham and Sarah. It is not easy to get harmony between wife and husband in the matter of faith. Somewhere they will differ. Either the wife loves her people, jewels and dress or one of them will deviate from the path of God. Once there was not such a harmony between Abraham and Sarah. But now they achieved that oneness in faith. 2000 years later Jesus preached "If two of you pray with one mind, it will be answered." As we study the Old Testament, we study the truths of the New Testament experienced or practised by the children of God in earlier times. Sarah seems to have risen to the level of Abraham. Usually women are busy with their cooking in the kitchen. They know the needs and the working of the kitchen. They may not know what is spiritually lacking in the home. It is a great thing if a woman knows what is lacking spiritually in the home. Sarah was a rich woman who had her own tent, her own things, 300 to 400 servants. She could command everything. Abraham had respect for his wife. Patiently he led her into this harmonious life of faith. They had hope that if Hagar bore a son, Sarah would also become a mother. It was a heathen psychology and brought disharmony into the home. That was a mistake. How could an Egyptian woman bring forth a son who could fit into Abraham's home? He had the nature of his Egyptian mother. She never practised faith. She depended upon the natural resources of a woman. But Sarah was different. She believed that God would make her a mother - it is not an ordinary thing to believe. Later the son in her womb would share that faith. She bore a son who imbibed the emotions of a mother of faith. You can marry a heathen woman but cannot expect her to build a Christian home. You cannot expect her to build a home for Christ. Her children will have the spirit of Ishmael. A harmonious couple, harmonized by the Spirit of God is a tremendous power. Such a house will bring blessing to the world. Every home thus harmonized by the Holy Spirit into oneness and devotion to God will leave behind a blessing to the world. When a man desires to marry in a home where there is faith, it pleases God. But it can also prove dangerous. You must be equal to the level of faith in that home. You must not look at the appearance or beauty or any earthly advantage available in that home.

Abraham circumcised that boy stamping on his body the covenant of God. Abraham and his family entered into a covenant with God. Some forget God after they receive what they asked for Abraham's gratitude was a growing one. When he wanted to find a bride for his son, he chose his best servant to fetch the bride. Eleazar was a man of God. He was a man who had faith like Abraham's faith. Abraham's family had many people with such faith. Faith is a contagious thing. When you live in the company of God's children, you will get their faith into your practical life and prayers. This Fellowship is not the work of a single man. We are all contributing our faith to build this Fellowship. Once, a couple came to me in 7 Harleys Road, Kilpauk, saying they had no children. They were not Christians but they attended the meetings. After prayer they got a son with that they stopped coming to the meetings. They thought they achieved what they wanted.

I got a letter from a sister of the Fellowship. Her parents had promised to give their son to serve the Lord. But now they said, "Let him earn his bread and preach also." They went back on their vow. The boy became mad in Madras. Any fatal thing can happen in such cases. But Abraham was not like that. Abraham was willing to offer his son to God. Abraham was still growing and increasing in faith. Our success must not grow stagnant.

Uzziah saw God's blessing in his life. So he became proud. He tried to perform a sacrifice which only priests were permitted to do. He became a leper. Ingratitude is a dangerous thing. We must be careful to be grateful to God because He gave us a Retreat. He is giving us many spiritual privileges. We cannot develop a Fellowship like this in a day. God teaches us, and then we are harmonized - thus the Fellowship grows. We must thank God for the retreat. St. Paul's attitude was like that. I Cor. 15:10. He was conscious that he worked harder than anybody. But he says 'God's grace helps me.' That was the secret of his success. He was always conscious of God's grace. If you increase in faith, in gratitude and in loving labours for the spreading of the gospel, the city will be attracted to God.

Sarah was grateful to God. She could have been satisfied like Hagar. But no, she was not. Abraham was more humble, more grateful, more obedient and more faithful after Isaac was born.