We compare . . . too much! But there IS a comparison that aids our Christian growth--when we fail to exhibit proper faith in God and we see it. That is good. It is good even if it is at first hard on ourselves. I don't know how many believers have told me (even recently) how much they identify with the angst of the demon-possessed boy's father, "I believe; help my unbelief" (Mark 9:23). It was the Puritans from whom I remember first learning to find hope even in our weak faith. They taught that even if one's faith were weak, still it is real faith just the same. In that we take hope. Octavius Winslow also writes to this issue on the basis of this verse:
“O you of little faith, wherefore did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31.
Doubting faith is not doubtful faith. If the believer has not the faith of assurance, he may have the faith of reliance, and that will take him to heaven. All the doubts and fears that ever harassed a child of God cannot erase his name from the Lamb’s book of life, nor take him out of the heart of God, nor shut him out of glory. “Unbelief,” says Rutherford, “may perhaps tear the copies of the covenant which Christ has given you; but He still keeps the original in heaven with Himself. Your doubts and fears are no parts of the covenant; neither can they change Christ.”
Grace Outstretches All Our Weaknesses
“The doubts and fears of the elect,” remarks another, “are overruled by almighty grace to their present and eternal good; as conducing to keep us humble at God’s footstool, to endear the merits of Jesus, and to make us feel our weakness and dependence, and to render us watchful unto prayer.” Did ever an unregenerate, lifeless soul entertain a doubt or fear of its spiritual condition? Never. Was it ever known anxiously and prayerfully to question or to reason about its eternal state? Never. Do I seek to strengthen your doubts? No; but I wish to strengthen your tried and doubting faith.
Now, a Word of Hope
I would tell you, for your encouragement, that the minutest particle of grace has eternal glory in it, even as the smallest seed virtually contains all that proceeds from it- the blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear. Faint not, nor be discouraged in your trial of faith. There is not a sweeter way to heaven than along the path of free grace, paved with hard trials. It was the way which He trod who was “full of grace.” Rich though He was in grace, yet see how deeply He was tried. Think not, then, that your sore trials are signs of a graceless state. Oh no! The most gracious saints have been the most tried saints. (Emphasis mine)
Tell the Lord Your Weaknesses
But do not rest here. There is still richer, surer comfort for you- even the fulness of grace that is in Jesus- grace, ever flowing, and yet ever full. Disclose to Him your doubts and fears. Tell Him you desire Him above all good. Plunge into the sea of His fulness; and He, who has created in your soul a thirst for grace, will assuredly and bountifully give you the grace for which you thirst.
Ah, you may have a doubting faith, but it IS a REAL faith! Take hope in that and move forward in Christ's name!