I receive many e-mails of heart moving stories as I am sure you receive them too. Some are touching and can stir our senses. One of the top sellers in books is called, "Chicken Soup For The Soul." Maybe you have it or heard excerpts from it. It is a book filled with stories that are heart warming. However, we need to realize these "feel good" stories, even though they may speak of Jesus or God, are not faith building stories. I know there may be some who do not like hearing that, but we need to understand the nature of real, genuine, saving faith! Many are equating faith with an emotional stirring of the heart but God's word does not do that. Too many cannot distinguish the difference between real, saving faith and an emotional stirring!
Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). For saving faith to take hold in us, it must come from Him. He followed the voice and the will of God all His days on this earth. It was God's interest that came first. Jesus hurt and wept over situations, but He never called that faith. It is God's design that saving faith can only come from His word and nowhere else. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Rom. 10:17) Notice there are two key ingredients to saving faith: (1) "Faith comes from hearing." The word "hearing" is not the physical sense of hearing but the internal, spiritual heart, accepting and receiving what God says. When Peter and the apostles spoke on that day of Pentecost to the lost nation of Israel, they were speaking God's word. Some were "hearers" but the majority were not. "So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:41) Notice they "received" the word. They heard it, accepted it and brought it into their heart by responding. They had ears to hear and it brought about saving faith. (2) "Hearing comes by the word of Christ." We can hear a lot of things around us, but only by the word can faith increase. God planned it that way. It doesn't come from man's word or stories but only His word. God's word is living and active (Heb. 4:12). Faith in God's word is produced in the heart (Rom. 10:10). To try to obtain saving faith through any other means shows a lack of reverence and love for God's word.
Paul told Timothy to preach the word (II Tim. 4:2). Not some moving story, or read from a man written book or teach some pop psychology. The purpose was to create saving faith. There is nothing wrong with emotional stories just to read, but never equate them with faith that moves the heart. I have never seen anyone, in a time of difficulty be moved by some heart warming story to overcome their circumstances, but I have seen people with a genuine saving faith move forward, relying on God and His word in such circumstances. Have you ever wondered why so many are moved by man's stories but the word of God seems to do little for us? I wonder what that is saying about us?