How to conquer the world!
(Thomas Brooks, "The Unsearchable Riches of Christ!")
Perhaps the world—the smiling world or the frowning world, the tempting world or the persecuting world—lies as a heavy stone or burden upon your heart, as it does upon the hearts of thousands in these days. Witness their attempting anything to get the favors, honors and riches of this world! Ah! how many have turned their backs upon God, and Christ, and Heaven—to gain the world!
Men may hear many sermons—and yet remain worldly.
They may pray like angels—and yet live as if there were no Heaven nor Hell.
They will talk much of Heaven—and yet those who are spiritual and wise, smell their breath to stink strongly of earth.
All their endeavors can never cure them of this soul-killing disease—until faith breaks forth in its glorious actings. A man may hear sermons and pray many years—and yet remain as carnal, base, and worldly as ever! There is no way under Heaven to remove this burden—but by the exercise of faith!
"For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5:4-5
Faith presents the world to the soul under all those notions which the Scripture holds forth the world unto us by. The Scripture holds forth the world as . . .
an impotent thing,
as a mixed thing,
as a mutable thing,
as a momentary thing.
Now faith comes and sets this home with power upon the soul—and this takes the soul off from the world.
Faith causes the soul to converse with those more glorious, soul-satisfying, soul-delighting, and soul-contenting objects! Now when faith is busied and exercised about soul-ennobling, soul-greatening, soul-raising, and soul-cheering objects—a Christian tramples the world under his feet! In Hebrews 11, it was the exercise of faith and hope upon noble and glorious objects, which carried them above the world . . .
above the smiling world,
above the frowning world,
above the tempting world,
and above the persecuting world!
Faith conquers the world, by assuring the soul of enjoying of better things. Men may talk much of Heaven, and of Christ, and religion, etc.; but give me a man who really and clearly lives under the power of divine faith—and I cannot see how such a one can be carried out in an inordinate love to these poor transitory worldly things.