I was struck this morning in my studies by the phrase "by faith all things are fulfilled." I believe this statement is easily supported. Nothing is accomplished, spiritual or secular, without some faith that what is being pursued will be fruitful and worthwhile. We wouldn't even reach for a light switch if we didn't think flipping it would turn on the lights. Nor would we rely on a single vehicle day after day to get us to work if we didn't think it would actually function once we turned the key in the ignition. We rely on these things habitually, because they work, time after time after time. Sometimes they break, but once fixed, they will usually function again for another long while.
We need to recognize that faith in Jesus Christ likewise produces fruit time and time and time again. Like flipping the light switch for light in a room, studying the words of Christ brings the Spirit into our hearts, sometimes subtly, sometimes powerfully, and probably more immediately than we realize. A great difference here is that this light switch never breaks. We can rely on God's word more than any man-made device.
At times we question whether or not the gospel is working for us. We continue flipping the switches and turning the keys in the ignition, but get seemingly minimal response. It may be useful to ask oneself the following question in such a case - "Am I secretly wanting to get minimal response?" Why would anyone want to get minimal response? Sadly, if we feel justified in disbelieving the gospel (because it apparently doesn't work), we can then easily justify any thought or action that is not in harmony with it. We unfortunately are not always willing to receive the fruits of gospel-living. An individual in this position has been duped! They have fallen for that great lie that tells us to rely on ourselves and ourselves alone (especially our natural desires) and not on a Heavenly Father that seems to ask so much of us. This is true tragedy and cannot bring us happiness.
I believe the first step in coming out of such deception is to be reminded of how good the fruits of the gospel truly are, and this reminder can come in many different forms. The next step is to try the word again and find that such fruit is actually within our reach, and that it tastes better than anything else we've sought after in life. Finally, one continues to pursue and enjoy and appreciate anew the blessings of living the gospel, to the point that they cannot help but share them with others.
The gospel works. Sometimes we just need to remember that our greatest desire actually is the fruit it brings.