"There was a time when your hearth was cold-- not a sparkle of this fire could be found. How is it that you love God so much now?
Faith supplies all the graces with work. Faith is like a wealthy owner of wool who supplies material to men who weave cloth. When the tradesman does not furnish supplies, the spinners must stop their production. They have nothing to work with except what the tradesman gives them. Thus faith gives out to each grace what it must have to act upon.
Let us review one or two graces as an example of all the rest. Repentance is a sweet grace but faith has to make it work. For instance, Nineveh's repentance can be traced to faith: "The people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth" Jonah 3:5. Their repentance may have been nothing but legalism, but it was as good as their faith. If their faith had been better, their repentance would have been of a deeper quality too.
In the same way as light causes the eye to focus on an object, faith uncovers sin in the conscience. Thoughts soon arise like clouds and thicken into a storm until they fill the soul with heavy black horror and trembling for sin. But at this point the person is at a loss and cannot go any further into repentance until faith sends in more support from the promise of pardon. When the sinner hears and believes the promise, repentance can continue. And finally, the cloud of terror, which the fear of wrath had gathered in the conscience dissolves into a soft rain of evangelical sorrow.
Love is another heavenly grace, but faith finds the fuel that makes it blaze. Was your soul always flaming with love for God the way it is now? Undoubtedly there was a time when your hearth was cold-- not a spark of this fire could be found. How is it that you love God so much now? Surely you have heard some good news from heaven!
Faith is the only messenger, which can bring good news from heaven to the heart. It is faith that proclaims the promise, opens Christ's riches, and pours out His name to increase love in believers.”
Quoted material from, ”The Christian in Complete Armour Daily Readings in Spiritual Warfare” by Gurnall and James S Bell. http://www.moodypublishers.com/pub_productDetail.aspx?id=41823&pid=53617