To illustrate the power of the word of God and its action, I will now provide some life examples known to me.
E.F., rector of the Academy in St. Petersburg has mentioned his fellow academic N’s loss of his faith. Suffering from disbelief, he came to E.F., whose faith he was well aware of, grieving and asking for advice as to what he could do to return his own faith. E. F. gave him, apparently, a surprisingly simple answer: “Read the Gospel”.
N. started by arguing that he already knew it almost by heart and went on declaring that nothing would come of it. But E.F. persisted in convincing his friend to take his advice, albeit experimentally, also urging him to read it with as much simplicity as possible. Finally N agreed. It was summer. The unbeliever, who was a rather high-ranking official, always went to Finland on vacation. That year became no exception. When autumn came, the official again visited his friend E.F. With joy he declared that faith returned to him during his vacation that he had spent reading the Gospel.
Here is another case. I was once at a youth dinner in the Czech Republic. I remember one student sharing how he, a former atheist, had regained faith. As it turns out he began reading the Holy Scripture at some point, but at first it was both uninteresting and fruitless. Everything changed after he had read as far as St Paul’s conversion. The fact of Christ’s miraculous appearance to His persecutor, the conversation that they had, Paul’s blindness with the following meeting with Ananias, the birth of faith, the baptism, the enlightenment — all of that appeared to him with the kind of cogency, clarity and veracity that re-lit the extinct faith in him.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds