Emmet Fox

Emmet Fox was born in Ireland on July 30, 1886, was educated in England, pursued his
spiritual career mostly in the United States, and died in France on August 13, 1951.
Emmet Fox addressed some of the largest audiences ever gathered to hear one man's
thoughts on the religious meaning of life.  His books and pamphlets have been distributed
to over three million people and it can be conservatively estimated that they
have come into the hands of ten million.      Read more about Emmet here.

 thinkers home

It is the Law that any difficulties that can come to you at any time, no matter what they are, must be exactly what you need most at the moment, to enable you to take the next step forward by overcoming them.  The only real misfortune, the only real tragedy, comes when we suffer without learning the lesson.

      
God is bigger than any problem.  God in you is greater than any difficulty that you have to meet.  God cares for you more than it is possible for any human being to realize.  God can help you in proportion to the degree in which you worship Him.  You worship God by really putting your trust in him instead of in outer conditions, or in fear, or in depression, or in seeming dangers, and so forth.  You worship God by recognizing His presence everywhere, in all people and conditions that you meet; and by praying regularly.  You pray well when you pray with joy.
  
. . . prayer is the only real action in the full sense of the word, because prayer is the only thing that changes one's character.  A change in character, or a change in soul, is a real change.  When that kind of change takes place, you become a different person and, therefore, for the rest of your life you act in a different way from the way in which you have previously acted, and in which you would have continued to act had you not prayed. In other words, you become a different person.  The amount of difference may be only very slight for each time that you pray: nevertheless it is there, for you cannot pray without making yourself different in some degree.
   

You are not happy because you are well.  You are well because you are happy.  You are not depressed because trouble has come to you, but trouble has come to you because you are depressed.  You can change your thoughts and feelings, and then the outer things will come to correspond, and indeed there is no other way of working.

  
There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer;
No disease that enough love will not heal;
No door that enough love will not open;
No gulf that enough love will not bridge;
No wall that enough love will not throw down;
No sin that enough love will not redeem. . .

It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle, how great the mistake--a sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all. . . if only you could love enough, you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world.

Emmet Fox

 

  

Bless a thing and it will bless you.  Curse it and it will curse you. . .
If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is
troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it.

 
Stop thinking about your difficulties, whatever
they are, and start thinking about God instead.
   

  

The art of life is to live in the present moment, and to make
that moment as perfect as we can by the realization that we
are the instruments and expression of God Himself.

 
Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.
  

  

It is the food which you furnish to your mind
that determines the whole character of your life.

 

You must not under any pretense allow your mind to dwell
on any thought that is not positive, constructive, optimistic, kind.

  
You cannot be healthy; you cannot be happy; you cannot be prosperous; if you have a bad disposition.
 

As thy days, so shall thy strength be which, in modern language,
may be translated as thy thoughts so shall thy life be.

 

Life is a state of consciousness.

 

Have enough faith in the love of God to believe that a short heartfelt prayer
is just as good as a long one.  Too long a session of prayer usually means
that in your heart you really doubt the love of God, and think that a great deal
of effort and toil will be necessary to move Him.  Pray quietly and sincerely
for a reasonable time—and then leave the matter, expecting success.

 

You must pray for yourself constantly.  How could it be otherwise?
We worship God by believing in him, trusting him, and loving Him
wholeheartedly -- and we can attain to that only through prayer.  The sole
object of our being here is that we may grow like him -- and we can
do that only through prayer.  The more we pray for ourselves the more
power will our prayers have for any other purpose whatever; so
praying for ourselves is the reverse of selfishness -- it is truly glorifying God.

 
Prayer is always the solution.  No matter what kind of difficulty may be facing you,
no matter how complicated your problem may seem – prayer can solve it.  Of course
you will also take whatever practical steps seem to be indicated, and if you do not
know what steps to take, prayer will show you.  Prayer is constantly bringing about
the seemingly impossible, and there is no conceivable problem that has not
at some time been solved by prayer.
   When we remember that God really is omnipotent, untrammeled by what we call
time or space or matter, or the vagaries of human nature, it is easy to see that there
can be no limit to the power of prayer.  You can pray about a problem and solve it
at any stage, but of course the earlier you tackle it the easier your work will be.

  

    

A tragic mistake that is often made is to assume that the will of God
is bound to be something very dull and uninviting, if not positively
unpleasant.  Consciously or not some persons look upon God as a
hard taskmaster, or a severe parent. . . . The truth is that the will of God
for us always means greater freedom, greater self-expression, newer and
brighter experience, wider opportunity of service to others—life more abundant.
    
The first thing that we have to realize is a fact of fundamental importance, because it means
breaking away from all the ordinary prepossessions of orthodoxy. The plain fact is that
Jesus taught no theology whatever. His teaching is entirely spiritual or metaphysical.
Historical Christianity, unfortunately, has largely concerned itself with theological and
doctrinal questions which, strange to say, have no part whatever in the Gospel teaching.
It will startle many good people to learn that all the doctrines and theologies of the churches
are human inventions built up by their authors out of their own mentalities. . . .There is absolutely
no system of theology of doctrine to be found in the Bible; it simply is not there.
 

Why not make the following experiment, which will not only be thrillingly interesting,
but will certainly teach you more in one day than you could learn from books or lectures
in many weeks.
   Here is what you have to do:  For one whole day think, speak, and act exactly
as you would if you were absolutely convinced of the truth of the statements
that God has all power and infinite intelligence, and that His nature is
infinite goodness and love.
   To think in this manner all day will be the most difficult thing, because it is so subtle.
To speak in accordance with these truths will be easier, if you are vigilant.
To act in accordance with them will be the easiest part, although it may require
much in the way of moral courage.

 

True Christianity is an entirely positive influence.  It comes into a person's life to enlarge and enrich it,
to make it fuller and wider and better; never to restrict it.  You cannot lose anything that is
worth having through acquiring a knowledge of the Truth.  Sacrifice there has to be, but it is only
sacrifice of the things that one is much happier without--never of anything that is worth having.
Many people have the idea that getting a better knowledge of God will mean giving up things
that they will regret losing.  One girl said: "I mean to take up religion later on when I am older,
but I want to enjoy myself for a while first."  This, however, is to miss the whole point.
The things one has to sacrifice are selfishness, fear, and belief in necessary limitation
of any kind.  Above all, one has to sacrifice the belief that there is any power or endurance
in evil apart from the power that we ourselves give it by believing in it.

   
The true significance of the word "meek" in the Bible is a mental
attitude for which there is no other single word available, and it is
this mental attitude which is the secret of "prosperity" or success
in prayer.  It is a combination of open-mindedness, faith in God,
and the realization that the Will of God for us is always something
joyous and interesting and vital, and much better than anything
we could think of for ourselves. This state of mind also includes
a perfect willingness to allow this Will of God to come about in
whatever way Divine Wisdom considers to be the best, rather
than in some particular way that we have chosen for ourselves.
   

A dynamic person is one who really makes a difference in the world;
who does something that changes things or other people.
The magnitude of the work done may not be great, but the world
is different because that person has lived and worked.  The real secret
of a dynamic personality is to believe that God works through you,
whatever you may be doing; to put his service first, and to be
as sincere, practical, and efficient as you know how.

   

   
Human nature is such that humans can turn to God anywhere
at any time, and by believing in His care and protection,
and thinking in accordance with this belief, fill their hearts
with peace and poise, rebuild their bodies into health and strength,
and surround themselves with harmonious and joyous conditions.
   

God has no office hours.  There is never a time of day when God is  unavailable.
Day or night, summer or winter, God is always present—always ready to heal, to comfort, to inspire.
It is not possible that you could turn to God in prayer without receiving help.
It is not possible that you could ever find yourself anywhere where God was not fully present,
fully active, able and willing to set you free from any difficulty.  The one thing that is required is
that you shall turn to Him whole-heartedly, and that you shall expect Him to act. . . .
If you turn to God in prayer, without tension, without vehemence, but quietly,
steadily, and persistently, results will come.  

   
There is a place for analysis, but it is apt to be quite fatal in prayer and meditation.
Do not dissect the love of God, but feel it.  Do not dissect divine intelligence,
but realize it.  Do not wonder how God can possibly solve this problem, but just
watch Him do it in His own way—and He will if you will give Him a chance.
You know that God is Love.  So go ahead on that, and do not get theoretical about it.
   
   
The present moment is never intolerable.  It is always what is coming in fine minutes
or five days that makes people despair.  The Law of Life is to live in the present,
and this applies to both time and place.  Keep your attention to the present moment,
and in the place where your body is now.  Do a fair day's work, and then stop.
Overwork is not productive in the long run.
   

Many people look upon change with dread and foreboding.
But for those on the spiritual path—for those who believe in God
and the power of prayer—change is a fuller expression of life.
When a problem or condition arises in your life that indicates a change,
rely upon God, and realize that it is not so much that a door has closed
on a chapter of your life, but rather that a door has opened
on new and more interesting things.

   
All the old traditions tell us that there is more than one path to the great Goal.. . .
The shortest and easiest pathway of all is the pathway of Love.  It is
the one pathway that is open to all, irrespective of what their personal
conditions or circumstances may be.  For every person, everywhere,
true attainment awaits through the yoga of Love, for yoga means union
and it is our union with God that makes the attainment possible.
   

The vital importance of forgiveness  may not be obvious at first sight, but you may be sure
that it is not by chance that every great spiritual teacher from Jesus Christ downward
has insisted so strongly upon it.  You must forgive injuries, not just in words, or as a matter
of form, but in your heart -- and that is the long and the short of it.  You do this, not for
the other person's sake, but for your own sake.  Resentment, condemnation, anger, desire
to see someone punished are things that rot your soul.  Such things fasten your troubles
to you with rivets.  They fetter you to many other problems that actually have nothing
to do with the original grievances themselves.

   

   
Let us be merciful in our mental judgments of our brothers and sisters,
for, in truth, we are all one, and the more deeply they seem to err,
the more urgent is the need for us to help them with the right thought,
and so make it easier for them to get free.
   

If you will change your mind concerning anything and absolutely
keep it changed, that thing must and will change too.  It is
the keeping up of the change in thought that is difficult.
It calls for vigilance and determination.

   
There is a truly spiritual mode of communication from which
nothing but good can come.  It is this:  Sit down quietly and
remind yourself that the one God really is Omnipresent.  Then
reflect that your real self is in the Presence of God now, and
that the real selves of others are also in the Presence of God.
Do this for a few minutes every day,
and sooner or later you will get a sense of communication.
   

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