When I was a boy I often visited my grandmother.

Before I went home she’d send me to the cupboard to fetch out a bottle of ‘Tizer’, then I’d have a glass of it. She’d then go to her purse and bring out a sixpenny piece for me. Afterwards, I’d run to give her a kiss. “Ah cupboard love”, she’d say.

What would have happened if I went to the cupboard and found it was bare? Then when she opened her purse it was empty? Would I still have run to give her a kiss of gratitude just the same? Possibly not.

Come to think of it, is it cupboard love that determines our relationship with God? Do we keep in with him hoping to get something out of him in return? Do we rely on signs of his goodness to us to prompt us to praise him? What happens when hardship comes our way, and all the visible evidence suggesting that he is kind and gracious is withdrawn from our eyes? Are we still capable of praising him and thanking him?

People who have real faith will praise God without expecting to get something good in return, but simply because he is our Father and our Saviour. People of true faith, as the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk reminds us, go on trusting in God even though their whole world around them is crumbling to dust. Have you got a faith like that?

This week’s thought: We walk by faith, not sight.