Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Blaise Pascal’s Astonishing Experience

Who is Blaise Pascal?

Blaise Pascal lived in France in the 1600′s.  He was a thinker, philosopher, and mathematician (the Pascal computer language is named after him).

He was also a devout Christian.

After he died those taking care of his body found a sheet of paper sewn inside his shirt on which he describes what he experienced one night –

What he wrote down

“This day of grace 1654; from about half past ten at night, to about half after midnight, fire.  Fire.

“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the wise.

“Security, security, feeling, joy, peace.  God of Jesus Christ.  Thy God shall be my God.

“Forgetfulness of the world and all [except] God.  He can be found only in the ways taught in the gospel.

“Greatness of the human soul.

“O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee, but I have known Thee.

“Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.  I have separated myself from Him.

“My God, why hast Thou forsaken me? …

“This is life eternal; that they might know Thee the only true God, and Him whom You have sent, Jesus Christ.

“Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ.

“I have separated myself from Him; I have fled, renounced, crucified Him.

“May I never be separated from Him.

“He maintains Himself in me only in the ways taught in the Gospel.

“Renunciation total and sweet.

(Quoted in Lloyd-Jones´ “Joy Unspeakable,” pp.106f.)


  • Don’t be too high in your expectations.  The fact that Pascal wrote this down and kept it with him shows it was not his everyday experience.
  • Don’t be too low in your expectations.  Isn’t this what the New Testament means when it talks about being filled with all the fulness of God (Eph 3:19), seeing the light of Jesus’ glory (2Cor 4:6), and having joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Pet 1:8)?
  • Pray earnestly over God’s Word.  Notice how much Scripture he quotes — Ruth 1:16; Exodus 3;6; John 17:25; Psa 22:1; John 17:3.  God pours out His Spirit as we hear God’s Word with faith (Gal 3:5; John 4:13-14; John 6:35; John 7:38-39).
  • Notice the heights of joy (“tears of joy”), the depths of repentance (“I have fled, renounced, crucified him”), assurance of salvation (“He maintains Himself in me only in the ways taught in the Gospel”), and how he ends with glad surrender (“renunciation total and sweet”).
  • Don’t wait for this kind of experience before you reach out to your neighbor.  Outpourings of the Spirit will surely help your evangelism (Acts 1:8).  But evangelism can also bring you these outpourings (John 4:32; 1Pet 4:14).
  • Don’t rely on experiences like this.  This side of heaven we see through a mirror dimly (1Cor 13:12; Psa 42:5).  Set your heart on all that God promises to be to us in Jesus.  Rest in the Cross.  Ask Him for more.  Seek Him for more.  Thank Him for what He gives.  And trust Him for what He doesn’t.

How does this impact you?

What questions does it stir up, or how does it encourage you?  Feel free to leave a reply below — thanks.

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(Picture used with permission of davesbit at Flickr.)

Category: Stories about Other People, The Work of the Spirit


5 Responses

  1. Ron R. says:

    I really enjoyed this Steve. I am amazed as I continue to grow that the Lord desires that I continue to search him… and as I do he eagerly meets me. I am also amazed that sometimes just sharing with others what Jesus has done will be followed by his blessing and power. Thank You Jesus.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Great to hear from you again, Ron.

      And thanks for sharing how God’s blessing and power often are poured out as we are sharing with others. Very helpful.

      We seek Him in prayer, and we seek Him in obedience — but we’re always seeking Him.


  2. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    What a deeply touching text you’ve chosen, Steve!

    The indescribability of Blaise Pascal’s experience most notably comes across with these seemingly incoherent phrases written on the sheet of paper. It must have been a heartfelt occurrence for him – so essential that he had sewn this sheet inside his shirt. Thus je could relive his experience again and again, whenever he thought about it or particularly when he read it.

    Concerning your Scriptures, you are dead on – they all fit precisely!

    In order to avoid charging your blog with another of my lengthy comments 😉 I’d like to quote Blaise Pascal who seemingly had the same problem I have (because I love writing):

    “I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” 😀

    Blessings to you,


    • Steve Fuller says:

      You have a sense of humor, too, Susanne! I love that Pascal quote.

      Thanks again for your thoughts, and for your encouragement.

  3. bevetly says:

    I love your blogs!!!! Please consider maybe teaching via skype?

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