The definition of faith is hoping and believing in something that cannot be seen. (Heb 11:1) Faith is often difficult. Jesus made a radical statement when he said that if one has faith, even the size of a mustard seed, nothing is impossible. The story recorded in Mt 17 and Mk 9 tells of a man who comes to Jesus with his son who is suffering from epilepsy. The disciples had tried to heal the boy, but failed. Jesus rebukes them in the Matthew account for having too little faith. The man says “if you can” heal my son, have pity and help us. Jesus replies, “if you can” believe, then nothing is impossible. Growing faith is a process, just like anything we want to accomplish it requires a plan. To get in shape, you must be faithful to diet and exercise. To grow in faith, you must be faithful to worship, prayer, Bible reading, and fellowship with other Christians. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!
Jn 10:10, 15:19; Pr 29:18; Mt 17:15-20; Mk 9:21-24; Hb 11:1, 12:1-2
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (Jn 15:19) For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mt 17:20)
Everyone has faith. Even those with zero faith in God have faith in something. But zero faith in God is an aimless drift through life—que sera sera—whatever will be will be. Some people have weak faith. It is present, but not enough to accomplish anything. This happens to believers who fail to stick to the process of growing their faith. They get involved in too may other things and set aside their worship, prayer, and Bible reading. Soon they find themselves in a weakened state. The father in our story is an example of growing faith. Even with doubts, he comes to Jesus. Doubt doesn’t indicate weak faith; it has possibilities that can lead to faith. Many Bible heroes experienced doubt. David cried out to God again and again throughout the Psalms saying, “Where are you?” Why have you abandoned me?” “Why don’t you help me?” Yet, David was said to be a man after God’s own heart. Don’t let doubt make you weak; use it to move forward. Growing faith leads to strong faith–the faith that can move a mountain. Jesus is the ultimate example of strong faith, and though we will not in this world attain his level of faith, we can move toward it by following his example. Jesus prayed to the Father every day. If he needed time with God, how much more do we need a close relationship with God.
What is your faith level? Would you say it has grown in the past year? The past 5 yrs? What are you doing to grow your faith? What has increased your faith most? If your faith were a plant, what plant would it be? Why? Do you know someone with zero faith? How does it affect their hope and purpose?
Assess where you are in your faith. No matter where you are, you can grow. Make a growth plan for your faith; include daily prayer, worship and Bible reading…don’t forget to fellowship (at least weekly) with other Christians. After a month, reassess, and then again in six months. Record your progress.
Thank you Lord for continuuing to have patience with me and my faultering faith. Help me to be constantly reminded of your faithfulness and answered prayer. Grow my faith as I spend time with you and in your word every day. May I never be ashamed of my Christian faith regardless of what the world may think or do. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.