The more I dig into this word, the deeper it seems to go.
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the certainty of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
If you’re anything like me, you tend to see this word as a big deal. All of my belief in God, in what I cannot see, in what I cannot explain is tied up in this word. And to be honest, this word scares me.
“Have faith,” they say. “Have faith that God is good, that He is in control, that He will work it all out for your good and His glory.”
But some days–most days–this faith thing seems all but impossible.
The disciples were well acquainted with this feeling.
In Matthew 17, Peter, James, and John had just witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration. It’s an incredible, almost dream-like experience they can’t help but discuss on their way back down the mountain.
“Did you notice how white His clothes were?” James asks.
“What about Moses and Elijah being there? Mind blowing…” Peter comments.
Down below, Jesus and the three meet up with the other disciples. Immediately a man rushes up to Jesus and begs Him to heal the man’s son, who is tormented by a demon. The man explains that he had already tried asking the disciples, but they were unable to do anything.
Saddened, Jesus turns to his followers. “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?” The men lower their heads, ashamed.
“Bring the boy to me,” Jesus requests and he casts out the demon. The boy is healed and returned to his father.
Later, after the pair have left, the disciples come to Jesus and ask, “Why could we not cast it out?”
His eyes soften and he reaches a hand out, putting it on the shoulder of one of the men. “Because of your little faith.”
Little faith? How much faith should they have, Lord? A barrel full? Enough to fill a dump truck? How much? It must be a lot if you are expecting them to cast out demons and heal people.
“For truly, I say to you, if you have the faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Faith the size of a mustard seed….
No dump trucks or barrels. Faith the size of one of the smallest seeds, yet when planted it grows into a tree.
Jesus doesn’t ask for much–just the faith of a mustard seed.
I know, even that seems like too much to ask sometimes. Faith is a crazy thing, and when we give into it, when we embrace it, it leads us to do crazy things. Crazy God-things. We may never tell a mountain to move, but we might board a plane to a place unknown. We might give of ourselves, our time, our money to someone in need. We might reach out to a stranger or someone who is difficult to love and pour out God’s love on them. We might drop everything that is familiar and turn to follow Jesus.
It’s a big word. But it starts out so small. Just one seed–one seed of genuine faith.
Having faith doesn’t mean we have it all together. It doesn’t mean that we never doubt or question God. It doesn’t mean that we understand 100% what is going on. What it does mean is that despite those questions or doubts, we keep placing our hope and trust in Jesus. We keep pressing forward, keep following the path He’s laid before us, believing that what He’s said will come about, what He’s promised will hold true.
Hold onto faith, dear heart. Even if you feel the little faith you have isn’t enough, press into Jesus. Press in and believe that He is good and faithful and trustworthy. Give Him the little seed of faith you do have and watch Him grow it into a sturdy tree.
Live in His love!
Photo by Andrea Williamson