Monday, April 28, 2014

Faith To The Extreme

"...for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Matthew 17:20

Faith as a grain of a mustard seed; that's how much faith we need to move the mountains in our life. When I was younger, I always thought that the mustard seed faith was so small. And if it was so small then couldn't we all have faith to move mountains?

But as the years have passed I've realized that to be perfectly honest, mustard seed faith, is faith to the extreme. There is nothing small about it! What do I mean by that and where am I going with this?

Our faith gets put to the test constantly and at times with not so great results. Why? Because a big part of faith is trust! Have you ever had someone come up to you and tell you to hold out your hand and close your eyes?

I've seen the scenario play out in front of me many times- most people believe right away you're up to no good! It's like the person asking you to hold your hand out has a worm or something equally gross and is going to play a prank on you!

That's a problem with trust. You don't believe this person who is smiling and fairly bouncing with glee has something good for you! Sadly, there have been times I've felt the same way with God. And why do I feel that way?

He asked me to trust him. To put my hand out and close my eyes. Instead of putting my hand out without hesitation, I question him. I doubt that he has my best interest at heart. I figures he just wants to put a worm in my hand and then laugh uproariously when I yelp in surprise at the gooey disgusting prank he just played.

But God isn't like that. He doesn't come to you offering a undesirable gift.

"If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? 
or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

Luke 11:11-13

Granted we don't always like the way situations play out on our life and often bad things do happen. Sometimes those bad things are in our control- based on choices we make- and sometimes they aren't. As i mentioned in the "Still Hoping" series-ultimately faith is believing that while God doesn't want the bad to happen in our life, he uses the bad in our life to accomplish things for him.

What ways can we increase our faith to get to that mustard seed spot? There is a saying, "Practice makes perfect!" You're going to have to make the difficult choice and practice your faith on a daily basis.

Finances, health, car, family situations- I never thought about how God could work in the little areas. I suppose I assumed they weren't always important. But God works in little ways more often than those big ways we seek.

When we get to heaven I have a feeling we're going to see how much God worked  on our behalf in those small areas and realize that while the big mountains he moved were awesome and amazing- it was the little things that kept us going.

And it's those little things that will help you practice and increase your faith- not just the big answers to prayer you're looking for.

Lastly, what do you do when you want more faith, during the situation you're going through, but don't feel you have anymore strength to give?

The apostles prayed, in Luke 17:5- "Lord, increase our faith."

In Mark 9:24- a desperate father, in tears, cried out, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." 

In those moments, cry out to God, and even say those those verses out loud. Remind God that you are flesh and weak, but  he can make you strong. Ask him to give you the strength to walk through that valley you're going through.

After all, he is the father, who when you ask for bread, he's promised not to give you a stone. God's got this and it's time to believe, have faith and trust!

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