“He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. Truly, I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'" Matthew 17:20 (NIV)
I have heard the above scripture from many preachers over many years, and I have read it so many times that I remember the schematics of the sentence even in my sleep. But why do I still struggle to wrap my mind around the simplicity of Jesus’s description of faith? Why is it not enough to just trust Him for eternity? Does it mean I only need to trust God, or do I have to work to earn His answers to my prayers? Do I have to exercise faith in Christ and trust Him with every decision and in the face of every challenge, or do I just fold my hands and let God “do the trick?”
The journey of every Christian is tied to their faith in Jesus and this should reflect in our daily walk. After all, it takes faith to accept that the events at Calvary over two thousand years ago are a demonstration of God’s love for us and the only source of eternal salvation for humanity. Romans 10:9 states, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and ‘believe’ in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If we trust God for eternity, why then do we struggle to trust Him in this temporal life, and why do we treat the subject of faith as a massive, unsurmountable force? It is easier for us, in the West, to have faith in the government, our jobs, our bank accounts, our credit scores, the doctors, and surgeons than it is for us to exercise faith in our heavenly Father to supply our daily bread and sustain our health. If we truly believed in God, then we would believe He is more than able to carry us when our legs get weary and to uphold us when our strength fails.
The book of Hebrews describes faith as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (11:1). Salvation comes with responsibilities, and it is our responsibility to get into God’s word and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the sovereignty and majestic nature of God to us. When we get to know Him, we will see Him through the eyes of the Psalmist in Psalms 24:1 and believe “the earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”
I once heard a story of a man riding on a train for days, and he brought with him some crackers so that he would not have to spend money on food through his journey. Every evening he would go to the train salon and when everybody sat to eat their fried chicken, gravy, and delicious meal, he brought out his crackers and eats, wishing he had money to join the feast-like meals every night. On his last night on board the train, a waiter who noticed him everyday, went to him and asked why he had only lived on crackers through the journey. He told the waiter he did not have money to buy the delicacies offered in the train salon. The waiter looked at him and told him to check his ticket again, and below the ticket he saw that they wrote he was entitled to free meals everyday because his train fare covered it.
We can all relate to the shock and the disappointment of this man, but most of us live like this each day. We carry the Bible around without checking it, and we live outside God’s promises for us, hopeless and lacking faith in God. The foundation and main tenets of Christianity rests on faith. The Bible said of our father Abraham in Romans 4:3 that “Abraham ‘believed’ God, and it was counted unto him as righteousness.” God can use situations to build us and refine us, but in the midst of every situation our faith in Him should be unwavering. When we are weak, our weakness should be released to God. It takes faith to declare 2 Corinthians 12:9a “And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” I dare you to check your salvation ticket often; you will be surprised that it might hold all that you need to “just believe."