Matthew 17:19-20 (NIV)
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive [the demon] out [of the boy]?”
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, 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.”
Like the disciples, we sometimes wonder why our spiritual lives are not more effective. We love and believe in God, so why do we so often fall prey to worry and fear, anger and resentment? What keeps us from living the sure and steadfast life that God desires for us?
Jesus would answer us the same way he answered his disciples: It’s not the size of your faith that matters but its nature. Even small faith of the purest quality can achieve amazing results.
Quality faith—the kind that can move mountains—is a gift from God that only comes to us through relationship with God. Difficult circumstances test and try our faith for its character and purity. When adversity strikes, doubts about God’s goodness, power, and concern for us can derail our faith and make our prayers ineffective. These same adversities, however, can work for our good when we use them as a springboard for practicing new ways to rely on God.
In the face of adversity, we can…
…redefine the adversity as an opportunity to learn more about depending on God.
…offer a simple prayer: “Lord, I look to you instead of myself for the solution to this dilemma.”
…pause to rest in the peace of God’s presence and to remember that we are God’s beloved.
…try God’s way instead the familiar way of the world.
…adopt God’s vision to see people instead of merely a conflict.
…forgive an adversary when we would rather hold a grudge.
…risk the world’s disapproval because we want to please God.
FATHER, like the disciples in Jesus’ day, I have doubts that keep me from trusting you with my whole heart. Give me courage to risk new ways of responding to conflict and adversity. Purify my faith so that I might be Christ’s power and presence in my relationships.
Matthew 8:26; James 1:2-4
In what area of your life does God want to build your trust in him?