Written by RGT   
Monday, 03 August 2020 12:02

                                                                LITTLE FAITH


     “Because you have so little faith.” (Matt. 17:20) Jesus was speaking to His disciples when He made this statement about not being able to cast out a demon. Other versions of the Bible are not so complementary; “Because of your unbelief” they render it. I’ve read this verse many times and just like when Jesus rebukes the wind and waves in the storm (and His disciples too!), I’ve thought, “Man, isn’t that being a little harsh?” But then I remember that He is perfect love and never says anything to His people to tear them down. The blunt truth may cause a little ruffled feathers, but its intent is always to grow and develop the student. That’s how love operates!

     This morning I looked up commentaries on this verse and some blogs about it. I came across a very impactful statement; Little faith is not a permanent label. Wow! Jesus wasn’t stating the obvious to His disciples to berate them, but rather challenge them, and us today, to grow and develop our faith. That if we exercise even the smallest of faith (a mustard seed size)….in Him, we can see ‘mountains’ of difficulties, hurts, sins, addictions, broken relationships, lost or wayward loved ones, and whole host of other mountains in our lives removed and “thrown into the sea.”

     As I’ve thought about this verse throughout the day, the Lord has made it clear that the amount of faith we have and exercise depends wholly on what we think about, dwell on, long for, and pursue more than any other. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) I’ve tended to focus much more energy on the latter part of this verse than the former. Maybe you have too. Jesus died and rose that we would have abundant life (John 10:10) Having abundant life doesn’t necessarily mean more stuff (sorry name it, claim it phonies!) It does mean having a greater impact for the kingdom, whether that’s with one particular person in your life, or many. He’s not as concerned with us ‘winning a multitude’ as He is with our faithfulness wherever He places us in various times in our lives. Notice the first part of the word ‘faithfulness’? Our faithfulness depends squarely on where, who and what we put our faith in. For a long time I put my faith in my 401K. This March it sprouted wings and flew away. I’ve also put my faith in relationships that left me on the side of the highway broken and wanting. Many have put their faith in their kids only to watch them turn and demand their inheritance, or trample under foot every blessing they ever received. Many have worshipped chiseled bodies and good looks. Quickly they become conceited and insecure. Many today put their trust and confidence in likes on social media. We have become worshippers of ‘self’.  Lots have put their faith in a significant other only to watch them drift away into the arms of another, wrecking entire lives and families. I’ve seen many put their faith in a career only to watch the company get bought out or go into bankruptcy. Jacob put his trust in his own cunning and we know how well that worked out! Abraham put his trust in his handmade to fulfill God’s promise to him and the results were disastrous. I know many who have gone down the aisle or had children thinking they would find love, acceptance and security in these pursuits only to find themselves left behind, betrayed and broken. Anything, or anybody we put our trust in, apart from Christ first, and Christ most, will sooner rather than later discourage, defeat and leave us hopeless and helpless.

     Little faith is not a permanent label. Jesus wants us to grow our faith ‘muscles’ and does so by putting us through tests, trials, and difficulties. One of my favorite responses to Jesus correcting somebody is when the dad says to Him, “I do believe. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) Very honest, and humble. I am more like him than I care to admit. God wants to do much through your life. He says, “That you bear much fruit.” (John 15:8) One day you will give an account of what you did with what you were given. So will I. He will be looking for faithfulness in the opportunities He gave you to use your time, talents and treasures to build His Kingdom in the lives of others. You have what’s left of today. Before you go to bed, get honest with God. Ask Him to clearly show you what or who you worship. Release it! Take your little mustard seed of faith and watch Him multiply the results many times over. We already know what He can do with a few loaves and a couple fish. Imagine what He can do with you, completely surrendered and seeking Him first! Just imagine.