John Stott, wrote, “Nothing seems stable in our world any longer. Insecurity is written across all human experience. Christian people are not guaranteed immunity to temptation, tribulation, or tragedy, but we are promised victory over them. God’s pledge is not that suffering will never afflict us, but that it will never separate us from His love.” We are promised victory. When I read that this week, it had a profound impact on me. It wasn’t that I had never heard it, because it is in God’s Word. It’s because I needed to hear it at that moment. God is so good! My heart was hurting because my son and his family are in quarantine with Covid-19. Any parent knows how painful it is to see their child suffer. My spiritual being knows that God has them covered and they will get through this. But sometimes my physical being, my heart, aches for them. I was in one of those moments when I read what Mr. Stott wrote. Those words comforted me because even though I don’t see them well right now, I believe with all my heart that they will be. I have faith because I believe in the Word of God, and I am confident that this will pass, and God will get His glory.
I used to think that faith and belief was the same. I know they are interconnected, which makes them very close in meaning. However, the more I read Matthew 17:20, I think differently. Most versions read, “because you have little faith” as if that were a bad thing but then Jesus goes on to say, “if you have faith of a mustard seed,” A mustard seed is really small. So I don’t think the “little faith” was the problem. Maybe Jesus is telling His disciples that they have a belief problem. The NKJV version reads, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20 NKJV) At first read it may seem as if Jesus is telling them that they don’t have enough faith but then He goes on to explain that we barely need any faith at all to see great miracles happen. I think He is telling them even if your faith is small as a mustard seed, if you believe, you will see miracles happen. Each time your belief brings miracles, your faith grows. The two go hand in hand. One does not make sense without the other. The dictionary defines belief as “The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another.” In this world our beliefs can change depending on people, information, and experience. But God’s Word never changes. In this we can have confidence. And with that confidence comes belief and faith. Believing is a part of faith and faith empowers you. They all work together. A good example is when God shows or tells you something, but you don’t see it. You don’t even see how it could happen. But you have faith in God, and faith is an action word and to act on what God has shown you, you have to believe without seeing. It’s called walking out on faith. And you can only do that if you believe. To truly believe means to have faith that God is alive, active, and is very much interested in our lives today. When you believe this truth with enough confidence to act, you exercise faith. And even with little faith, you can see miraculous things happen. I can assure you the more you study and fellowship with God, your faith grows. And the more we expose our minds to God’s truth, no matter what life throws at us, we can believe and stand on God’s promises. Love and Blessings…
“So Jesus said to them, “Because of you unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20) NKJV
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exits and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
“And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.”
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” (Jeremiah 17:7)
FOR MY SON: WE STAND ON HIS PROMISES
“Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)