Growing in Faith

Faith in Jesus Christ is personal and acts upon each of us differently. Many people use the phrase to “grow in faith”. I believe growing our faith is a very noble goal for all of us. Yet, can we say the amount of our faith makes us a better Christian? Can we say that because one person has great faith and one person has little faith, that their faith is in any way different?

In Matthew 8:25, when the Disciples’ ship was being tossed by the waves, we hear Jesus say, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he rebuked the winds and made the sea calm. So, if we have little faith, does that mean we are more prone to be fearful? As our faith is developed, Jesus teaches us ways to calm our internal storms just as Jesus calmed the external storm in this illustration. So, faith is inversely related to fear. The more we follow in faith, the less fear can overtake us.

We also read in Matthew 14:31 “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” This is the passage where Peter was walking on water towards Jesus. He let the slightest doubt creep in when he looked down instead of looking steadily upon Jesus’ face. Faith and doubt are also inversely related. If there is any doubt in an outcome, I’ve let my faith slip and my oneness with Christ be broken.

Yet, even though we may have little faith, Jesus encourages us in Matthew 17:20 that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. Unity of purpose for God’s will for us, through His son Jesus, can move mountains. And, the mountain moving business only requires faith the size of a mustard seed. That’s small!

Let’s consider this. Maybe the size of our faith is not as critical as the clean lines and purity and utter trust of the faith. Even if our faith is small, it can do mighty things if it is offered in complete unity of purpose with Jesus. If I am being lead to move a mountain, and I know Jesus wants that mountain to move, I must have a singular faith in the outcome. But if I offer my faith with strings attached and excuses and shadows of doubt, then the mountain cannot be moved by me.

And, then, in those spectacular moments when mountains are moved, my faith increases automatically the next time I must move a mountain with Jesus. This growth and/or increase in my faith doesn’t necessarily mean my faith is now better than before, but rather my faith is now quicker to take over. My faith might appear bigger now only because I am learning to go to my faith that much sooner. I don’t give fear and doubt a fighting chance. Big faith is quick to the draw! [AUMC Youth: Write a statement about faith in the comments below and be entered into a drawing at youth.]

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