Read Matthew 13:31-35.I can't count the number of times this verse has pulled me through a difficult time where my faith was tempted to totally fall apart. The visual this parable presents is so dramatic it captures your heart with courage.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed...." NIV
The mustard seed, as Jesus points, out is one of the smallest seeds. It looks to be about the size of a peppercorn -- only 2 mm in diameter. Dozens can fit in the palm of your hand. Yet this little seed can grow into a very large plant. Scripture even says that it is large enough that birds can perch in it.
In the same way if we can grab onto a little faith, it can grow and grow to the point of not only sustaining our spiritual walk, but supporting others as well.
When my husband and I were getting ready to plant a new church in a brand new area of our city, we bought our very first house. I remember driving out to the area to sign the contract and almost having a panic attack on the way. The cost of the house was more than I ever imagined paying for a home. I stared out the window of the car, the blurry scenery flying by, and repeated over and over, "Lord, help me in my unbelief." You see, I knew that we were to plant this church, without any doubt. But buying this house was the first step of faith in the process, and I felt like I was stepping off the ledge of a thousand foot cliff.
By God's grace, I found that mustard seed of faith to take the steps He had called us to take. And through His faithfulness, that little seed has grown into a mighty tree. I look back now and think, "What was I so afraid of? After all, I serve a mighty God." But when we are in the midst of the struggle, it's so hard to see the big picture. And when we let our guard down, the enemy will take that little crack and widen it to a chasm if we let him.
Have I had other mustard seed moments? Yes. But with less panic. The more and more I walk in faith, the greater confidence I have in my God who calls me. He's never let me down and my list of successful faith moments continues to grow. I wish I didn't struggle with doubt, ever. After all, I serve the Almighty Creator of the Universe who loves me. My doubt is not that He can accomplish what He wants to do; He is God and can do anything. My questions are whether He can use me to do it.
So I hang onto my mustard seed and plow forward. His Spirit will guide me, and His strength will empower me.
- Do we manufacture faith or does God place it within us? Support your answer with Scripture.
- There's a fine line between faith and recklessness. How do we know when we have crossed that line?
- We have a tremendous heritage of faith-walkers that have come before us. Read Hebrews 11 and thank God for the examples that we have to draw from and the founding fathers' shoulders we can stand upon.
- There are dozens of Scriptures on faith. Read through several and memorize some for those times your faith is wavering.