The beginning of this week came with not-so-palatable news (that Nigerian students will relate to). The news was something of a sucker punch, but God had been readying my mind and indicting the matter of faith in my heart through a message series on faith and healing I’d been listening to (thank you Jesus 🙏), so I wasn’t too shaken.
“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”Mark 11:22-23 (NLT)
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.Matthew 17:20 (KJV)
Receiving anything we desire of God is dependent on our faith (untainted by doubt and fear) in God’s ability and in how we speak. God already tells us He can do exceedingly and abundantly above all we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). You and I define what is and what is not impossible by the faith we exercise and by the words we speak.
Many of us claim that we believe the sayings of Jesus on faith, yet the words that come from our mouths, especially in times of frustration, so often contradict our hearts’ cries to God. That is double-mindedness, and the Bible makes it clear that anyone with such a state of mind will not receive anything from God (James 1:6-8). The words we speak must always align with the faith in our hearts.
“Faith comes by hearing” (Romans 10:17). We can not hope to grow our faith and reap the fruit of right thinking and right speaking if we feed on anything other than God’s Word, especially on the matter you’re trusting Him for. And when jarring incidents come to shake our faith, Jesus shows us how to handle it.
While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.Mark 5:35-36 (KJV)
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?Matthew 14:30-31 (KJV)
The first verse was from the story of Jairus and his daughter. The second was from when Peter walked on water. In both instances, people were partaking – or about to partake – in the miraculous power of Jesus. In both instances, both men were confronted by facts that sought to strike fear and doubt into their hearts. And in both instances, Jesus responded immediately by saying something.
Jesus speaking caused them to hold onto their faith in Him and in God. He confronted the blooming fear in their hearts by his speaking.
When fear comes for your faith, you speak (out loud!) what God has told you. Don’t wish you had Jesus physically by your side to speak these words to you; you already have the spirit that was at work in Jesus inside you. The words that Jesus would have spoken are near you anyways – His words in the Bible.
When confronted by scary situations or news, our response must always be a faith response.
“Lord, increase my faith.”