What is faith? One definition says “Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” Whenever I think I about faith, this scripture from Mark comes to mind – “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NLT) This seems to be my state of mind much of the time. I want to believe without question; I know that God is stronger than the enemy and that He is in control. Why is it so difficult?
“When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people, he returned to Capernaum. At that time the highly valued slave of a Roman officer was sick and near death. When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask him to come and heal his slave. So they earnestly begged Jesus to help the man. “If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, “for he loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.” So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house, the officer sent some friends to say, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” And when the officer’s friends returned to his house, they found the slave completely healed.” – Luke 7:1-10 NLT
Here is a man, a Roman officer, enemy to the Jews, and he believes. He has a truly remarkable faith to believe that a man despised by both Jews and Romans, this man Jesus, can heal his servant with just a word…. from a distance! Could I do this? I can tell you that no, I couldn’t. When faced with life-threatening illness and injury, I need a hands-on, physical touch to reassure me. What does that say about someone who grew up in a Christian home, with the teachings of Christ instilled in me from the time I comprehend, and even before that, as an infant? A Roman soldier had more faith than I do? Seems almost inconceivable, doesn’t it? I struggle to rest in the Lord; to believe that He sees the end of this quagmire I find myself in.
The faith of a mustard seed is all we need, according to Jesus. With that minuscule amount of faith, literally about the size of the period at the end of this sentence, we can move mountains. Not a figurative mountain; Jesus was speaking of a literal mountain. Hear him: “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” – Matthew 17:20 NLT
Where is my mustard seed, LORD?