Stronger Faith

I’ve worked out pretty much my entire adult life, more strenuously in some seasons along the way and less so in others. Yet in all these years, I’ve not added a single muscle to my body; I’ve grown some mass at times and watched it atrophy a bit at others, but the muscles I have today are the ones that accompanied me at birth. In a way, faith is like this, too.

Often times, we underestimate our faith, and lament not having more of it. Yet, faith is a gift from God, and as we saw in last week’s post, “The Gift behind the Gift,” He assigns each one of us a measure of it.1 This way we can neither despair nor boast over the size of our faith, for God himself has apportioned it, and we can be certain our portion of faith is sufficient. Jesus said even faith the size of a mustard seed moves God to move mountains for us.2 And of the mustard seed He also observed, “Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants …”3 Just as one tiny seed contains everything it needs to eventually become a sturdy tree, so we likewise grow by strengthening the faith we’ve already been assigned.

Then how do we grow in the assurance of what we hope for and become ever more convinced of what we do not see?4 How do we increasingly entrust ourselves to the character and promises of God? More faith was precisely what Jesus’ disciples wanted for themselves, so they implored of Him, “Increase our faith!”5 Did Jesus enlarge their allotment? Did He give them seconds at the dinner table of grace? No, He told them to use what they already had. “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed,” He answered, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”6 Use what you have. Put it to work. “Live by faith.”7 Then just as muscle size increases when continually challenged—even when pushed to the point of pain—so too will our faith grow when we exercise it. In some future posts, we will look at the means by which we exercise and strengthen our faith, but for now, we rest and strive in this: God has graced us with faith—it is enough, for it will grow.

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1:3.

Father, thank You for the faith You have given me. Lead me through today’s challenges and opportunities, and find me faithful to You and a blessing to others. My faith will become stronger—I know this, for You are good. In Christ I pray. Amen.

1 Romans 12:3
2 Matthew 17:19-20
3 Matthew 13:32
4 Hebrews 11:1
5 Luke 17:5
6 Luke 17:6
7 Hebrews 2:4

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