Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 9:: Faith

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 
Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
Luke 17:6 (NIV)

photo credit: echoesofstars via photopin cc
The above jar is one inch tall. Small faith can move mountains.

But what do we do when our faith is barely hanging on like a lone leaf in winter? Battered by cold winds and rains. Dry and thirsty. Ready to fall away at any moment. What then?

When our foundations are rocked to the core. When we are disoriented and not sure of our next move. When our senses have either become heightened by fear or numb from external stimuli. When everything comfortable and familiar and all that is good has fallen away. When the road to redemption is long and confusing and paved with tears and questions. What then?

How can we find the hope that we so desperately need to cling to?


The markers...

The book of Joshua is an incredible book to study. Joshua had been commissioned to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. They venture into enemy territory with a promise of protection. Joshua was told over and over to not be afraid by the Lord. Because the Lord knew there would be something to fear. But slowly and steadily, they ventured out and began to seize the land that was to be theirs.

In Joshua Chapter 3 they came to the Jordan River. Because of the time of year, the banks of the Jordan were overflowing. God instructed Joshua to have the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant to step into the River. As soon as their soles hit the water, the flow of the Jordan River stops and the people cross on dry land. 

In Joshua chapter 4, Joshua is told to take 12 stones from the Jordan River, one for each tribe of Israel and to set them up as a memorial.

Joshua 4:20-24
And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

When faith seems to falter, look back at your markers. Find those places on your journey where He was faithful. Remember the trials of past and how you emerged victorious. Write them down so you don't forget.

Remembering the unchanging character of our Lord can spark a faith almost extinguished.

The cry...

Luke 17:5, and Mark 9:24 are both instances where people cried out to Jesus to increase their faith.

Cry out to Him for help. Ask Him to increase your faith. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. He can help you overcome a crisis of unbelief. 

Lie prostrate on the floor if you have to. Scream and yell if that is where you are at. But do not walk away. He has never walked away from you, do not walk away from Him. 

Pull out your markers. Know where He has been. See where you have come from. Remember that He is Who He says He is and He will do what He says He is going to do. 

He has a plan and He has a purpose and the road may be long and rocky and the valley may be full of thorns before you reach the mountain top, but He is still faithful. 

He is still good. He still wants to use you. Yes, you. Even in your unbelief to fulfill His purposes. Never let go of that truth.

The size of a mustard seed seems to be when my faith is at it's biggest. Most of the time I think I waiver somewhere between the McCormick Ground Double Superfine Mustard in my spice cabinet and what Jesus requires.

But His Word is clear.

When everything we know is gone, He still remains.

What about you? What are some of your markers? How have you seen God work in your life? Share in the comments so we can all remember and rejoice with you.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see.

1 comment:

Ashley Counts said...

I wanted to share my marker with you...My 5 year old daughter was ran over by a horse this summer. She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and they told my mother (I was at work) that her nose was broke, her shoulder more than likely broke, at the least dislocated, and her eye was messed up.....after the test were ran and God healed my daughter had to have surgery on her eyelid area (not her actual eye) and her top lip (underneath). Her nose and shoulder showed a break, but one that had been healed. They just kept asking if she had broke it before. She had NOT. It was amazing to watch the good Lord piece my daughter back together. I was amazed by His healing, by His peace, and by His faithfulness.