Are you struggling to have faith? Perhaps you’re not sure if God will show up for you.
You trust that He will. After all, when your prayers, made in faith, collide with God’s will, miracles can happen. Whoever shall say, and shall not doubt in his heart, shall have whatever he says. Yes, it’s that simple.
God made faith in Him so simple a two year old could understand. But simple doesn’t always mean easy.
This passage from Mark shows us the steps we need to follow to have faith:
“The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And his disciples heard him say it…
“…In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!’
“‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘Truly[f] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” — Mark 11:12-14 and 20-26 (NIV)
This seemed so out of character for Jesus. Demanding figs from a tree that weren’t even in season? However the issue wasn’t so much that the tree wasn’t producing figs—it was that it gave the impression that it was. The leaves were full (which is an indication of fruit) but the tree lacked fruit. It looked good from a distance, but upon closer examination, it was a fraud.
As with many of Jesus’ parables, there are multiple meanings. On one level, the lack of figs is a lesson in our own fruitlessness. But on the other, Jesus demonstrated to his disciples what it means to have the God kind of faith, saying to them (and us) that we can have that too.
When life’s challenges come, we can just accept what life (or the enemy) has to offer us, or we can step into the God kind of faith.
It is my hope that you will hang up your doubt hat and walk in faith. It is in the realm of faith where we see miracles happen and promises fulfilled.
So let’s discard the notion that God responds to our positive attitude and discover what it takes to have the God kind of faith.
Believe with your words.
God spoke the world into existence and everything in it. When Jesus spoke to the fig tree in verse 14, he wasn’t waiting for the circumstance to change before he declared it, he spoke boldly without a single sign. We too are called to use our words and speak the end result. We can follow Jesus’ example by speaking God’s truth to our situation, no matter what it looks like.
Believe in your heart.
There’s typically a gap between the time we speak it and the time it comes to pass. For the fig tree, it was a mere day (which in itself was a miracle), but for other things, it may be longer… much, much longer. That’s OK; faith has no time limits. Continue to believe in your heart that you will have what you prayed, and it will come to pass. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, I just know it will. And if (when) your faith falters, pray like the man with the son with a mute spirit said… “Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief.”
When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your father in heaven may forgive your sins. Never is there a time where you can stand in faith without forgiveness. God will not give you a pass based upon the depth of the offense. Unforgiveness carries with it a level of pride, and James 4:6 reminds us that God opposes the proud.
When the storms of life hit and the uncertainty causes you to waiver, you have to make a choice in those moments. The choice may not be easy, but it is simple. Will you choose to believe in your heart and say with your mouth what God says, or will you let your circumstances dictate your destiny?
I pray you choose faith…the God kind of faith.
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