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Something Jesus said had confused me. I kept trying to understand what He meant when He said: I tell you the truth, 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 (Mt. 17:20 NIV).
I had often prayed for more faith to be able to move mountain-sized problems but realized that I could not move even one grain of sand. But I knew that Jesus intended for His words to, in some way, help my faith grow.
After years of thinking about this verse, a picture appeared in my mind, when I wasn’t even thinking about a mustard seed. In a garden I saw a tiny, green sprout coming to the surface. I knew it was a mustard seed coming to life. The Holy Spirit had opened my eyes! Jesus was telling me that my tiny amount of faith could grow! And keep on growing. Like a mustard seed it could become stronger, more useful and keep revealing the power that God had given it. All I needed to do was to keep using it. Even when my faith seemed to be buried in the ground and useless, I could believe that in due time it would peek out of the ground where even I could see that it was alive and growing.
If Jesus had said, “If you have faith as a grain of sand” that would also have represented a small amount of faith. But I suddenly realized that there is a big difference between a grain of sand and a grain of mustard seed! Sand doesn’t grow in size! A mustard seed can grow! Year after year it can increase in size and even become a tree.
Have you ever felt helpless, or even hopeless, when facing severe problems? You may have felt that you had to find practical ways to solve your problems. But sometimes our own efforts do not accomplish anything. So, what do we do? Cry, try harder, scream, get mad or, what?
I could help my faith to grow by studying what Jesus did with His faith. I could think about the tiny faith His disciples had. They had almost no faith, but they eventually learned to work many miracles.
How long would it take before I could learn how to let Jesus’ faith work in me? That doesn’t matter. My purpose, and yours, is to learn how to let Jesus’ faith grow in us.
We face a powerful enemy who fears nothing but our faith in Jesus. Even though He was sinless Jesus had to: Increase in wisdom and stature… (Luke 2:52). So, Christ was able to prove that Satan can be defeated.
You and I take much longer to learn – anything – but we can learn and grow! Our faith can grow and grow if we will permit the Holy Spirit to help us. One step – or half a step – at a time. One grain of faith at a time. God’s almighty power and perfect love are watching for opportunities to help us!
If you ever feel discouraged about a problem, don’t feel that there is no solution, or that you are too unimportant for God to work a miracle for you. We are all helpless! That’s why Jesus came to help us. Even if you are the worst failure you have ever known, God has planted a mustard seed-sized faith in you. Believe that He will help you! Don’t expect instant answers. Just keep believing. Your trust in Him will cause your faith to grow and grow until the miracle of its power will do what you cannot do for yourself. God has proven this to me over and over. I’ve tried the best I know how to explain this in my books, but I keep searching for new ways to help all Christians to grow in faith. (Reprint from August 2010).