I Believe — Kind Of
Bible Reading: Luke 17:5-6
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
Kim believes that God can work in the life of her friend Robin so that she will trust Christ in the future, so she prays often for Robin and invites her to a before-school Bible club.
Ian believes he can learn a lot about trusting God by spending time alone with him, so he takes ten to fifteen minutes each morning to read his Bible and talk to God in prayer.
You maybe think of “faith” as the decision a person makes to trust Jesus as Savior. But faith is broader than that. Faith includes all the things we believe about God and all the ways we learn to put our trust in him. Faith is what allows Kim and Ian to see what God is up to in their world.
But faith can be shaky. If you’ve followed Jesus for a while, you probably know the feeling: “Lord, I really believe in you and your power. But I’m having trouble trusting you in this mess.”
Mark 9 shows how a father with a troubled son felt unsure in his faith. He begged Jesus to heal his son. “Have mercy on us and help us” (Mark 9:22), the father cries helplessly. Jesus encourages the man to believe in him, because “anything is possible if a person believes” (verse 23). But the confused father sobs piercing words: “I do believe, but help me not to doubt!” (verse 24). Is that dad confused? How can he believe and doubt at the same time? But the statement is reality!
And in Luke 17 the disciples told Jesus they wanted bigger belief in God. They pleaded, “Increase our faith!” But Jesus hinted they didn’t need huge faith. Faith as small as a mustard seed would work, so long as it was faith in him. Then their faith would do the impossible, like uprooting a large tree and flinging it into the sea.
So how do you gain more faith—the faith that recognizes what God is doing in your world? You start by soaking up Scripture. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes from listening to this message of good news—the Good News about Christ.” The more you read and remember God’s Word, the more clearly you will see what God is doing. And your faith will grow as a result!
TALK: When have you felt torn between believing—and knowing you needed to believe more?
PRAY: Pray those words to God: “I do believe, but help me not to doubt!”
ACT: God wants to challenge your faith. Think of a way you would like him to work in your life or the life of a friend or family member. Tell God about it. Exercise your faith by praying daily for your request. And watch what happens!