The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.
“Hands up all those who want more faith” is one of those questions when asked in church that is guaranteed to get hands in the air. Christians have been seeking the perfect formula for faith for hundreds of years. People have been sought for some clues in the biographies of famous saints, scouring every page in hope of some gem(s).
In the text the disciples ask Jesus for more faith, as I read this I found myself wondering what did they expect Him to do? What they did receive was not what they expected, Jesus explains to them how tiny and simple faith can be. They were probably perplexed and a little bit disappointed that there is no magic formula. The truth is that faith is simply believing God can, and that God will!
One of my favourite illustrations of faith comes from when I read the biography of the great evangelist Smith Wigglesworth from Bradford, England. He was famous for when praying over people he would encourage them in his stern voice to “only believe!” He was quoting our Lord Jesus who said the same words to Jairus whose daughter was gravely ill: “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.” (Luke 8:50). As we know Jairus’ daughter was healed by Jesus, this was an example faith in action from the Master. Do not miss the importance of these two small words…”Only believe.“
In my own walk with God throughout the years I have learned that the way to faith is a very simple three steps: 1. Ask of God expectantly, He knows our needs, but like any loving parent He wants to hear you ask that He has the joy of providing for you, His child (Matthew 7:7). 2. Believe God, trust that not only He can but that He will also answer your prayer – “only believe!“ 3. Give thanks to God, gratefulness is an important ingredient of faith. We are called to be thankful in all circumstances (1Thessalonians 5:18), thankfulness is proof that we believe our God will provide. In the story of the ten lepers healed by Jesus only one of them thanked Jesus to which our Lord answered to him “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19).
Dear reader, Therefore if you have been searching for greater faith, search no further. There is no magic formula, but only the simple truth of scripture before you today. Ask expectantly, God can answer and will provide, you only need be thankful for the coming answer and “only believe!”