Right now, you’re probably suffering and hurting…having heart wrenching problems for no reason whatsoever. That’s right. Some of your most nagging and recruiting problems are totally unnecessary and can be vanquished almost instantly. Let me explain. See, when faith first is planted in your soul by God, Romans 12:3, it’s like a little mustard seed, one of the smallest herb seeds of all. Then, as God waters it and shines His light in your life, it begins to grow and spread until it becomes a large tree. Jesus says in Mark 4:31, “It’s like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it’s sown in the earth is less than all…but it groweth up and becomes greater than all the herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.”
In the early days when the new mustard plant is little, it’s very tender and weak. If you come back after that seed has grown to its full height, the whole landscape changes. Now, there’s shade, other plants that have been able to grow because of the shade and protection of elements that have been provided by the mustard tree. Now, the sweet music of birds greets your ears as the nesting babes call out from their home in the branches. Here’s the difference between weak faith and strong faith. What’s the landscape of your life like without strong faith? Dry. Empty. Barren. Rocky. The very soil of your life is on the one hand parched with problems and then when rains come, it erodes away, washed off by the storms of life.
The problem with weak faith: Like a tender young plant, weak faith is easily trampled even the smallest of trials can cut you down when you have weak faith. Like the tiny mustard plant, anything can cut it down. A lawn mower, scissors, butter knife, even a bug. A hot day can dry it up and an afternoon shower could wash it away. A puppy romping in the grass can crush it and a tiny, weak mustard plant is in danger almost every hour of every day. That’s the way your life is when your faith is weak. Doubts and unbelief hit you almost every day. One day, you just can’t believe that God would ever love or save a worm like you. Another day, you fear that maybe you’re deceiving yourself and that you never really ever got truly saved. The next hour, you might be feeling so unworthy that the good things of God could never come into the life of a person so full of doubts as you are.
If a person gets angry with you, you feel like it must be a sign of God’s displeasure. If this month’s bills are more than you can pay, doubt and unbelief try to crush out your weak faith. If you wake up feeling a little blue, or low, you feel like maybe God’s chastising you. Unbelief comes in many forms as there are minutes in a day. Weak faith is cut down by the slightest temptation and strong faith isn’t even approached by someone hoping to cut it down with a pair of children’s scissors. Weak faith, like a tender young plant, is endangered even by a pair of plastic kindergartners scissors. Just a little temptation is all it takes for weak faith to crumple sin and when the devil comes to weak faith, he says, “I’ll give you all the world if you’ll fall…” Weak faith is also being so unsure that God truly rewards obedience, jumps headlong into the devil’s pit of sin.
Strong faith, like the full-grown mustard tree is altogether different. The enemy comes up to strong faith and says, “I’ll give you all these things if you’ll fall down and worship me.” Strong faith says, “You can’t give them to me, devil, because they’re mine already!” 1 Corinthians 3:21. The devil approaches strong faith with, “Disobey God and I will give you silver and the praise of men!” Strong faith is certain of God’s workings in his or her life. So, strong faith is able to retort, “Devil, you’re a fool! You offer me silver and the praises of men! The rewards of obedience are thousands of times greater! God gives me gold and the reward of receiving HIS praise. Away with you satan.” Weak faith rarely tries very long or hard for God. Why? Well, little faith isn’t sure that any fruit will ever come from labors for the Lord, so, it draws back at the tiniest of setbacks. Like the tiny little mustard plant, the days of bearing fruit, bearing precious seed seems so distant and so unlikely that discouragement finds a ready target in weak faith.
Strong faith, like the full mustard tree, is able to withstand storms, discouragement and various winds that blow. Strong faith is very sure of the reward for standing firm and for sending its roots down deep. It knows full well that it pays to “not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9. Since having weak faith is so painful and frustrating, here are a few ideas for growing your little faith into strong faith. First of all, if you want your weak faith to grow, you have to nourish it with time in the sunlight of God. If your faith is little, I ask you, “Do you spend time in quiet mediation on God’s promises?” God has made more than 7,000 promises in the Bible to nourish and strengthen your faith. They have to be APPLIED to the roots or they don’t do any good. Just like fertilizer left in the bag won’t nourish the young mustard plant, unclaimed promises in your Bible won’t nourish or strengthen your faith. You study the promises and then carry one or two of them around in your spirit each day as a meditation, soaking down around the roots of your faith.
The reformer, Martin Luther said, “I look upon the Scripture as I would a fruit tree. I think – there are fruits above my head that are out of reach. If I want them, I’ll have to shake the tree until the fruit falls off into my waiting hand.” You do that! Spend as much time as possible in the Promises of God! They are what build your faith and they let you know what God’s will is concerning you…as well as how to pray, what to ask for and what kinds of things God wants to do. Next, act on the promise. Find out what God says will activate the promise that you’re wanting to have come to pass. If you want the windows of Heaven poured into your life, then you have to do what God says will open those windows. Namely, you have to bring the tithe, all of it into the storehouse, then God will do as He promises in the Word. If you keep being tested by the devil, activate God’s promise: James 4:7, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Romans 12:2, “Take God’s word and prove it, until you, prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect, will of God.”
Third, you’ll want to be around godly, faithful people as much as possible. That’s a main source of personal growth and that’s why you want to be at the various meetings where saints gather. Jesus as certainly as the person who only eats one or two meals a week will be sickly and frail, the believer who gets together with the other Believers only once a week will be week and powerless. That’s why it’s important to gather with the saints and learn how to have strong faith.
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