Read Luke 17:5-6
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”
6 The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you! (NLT)
We may be aware of that old illustration which puts feelings behind facts and faith. Facts and faith are what is important rather than feelings. Some of us reckon that leads to unnecessary dismissal of feelings and neutralising emotion when it comes to living out our relationship with God.
However, there is a bit of truth in it. Faith is not the same as feeling like we have faith. And as our text points out, faith is not something to be quantitatively. Faith is dependent on its object. Having bucketloads of faith in a flimsy object is no good at all. Having a little bit of faith in a worthy object means a lot. My faith feeling may be weak, but if my faith is in the living God then it is actually strong.
Faith has more to do with what God is doing than what we are feeling. Measuring our faith by how we feel is risky. Sure, it is great if we feel passionately and wholeheartedly about what God is doing in our lives. But the more basic reality is that he is in fact doing something irrespective of how we feel about it.
The way to strengthen our faith is to focus more on God’s truth not on our up and down feelings. This doesn’t make feelings unnecessary or unimportant, it just puts them in their proper place. Instead of concentrating on how much faith we have or do not have, it is better to focus on the God in whom we place such faith as we have.