The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”
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)
Many of us struggle with the fact that we have so little faith. We long to truly believe in all God’s promises and shake off our nagging fears that we are on the brink of collapse. The early disciples of Jesus shared our concerns about having greater faith.
The way Jesus responds tells us much about the nature of faith. He refuses to quantify faith. He does not suggest fervent enthusiasm or feeling. He does not suggest they play psychological games which confuse self-confidence with faith. A tiny amount of faith, as in a tiny mustard seed, can do great things.
It seems that the strength or validity of our faith depends on its object. I may have great faith that I can flap my arms and fly, but that faith gets me nowhere. The object is not sound. Having a lot of faith in a foolish object does me no good. Having a little bit of faith in a sound object does me lots of good.
So if we are to strengthen our faith, we best strengthen our grasp on the one in whom our faith is placed. Trying to feel more faithful is mere window-dressing and is exhausting. We are not to examine our faith more closely but examine our God more closely. We don’t so much need great faith in God, but rather faith in a great God.