“If you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and cast into the sea,’ it will be done” Matthew 21:21
When I was younger I was physically active and had no need to give special attention to my fitness but later my life became more sedentary and it was necessary to actively seek out physical activities in order to try and keep my body reasonably fit and strong. The fitter and stronger we are the better we are able to enjoy life. I sought out appropriate sports, activities and even joined the local volunteer fire service with a view to keeping physically active. When these were not an option I attended a gym.
We all know that if we want better physical capabilities we must exercise our muscles. That usually means discomfort and perspiration but the end result from regular exercise is a stronger and fitter body to enjoy life.
I have heard it said that the brain works like a muscle. If we don’t use it we lose it. The same can be said of faith in Jesus Christ. If we do not exercise our faith it will become stagnant and shrivel. Many of us desire a stronger faith and God has provided the way – faith exercises! Generally we don’t like exercising, unless it is in the form of a sport, but we do enjoy the results. In order to exercise faith we must live in circumstances where faith in Jesus is tested regularly. As we read the Bible we see many examples of God taking people through circumstances where they needed to trust Him. The result was that their faith increased.
Job’s faith in the Lord was tested; Abraham and Isaac’s faith was tested (Genesis 22) and many others. In each case, when their faith in God was proven, their faith increased. Paul wrote in his letter to the Christians in Rome, “For in [the Gospel of Christ] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith” (1:17). The way to more faith is to exercise the faith one already has.
Don’t be confused by the untrue cliché, “faith can move mountains.” It can do no such thing. It is the object of faith, Jesus Christ, who moves the mountain. When we are exercising faith it must always be faith in Him to perform it if the mountain is to be moved. It is not the amount of faith that matters; it is the object of our faith that matters.
Jesus is not a miracle worker to do everything we want but He delights to respond to faith placed in Him. He will send us many tests and as we act in faith we will grow stronger in faith. If our faith is weak there are two closely linked possible reasons – hearing (Romans 10:17) and heeding His word. It is necessary to first know and understand God’s word and will and then to act faithfully on it. If we don’t use it we will lose it.