Summary: Perhaps the greatest test of faith you will face may be in loving people who are closest to you. Our God is able to overcome the most difficult of problem, person or predicament if we believe in His power!
Everyone struggles with problems that seem overwhelming and tend to stress us out. Jesus once told His disciples,
"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matt. 17:20,21)
The Lord wanted His disciples to realize that God was greater than any problem. No wonder that even John, the apostle wrote,
"Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." (I John 4:4)
Theme: Let us discover what are the ways that Jesus taught that faith in God is greater than any problem we will ever face – from within our own mind or in our circumstances.
1. Jesus knew that faith would help people focus their attention on God’s power rather than their limited resources. Without an active means of expressing our faith, we are unable to grow in faith. Jesus said,
"O you of little faith. Do not worry about what you shall eat or drink or what you shall wear. For the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matt. 6:30-33)
The Lord wants all of us to continue to put our time, energies and resources into the building of His church through evangelism, disciple-making, and teaching ministries.
Application: Through the exercise of our faith the church will be enriched and in return God will supply us with whatever is needed.
2. Jesus healed the paralytic man lying on a mat by saying,
"Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." Whatever might be the root cause of our problem, God is able to solve it if we will offer up ourselves to His care. Jesus wanted to publicly demonstrate that He has all authority on earth to forgive and heal any root cause that is limiting us from being all that we can be.
Even though Jesus received harsh criticism for declaring His power to forgive sins, the Lord did not allow the cynicism of Pharisees to discourage Him from exemplifying great faith to thousands. Do not let other people’s doubts deter you from accomplishing great things through Jesus Christ. (Matt. 9:2-7)
3. Jesus taught the disciples that they could accomplish things according to the quality and quantity of their faith. One day two blind men call out to Jesus, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" The Lord asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" ‘Yes, Lord’, they replied. Then He touched their eyes and said; "According to your faith will it be done to you." And their sight was restored. (Matt. 9:27-30)
Application: The more you mature in your faith the more you will be able to muster up the courage to approach the throne of grace boldly to find grace to help you for increasingly difficult challenges.
4. Jesus did not perform great miracles in his hometown because of the people’s limited faith. Jesus said, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor." And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith." (Matt. 13:57,58)