As I read one of my favorite devotionals this morning, ’Streams in the Desert’, authored by Mrs. Charles Cowman, the cited verse she used as the basis of her devotional was Romans 3:3:
“For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”
Mrs. Cowman also used two quotes in her writing, both of them truly pierced my heart:
“Is it any wonder that when we stagger at any promise of God through unbelief, we do not receive it? Not that faith merits an answer, or in any way earns it, or works it out; but God has made believing a condition of receiving, and the Giver has a sovereign right to choose His own terms of gift.”Rev. Samuel Hart
“Unbelief says, “How can such and such things be?” It is full of “hows”; but faith has one great answer to the ten thousand “hows,” and that answer is – God!” CHM
Jesus speaks about faith constantly in His Word. As I read God’s Word the expression “great faith” seems directly opposed to Jesus’ analogy of the mustard seed. Faith seems to be something that cannot be measured by its size. It seems rather to be an intangible perspective that exists within our hearts that cannot be comprehended by our minds. God gives us this perspective through His promises that He has written down for us in His Word. God’s promises never change, but we have the choice to believe Him or not.
The “hows” of our tangible world are penetrated by faith. God and His Word remain supreme. To my thinking, the “hows” seem to be things of “self”, fueled by the power and strength of our minds. This is where the battle of faith plays out. True faith, however, is of the heart. Faith makes sense out of the senseless. It is not tangible, and will not fit in the realm of human reasoning. It transcends reasoning because it does not come from our mind. Faith comes as a promise to our hearts directly from its Creator. When the promises of God are absorbed into our surrendered hearts…only then is faith possible.
Faith was in the heart of Abraham, which led him to obey God in the ultimate test of surrender. Faith propelled the stone in David’s hand when his heart communicated the power of God against the futile efforts of an enormous obstacle. Faith says, “I am God.” It says, “My ways are not your ways.” It says, “Tell the mountain to move and it will move.” Faith continues on infinite in power beyond anything our minds can begin to process…because Faith is not of the mind. Faith is a thing of the heart, which our finite brain cannot comprehend.
When Jesus used the analogy of the mustard seed, He was telling us that faith has nothing to do with size, or reason, or tangibility. Faith is an asset within a surrendered heart. It is the comprehension that Jesus is God, but this is not a comprehension of the mind…it is a heart comprehension, brought about only through Christ’s Spirit within our surrendered hearts. Paul says:
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
I believe that when we truly surrender our hearts to Christ Jesus, we long for our will to become God’s will for us. And if we surrender our hearts to God’s will, then truly what can stand against God? (Romans 8:31-39) When we finally come to this heart place of total surrender to God’s will, we will find faith there.
Thank you Jesus for the infinite gift of Your Word, Your Truth, and the faithfulness of Your love for us. Help us to daily surrender our hearts to You and to Your will for us, thus ever strengthening our faith in You. Amen.
Written by guest blogger Jeanne East
Christian Elementary Education Teacher