A few months ago my pastor was preaching on fear and faith. He said the opposite of faith is fear and that fear paralizes while faith moves you forward. He went on to discuss the analogy of the mustard seed where Jesus is frusterated with the disciples and tells them “if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matt 17:20. I’ve always struggled with that passage, but my pastor went on to explain it. He said that the point is not the amount of faith you have, rather it’s about where you put that faith. If you put a huge amount of faith in fallable people, yourself included, your bound to end up disappointed eventually because we’re all fallen and broken, but if you put your faith in the almighty God, creator of all that ever was, is and ever will be, the Savior of the world, well then it doesn’t matter if it’s a heap or a teeny tiny bit of faith because you’ve put it in the one that can actually yield a return. Why? Because he already knows everything and he has power over all things! What better chance are there then to be on the team of the one that has already conquered that which no one has conquered, death itself!
So what does it mean to put your mustard seed sized faith in God rather than yourself? It means that when things get messy, uncomfortable, stressful, whatever, rather than fretting and stressing and worrying about what will happen or what you should do, instead of letting the situation steal your joy, you take the problem to your creator, lay it at his feet, dive into his word, immerse yourself in prayer and most importantly you LISTEN! You rejoice in the suffering, recognizing it as a new opportunity to trust God to handle the details, you thank him for all the times he has previously directed you and guided you and you cling tight to the knowledge that he is your refuge and strength. That though you may walk through the valley of the shadow of death you do not have to fear evil because the Lord your God is with you, He directs you and protects you and that knowledge brings comfort. He prepares a place for you to rest, be refreshed and nourished in his presence even while you are in the midst of your enemies. He provides all that you need and more!
Putting your faith in God means you do no let your joy and peace be stolen. Sure there will be times when sadness is present, but joy can exist in the midst of sadness because joy is the result of hope. We have hope in our Savior. No matter what trials come our way we can be as Job, saying that although we do not know why the situation is as it is, though we don’t know when or if the circumstances will change, nevertheless we will still praise God, because he IS God and deserves our praise. Because we know that God is more interested in developing our character than he is about our comfort and because we know that no matter what happens in this life, we get to spend an eternity in the pure blissful presence of our Lord Jesus Christ which will more than make up for any amount of suffering on this earth! So where will you put your faith?