Great Faith?

Jole Miller is a part of Trinity City Church and an alumnus of Macalester College. He gave us permission to repost his article, "Great Faith?" The article makes the same point as a recent sermon at Trinity City Church. 

It’s not the size of our faith that matters, but it is much more important who or what you put your faith in. Let me explain by way of a story.

There are two men who need to get across a great divide, say the Grand Canyon. Each man gets to pick one animal to carry them across. The first man grabs his animal and runs and jumps over the edge. The second man is trembling, inching his way towards the edge. With much fear and hesitation, he finally scoots himself off the edge. Who had the greater faith? Obviously man number one, right? However, there is one important detail I left out: what animal did they choose? Man number one chose a hummingbird while man number two had one of the giant eagles from Lord of the Rings. Although man number one displayed great faith, he put his faith in something that could not bring him to the promised land, so to speak. And although man two had very little faith, he put what faith he did have in a mighty creature who was very capable of completing the task.

There are times in my life when I am like both of these men. Sometimes I put my faith in friends or sports or my education and think my happiness and satisfaction comes from those things. In these moments I am the first man. Great faith, but in the wrong god. Other times I am like man two, doubting God, not trusting his promises, afraid that he won’t provide for me. It’s in these moments when I finally step off the ledge when I realize how big God is and how foolish I am not to trust him. I guess that’s why all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains, because our God is so great.

I hope this analogy challenges and encourages. If you are like man one, putting your hope and worth in things that aren’t Christ (significant others, sports, good looks, good deeds) repent and come to the only one who can bring true happiness. If you are like man two, take heart and rejoice that our salvation is not determined by the size of our faith, rather it is in Jesus Christ dying for our sins and resurrecting to ensure our debt has been paid. I know most of us wish we had greater faith, and that is a good thing to want. But also know that God is a good God and will use your small faith to do mighty things.

I guess my prayer is the same that the man in Mark 9 told Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Abba, I believe my sins are forgiven. I know I am your son and you will never leave me; but help me when I think I am too broken for you to want me. I believe you will provide for me financially, but help my unbelief. I believe you have given me the power to change the world through your Holy Spirit, but help me when I feel like I can do nothing when faced with the seemingly insurmountable brokenness in the world. May you increase and me decrease. Amen!