“[Jesus] replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it will obey you.’” Luke 17:6James 1:2-18
As Christians, our faith in Jesus is our foundation (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is how we are justified or made right with God (Romans 3:28). Faith is so powerful it can move mountains (Matthew 21:21) or plant an uprooted tree in the sea (Luke 17:6).
We know that without faith we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6), and whatever is done without faith is sin (Romans 14:23). So of course we would like God to increase our faith. But few things increase our faith like suffering, and none of us longs for that. We find ourselves begging as the disciples did, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5)
Pastor and author John Piper says, “One of the primary purposes of being shaken by suffering is to make our faith unshakable.” He explains how this happens. “Faith is like a muscle tissue; if you stress it to the limit, it gets stronger.” However, as I know, having your faith pushed to the limits is difficult and cannot be faced without God’s strength. Turn to Jesus in your pain, and let the hardships of your life cause your faith to increase.
When our faith is tested, we can pray like the father of the demon-possessed boy, “I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)