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Increase My Faith

April 10th, 2013 by Oleg Kostyuk

Mustard_Seeds

Mustard Seeds

A few days ago we were asked a very important question, “How can we develop our faith in God?” It’s a fundamental question, but the answer might not come too easily. So, here is the result of our digging into the Word for the answer.

In Luke 17:5 we read about the apostles coming to the Lord and saying, “Increase our faith.” You see, the disciples simply came to Jesus and asked him to increase their faith. They were not too concerned with the techniques of how to do it themselves; rather, they understood that Jesus was the one who could increase their faith. Now, does this mean that we need to sit around and wait for our faith to be increased? Certainly not!

The faith of the disciples was growing more and more as they were walking with Jesus. And it fully matured after Jesus was lifted up on the cross. So, how can our faith be increased today?

First of all, we need to understand that Jesus is alive now and he is literally with us. In fact these were the last words of Jesus when he was ascending, “I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, even to the end of the age” (Mat. 28:20). Jesus is alive and he is with us today and we can ask him the same question the disciples asked him: “Increase our faith.” For many years, I used to pray “Lord, be with me.” But, at some point I almost heard God saying back to me, “I did not leave you. I am with you now. Don’t you feel me?” My prayer has changed since then. Now I thank him for being close with me always and I ask him to help me recognize his presence.

Secondly, when the apostle John was writing his Gospel he clearly stated that, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but THESE ARE WRITTEN THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30,31). The Bible is given to us so that our faith can grow. By abiding in the teachings of Jesus and in His Word our faith is increased. So, if I want my faith to be increased but fail to abide in his Word and obey his teachings, my faith will not fully grow. Sure, you may say that some people do not have access to the Bible. But, if we do have this access and do not enjoy it, there is something wrong… Once you taste the transformational power of the living Word, you will not be able to go a day without it.

Thirdly and lastly, it is important for us to communicate with Jesus, so that our faith can continue to grow. You see, more than anything else God wants to be in close union with us. In fact, right after Adam and Eve sinned and were hiding in the bushes of Eden, God went looking for them (Gen. 3:8,9). He knew that they sinned, but he went on a journey to look for those first sinners.

And it was not the end… When the Israelites almost forgot about God in the land of Egypt, he called them out of slavery and was longing to dwell with them. You see, God wants to unite with his people again. He literally pitched a tent among them and dwelt with them in the ancient Tabernacle. (Exodus 25:22) In the very last verse of the book of Exodus we read that “The cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Exodus 40:38). God wanted to dwell among his people.

Finally, the greatest revelation of God’s desire to connect with us is Jesus Christ. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14). In fact, the word that is used to describe the fact that the Word dwelt among us can be translated as “tabernacled.” That is to say, Jesus is God himself descending to literally dwell among us because he loves us so much. That is why more than anything else I want to be in this close connection with him through prayer.

To sum up, we cannot increase our faith, can we? It is Jesus who does it for us and in us. So rather than try and do it on your own, try and connect with him in these three ways: (1) remember that Jesus is with you always, (2) abide in His Word, and (3) stay connected with Jesus in prayer.

And you will witness how the mustard seed becomes a mighty tree.

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3 Responses to “Increase My Faith”

  1. On April 13, 2013 at 7:41 am Deborah responded with... #

    I don’t think faith needs to grow. You either have it or you don’t Jesus says if you have faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains.

    • On June 11, 2013 at 11:48 am Paula responded with... #

      Deborah – I think our faith MUST grow. I don’t think this article means. There may be times in our life where we experience the mustard seed faith and YES we move mountains. But there are other times when life happens and it affects someone and or something that is close to our heart and our faith is not as strong.

      Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, if you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes. 24And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help you my unbelief.

      I believe this man had faith but when he witness how this foul, death/dumb spirit tormented his child, his faith was not as mature as it may have been had it been my child. Hebrew 11:1 says NOW faith is the substance of things hoped for…..Not yesterday’s faith but NOW faith.

      I think this article is saying that on a daily basis we have to know that Jesus is still the same, yesterday, today and forever and He is still with us and we must feed our spirit the word of God daily to increase our faith so that when life happens, and it will happen, our faith is rooted in the word NOW and we will be able to stand.

      My husband died at 39 years old unexpectedly. I thought I had enough faith to pray him through it but I soon learned that I was relying on yesterday faith. I was not reading and praying as much as I was before. As I stood over his bed watching him slow slip away, my faith shook and like the man in Mark, I believed that by His stripe he was healed but because my relationship with God was based on what I study yesterday I believed but this was too close for me and I needed God to help my unbelief.

  2. On November 9, 2013 at 5:15 am Michael, D.Min, D.PC, M.Ed responded with... #

    If Jesus were entertaining the notion that faith can be increased here in this passage, then why did He reply that “mustard seed” or little faith is more honorable? He clearly was describing what faith is and not their level of faith. The misunderstanding many Christians have is that there is “mustard seed faith”, however obviously in this passage having small faith (if this were possible) is more desireable then having increased or larger faith and contradicts what the disciples asked for. Also, small faith would be contradictory of Luke 12:28 , Mat 8:26 , & Mat 6:30 when Jesus mocked the disciples by saying, “o ye of little faith”. The original Greek construction of these verses is “you little faiths” and again, speaks more about the disciples in derrogatory terms and not that they had a low level of faith. Jesus was actually calling them a name to say they were not operating according to the faith.

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