22 Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. 24 So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
When I read passages like this one I’m tempted to read it as an individual. What does this passage have to say to ME? But today is different. As I read the passage it’s helpful to remember that the gospels were written with people groups in mind as they were dealing with the normal blessings and struggles of living in close community with others. The word that sticks out for me here is the word “faith” as in “Have faith in God.” Faith is the invitation to believe that all things are possible with God.
Yesterday I was interviewing some 8th grade members of my church who are going to be confirmed on Sunday. In other words, since they were baptized as infants and had no say in the matter, they will publicly profess faith in Jesus Christ and affirm their baptisms. One question I always like to ask is, “What did you learn about your faith that will stick with you?”
One 8th grader got a very serious look on her face when I asked this question. She told me that her family had been through a lot over the last couple of years – some very difficult hardships including the death of her father. She said she didn’t know if she and her family would survive the incredible pain and grief of that loss, but the Lord saw them through. She chose as her memory verse Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” In a time that seemed hopeless, her faith gave her and her family courage to go on with life. THAT is faith, my friends. From an 8th grader.
Lord, give me faith to believe all things are possible with you. Amen.