Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to (this) mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. (Luke 17:1-6)
Faith is not given to us in a packet to be spent as currency in our dealings with God. Faith is not a thing we have or get. Faith is a relationship of trust and love. It means opening ourselves to receive another’s life and giving our life to another. That other one is Jesus the Christ. That one faith-relationship is determinative of who we are and how we live.
Faith will not, however, change the circumstances of our lives. Instead, it changes us. Living in faith does not shield us from the pain and difficulties of life, it does not undo the past, and it will not guarantee a particular future. Rather, faith is the means by which we face and deal with the circumstances of life – the difficulties and losses, the joys and successes, the opportunities and possibilities.
Faith, however, is not lived out in the abstract. It is practiced day after day in the ordinary everyday circumstances. Some days when the pain and heaviness of life seem more than we can carry it is by faith, relationship with Jesus, that we get up each morning and face the reality of life. Other days present other circumstances. When we feel the pain of the world and respond with compassion by feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, speaking for justice; when we experience the brokenness of a relationship and offer forgiveness and mercy; when we see the downtrodden and offer our presence and prayers — in all those we have lived, seen, and acted by faith.
Faith, then, is how we live; the lens through which we see ourselves, others, and the world; the criterion by which we act and speak. We live by faith not because we have enough faith but because we have faith, any faith, even mustard seed sized faith. That is all we need. Jesus believes that. So should we.
Prayer of The Day
I believe in you, Lord Jesus, as the only one who can fill my heart. I believe in the power of faith to change my life and the lives of others. I trust that you will grant me the light and strength to cast out sin in my life. I come to you in prayer so that I can love you even more with a firm but serene opposition to sin.
As we grow in love, we grow in holiness. As we grow in holiness, we begin to become the very people that God intends us to be.