In Mark 9, a father carried his son to Jesus’s disciples to ask that they would pray for his healing. The disciples prayed but they could not cast out the spirit which tormented the boy. When Jesus arrived, the father ran to tell him what had happened. “And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes”” (Mark 9:23). The father acknowledged that he had faith, but that there was still some doubt in his mind. “Lord I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)!
This story teaches us that it is possible to have faith mixed with some doubt or unbelief. There are times when I have felt that I needed really strong faith in order for God to act on my behalf. Let us look at what Jesus told his disciples in Matthew concerning faith. “He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you”” (Matthew 17:20).
Mustard seeds are extremely small seeds and are perhaps one of the smallest seeds that I know of. While we think that we need giant size faith to gain a small victory, Jesus is saying that we can do major things with just a small amount of faith. What that means is that faith is such a potent antidote, that an extremely small amount can do major things.
We often speak of ‘strong faith’ and admire people who seem to possess this. Paul makes reference to each of us having a measure of faith which God has assigned (Romans 12:3). Faith increases through listening to the word of God and as we exercise faith, like a muscle it will grow. The final analysis is this, that I have not always felt strong in faith during the times when I have seen God move. What God needs is faith as much as a mustard seed and with that much faith we can move a mountain.