I was noticing all the scriptures where Jesus say, “O, ye of little faith.” Little faith? Didn’t he say if we had faith the size of mustard seed we could move a mountain? So what in the world would be little faith?
There are four places in Matthew where he says this. Let’s take a look and see what we can find out about little faith. This might hurt a bit, sorry, growing can tend to be a little painful. Take a few aspirin and lets get moving. Ready?
So in Matthew 6:30-34 we see where God has clothed the grass, and grass can be here today and gone tomorrow, burnt up, going up in smoke. So basically the question is, if God would cloth grass, why wouldn’t he cloth you? Hmmm, good question isn’t it? It goes on to talk about worrying and being anxious … “Oh, what am I going to eat or drink?” “What do I have to wear?” “Am I ever going to find a job?” We crave and seek and worry and fret about these things, why? Again, you can’t be a Christian without faith, which means you can not possibly be a person who isn’t able to believe in things hoped for (clothes, drink, jobs) but yet unseen right? So yeah, I guess worrying and being anxious about such things does seem to qualify as little faith doesn’t it? Ouch!
We say, “But Lord, it is very hard not to think about such things.” And what does He say? He says, think about something else then! lol He says, seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness and then all these things will be given to you besides. Look, you know what? If I really do seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, and I have faith that He has saved me from death – it sure does make those other things look mighty small doesn’t it? So yeah, if you can have faith big enough to believe you are saved, can’t you have faith enough you will be provided for? And if you have faith to believe you are provided for, what does tomorrow mean? Why in the world would you worry or be anxious about tomorrow? Makes perfect sense to me – how about you? Oh yeah, I felt a little growing pain right there. Stretch it out a little bit, we will be okay.
Then we see the little faith again in Matthew 8:26-27. I have to say, as a spectator of this, it is rather comical. Think about it, these men left their family, their jobs, their homes to follow Jesus right? And they left because why? They believed he was the Messiah right? If you believed he was the Messiah, then why in the world would you be afraid to be in a storm in a boat if He was in the boat with you?? Seriously? Okay, get ready for a little pain now. Isn’t that EXACTLY what we do all the time? And worse yet, WE have the advantage of knowing that Jesus really did conquered death. I mean, the guys in the boat, they were just hoping they got the right guy. But aren’t we SURE we got the right one? Ohhh, see there it is the little faith again. Why are we so afraid when something rocks our boat? Loose a job? Get a diagnosis? Hurt in a relationship? Things not going as we planned? Why don’t we remain calm and peaceful during our storms? Don’t we trust He’s got our backs? Don’t we trust that He knows things we don’t know? Don’t we know he’s in boat? Stretch it, stretch it.
Lets move on to Matthew 14:24-31. This is one everyone knows as Peter walks on water. Hmmm, wait a minute. I think I just got it. That’s the problem with this and where the little faith came from. Do you see it? Do you see the little faith there? Think about it for just a few minutes. *Jeopardy theme song plays in the background* Did you get it yet? Look at the scriptures again. I’m actually going to post this one for you.
But the boat was by this time out on the sea, many furlongs [a furlong is one-eighth of a mile] distant from the land, beaten and tossed by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch [between 3:00–6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, It is a ghost! And they screamed out with fright. But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid! [Exod. 3:14.] And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]! Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
Ok, one last time, did you see it? For those who haven’t got it yet … somehow, we have put this one down in history as Peter walks on water. This isn’t about Peter walking on water – JESUS walked on water FIRST! We get so caught up on Peter jumping out of the boat we forget that Jesus didn’t even USE a boat!! lol Right? If Jesus hadn’t been there do you really think Peter would have even gotten out of the boat? Would he have been able to take even one step on the water? If we focus on ourselves and what we are doing – “Oh, I prayed really hard for a miracle.” “I left that job because I know God wanted me too.” “I know this person is the one and that God has put us together.” … I, I, I …. – we forget to focus on what God is doing. Think about it for a minute or two. Do you have circumstances in life where you think you are out of the boat and walking on water because Jesus called you to? And then we start noticing the waves – “Maybe God doesn’t want me to have a miracle.” “The people at this new job are non-Christian and I don’t know if I can work with them.” “Maybe I made a mistake, this person isn’t what they seemed to be.” Now we start to sink, blubblub blub blub AHHHHHKKKKK! We find ourselves struggling to stay above water. There is the little faith coming out. And yet, there is Jesus, still standing on the water, right where he was the whole time. But we focused on something else instead.
Just a small side note on this one, I find it very interesting what comes in the next few paragraphs. We see after Jesus reaches out, takes Peter’s hand and then what? They got in the boat and the wind ceased. Hmmm, not only can Jesus walk on water, but he can bring calm to our storms. Wait, didn’t we learn that one just a few seconds ago? Maybe it’s important to keep in mind don’t ya think?
And I also think it interesting directly following this is the story of people who just want to touch the hem of his garment. So here we have these disciples who travel with Jesus all the time with little faith, and these people who have only heard about Jesus, who trust in just touching his garment they will be healed. Striking comparison wouldn’t you say? Was that a sharp pain? Oh yeah, maybe a charlie horse with this one! Stretch it, stretch it!
Moving on to Matthew 16:5-8. Yep, I know you ALL know this one. The loaves and the fishes. If you went to Sunday School you know this one. I could research and try to figure out where this particular scene takes place in relation to all the other things we know, like the calming of the storm, Peter walking on water, any of the countless healings Jesus performed, but there is one thing I DO KNOW which helps me see the little faith here. Do you see it? Ok, ok, I will post the scriptures here for you to read.
When the disciples reached the other side of the sea, they found that they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, Be careful and on your guard against the leaven (ferment) of the Pharisees and Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves about it, saying, It is because we did not bring any bread. But Jesus, aware of this, asked, Why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? O you [men, how little trust you have in Me, how] little faith! Do you not yet discern (perceive and understand)? Do you not remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many [small hand] baskets you gathered?
You saw it now didn’t you!!! This is the SECOND time they didn’t have any food! *smacks forehead* Really??? How could they be so forgetful??!! I mean, wow. Oh, wait a minute. Oh boy, yep, this one is going to hurt a lot. I think I have done the same thing before, haven’t you? Jesus comes through and helps you out financially and then you hit a place where you are in a bind again and what do you do? FREAK OUT!! Or you witnessed God heal a woman in your church of cancer and now you’ve been diagnosed with the same, and what do you do? FREAK OUT!! You were hurt by someone in your past and God came in and healed you all up and now you are being hurt by someone else. And what do you do? FREAK OUT!! You had this perfect plan, had it all laid out, and it has been blown to pieces and what do you do?? FREAK OUT!! Maybe THIS time God won’t be able to feed me? Maybe THIS time, there won’t be someone in the crowd that will have fish and loaves. Maybe THIS time, there won’t be anything left over for me? Maybe this time God got caught off guard or doesn’t have a plan? Oh, WE of little faith. *shakes head* *limps away*
You know, one thing I absolutely love about blogging and using the scriptures is how they just sort of lay themselves out there. Pick a topic, any topic, do a search on the topic and then follow the scriptures in the order they fall and something amazing will happen. You can just work your way from the front of the book to the back and it will build and build and build on itself. Try it sometime.
So here we are, limping around from all the growing pains. All the WEs of little faith. Now what do we do? You know and I know, even after reading this, tomorrow something is going to come up to test our faith and our hearts are going to skip a beat or two. Well guess what, this might be a stretch, but I don’t think it’s a total coincidence we can find the words ‘little’ and ‘faithful’ later in Matthew. Take a look at this one and tell me what you think:
Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.
A faithful servant over LITTLE. A FAITHFUL servant over little. You know what? I’m taking liberty with this one because I want to. I will be a faithful servant over my little faith, and trust that my Big God will see, and He will give me charge over MUCH FAITH! And then I will enter into and share the joy which HE enjoys. Yep, it might be a stretch – but haven’t we been stretching out those pains the whole time? What’s one more stretch.
Come on now S T R E T C H. I think that aspirin just kicked in!
Just a little extra thought. If I am always anxious, worried, fearful, afraid, untrusting, looking at what small thing I am doing, worried about the future, trying to control everything … I wonder what I will get in return. I mean, even if I’m a little of all those, do you think I just might end up with a whole lot more of those? I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to be put in charge of MUCH of those! hahah STRETCH IT BABY!!!
*Picks up her little faith, limping away, anticipating baskets full of left over faith very soon!*