When I was a kid, my dad taught me how to build a house of cards. It was fun to see how far I could go before the rickety structure came tumbling down. Everyone knows a house of cards can easily collapse with the slightest bit of pressure.
As I talk with Christians today, I discover many of them have a faith that’s a lot like a house of cards. It doesn’t take much adversity to knock them down. Obviously, God does not want us to have a fragile faith. He wants us to have a firm foundation, a house built on the Rock that can withstand the storms and pressures of life. He wants us to have faith in His promises even when we don’t see them—to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
In Mark 9, there is a story about a father with a fragile faith. This man’s son was cruelly demon possessed, and he asked the disciples to cast the demon out. He said to Jesus, “‘Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit …. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.’ And [Jesus] answered them and said, ‘O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!’
They brought the boy to Him. ... And He asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. … But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!’ And Jesus said to him, ‘“If You can?” All things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief.’” (v. 17-24)
Without question, this father had a faith that was failing. The adverse circumstances were threatening to collapse his confidence in the Lord. His gnawing unbelief was shaking the table, and his house of cards was about to fall. Can you relate? The truth is, every single one of us, on some level, has a fragile faith.
Well, Jesus responded to this father’s fragile faith, cast out the demon, and delivered his son. I love what the Gospel of Matthew says happened next …
“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not drive it out?’ And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” ’ ” (Matthew 17:19-20)
What is needed to do great things in His name? A mustard seed of faith! The mustard seed was the smallest seed that anyone in that day knew about. Although the seed was so small, it did not stay small. It grew into a huge shrub. So, Jesus was saying that a small, fragile faith doesn’t have to stay small and fragile!
God wants to do something big with our fragile faith. He wants that mustard seed to grow, becoming large, strong, deeply rooted, and abundantly fruitful. But in order to experience that, we’ve got to take a step of faith. We have to start believing God, regardless of the circumstances!
Today, your faith may be fragile. Step out on the Lord’s Word and believe God for something big. Plant that mustard seed faith in the ground. Give it to God, and He’ll make it grow into a firm foundation of trust!