Maybe you've heard the following imagined story of a scene in heaven. Some angels approach the throne and say, "Father, there is a mortal on earth asking for a blessing. What is Your pleasure concerning his request?" The Father asks, "What did he send his faith in?" The angels answer, "He sent his faith in a thimble." The father responds, "Well then, fill the thimble with blessings and send it back to him. According to his faith, be it unto him." Again the angels come and say, "Father, another mortal is asking blessings of Thee." Again the Father inquires, "And what did he send his faith in?" The angels respond, "He sent his faith in a huge barrel." With a smile the Father says, "Fill the barrel with blessings and send it back to him. According to his faith, be it unto him."
Until I began seriously studying the Bible some years ago, I didn't know just how much of an impact my faith could have on my life and the lives of others. No one had ever told me that praying in faith, using my faith, and nurturing my faith were largely my responsibility. One of the verses that God used to begin opening my eyes to this truth is in Matthew 9:29 (NKJV) where Jesus says, "According to your faith let it be to you." The Savior spoke these words to two blind men who came to Him for healing, letting them know that the quality of their faith played a role in how the Lord responded to their request. The fact is that we DO have a certain amount of control over our lives, and how we exercise our faith and trust in God CAN determine our outcome to some extent. While it's true that God IS sovereign, He gives believers the awesome privilege of playing an important part in their own futures.
Our faith and trust in God can also make a tremendous difference in the lives of others. In Matthew 8:13 (NIV), when Jesus said, "It will be done just as you believed it would," He was speaking to the centurion about the healing of his servant, not about the soldier's own healing, as in the case of the blind men. And in Mark 2:5 (TLB), when four men brought their crippled friend to Jesus for healing, the Scripture says that the Savior healed the man "when Jesus saw how strongly they believed that He would help." I think it's interesting that the Bible doesn't reveal whether or not the ailing friend had faith for his own healing. It only talks about the faith of his friends, and apparently, that is what we're supposed to focus on. In Mark 9:20-24 (NIV), when a distraught father comes to Jesus to ask for his son's healing, the Lord indicates that the man's own faith will play a vital part in his son's fate. Jesus tells him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
We don't have to let these awesome truths intimidate us or make us fearful. Instead, we can thank God for making a way for us to make a major difference in our own lives and the lives of others. If it's your desire to have greater faith, ask the Lord to increase your faith daily. But don't stop there. Do your part by devoting yourself to God's Word--reading it, believing it, memorizing it, meditating on it, and obeying it. Before you know it, your faith will begin growing in leaps and bounds. And you'll begin experiencing more and more of the joy and satisfaction that come from bearing fruit for God's kingdom and glory. I heard a world-changing minister of the Gospel being interviewed one day. He was asked how he had accomplished so much for God. His answer was, "I always figured that if you've got a big God, you should ask Him for big things!" Don't play it safe with your faith. Start taking risks with it. The next time you have a need or seek a blessing from the Lord, don't send Him your faith in a thimble. Send it in a barrel overflowing with faith, knowing He'll return it to you overflowing with blessings!
Prayer: Lord, it's my heart's desire to have great faith in You. I want to not only make a difference in my own life, but to touch and change the lives of others. Enable me to do that, Lord, and help me to do my part in the process. Thank You that my great and growing faith will bear an abundance of fruit for Your glory!
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