“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Lewis Stevenson
“True faith is when you see the harvest before you plant the first seed.” – Matshona Dhliwayo
“Though I do not believe a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” – Henry David Thoreau
Faith, that strong conviction in God, what he stands for and his active involvement in our lives, is such an important aspect of our spirituality. Yet, we often find ourselves struggling to hold on to it – especially during times of difficulty and uncertainty.
When our faith fails, we can feel unworthy and less valued in God’s sight. Rest assured, even the great patriarchs of the Bible had trouble maintaining an unshakable confidence in God and His good plan for their lives.
Abraham and Sarah lost faith in God’s promise of a son, so they made a decision to take the matter into their own hands at a devastating cost. Jacob, afraid he was forgotten and forsaken as the younger brother, deceived his father and stole his brother’s birthright – believing he needed to control his own destiny instead of trusting God to guide his life. Throughout the Psalms, King David often questioned God’s active presence within the circumstances he faced.
Gideon needed physical, visual proof that God meant what He said. So did the Apostle Thomas – boastfully telling others he wouldn’t believe in the risen Christ until he touched the nail marks in the hands of the Lord himself.
These are only a few examples. There are many others throughout the Bible – too numerous to list in this short article. My point is this: Even the best of us have trouble holding on to our faith.
Here’s some good news: It doesn’t take a lot of faith to instigate the miraculous – to birth the miracle we seek or to see a dream fulfilled. In fact, a very tiny amount, enough to fit inside of a mustard seed, can move mountains in our life.
“For assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” – Jesus speaking in Matthew 17:20 NIV
Maybe you find yourself struggling right now to hold on to the small amount of faith you have left. Maybe your illness isn’t improving or your finances aren’t enough to meet all your current obligations. Maybe a relationship that has been severed for years seems impossible to mend or finding a job after a long period of unemployment seems too unrealistic. Maybe your lifelong dream is slowly fading away unrealized and unfulfilled.
If you find yourself struggling with your faith right now, I want you to take the small amount you have left and divide it into three smaller pieces – small enough to fit inside of a mustard seed 🙂
Starting tomorrow, let’s plant each of these faith seeds in the following way:
Seed #1: Speak with Expectancy
Maybe you have several areas of your life right now that seem out of control or uncertain. No matter what your circumstances, I want you to choose just one area (only one) and plant your first small faith seed by speaking with expectancy.
The Bible says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV) Whatever area of your life you’ve chosen, plant your small faith seed within it by speaking as if God has already changed it. Through your words, expect God’s positive involvement – even though visual, tangible evidence isn’t present to support your statement.
As an example – If your finances are a mess and the bills are stacking up, I want you to plant your first small faith seed by saying, “Thank you God for providing me with a way to pay these bills that are due right now. Thank you for helping me to meet all my obligations.” You might not see a way right now, the checking account may be empty, but plant a small seed of faith by speaking with expectancy – confident that God is making a way for you when all the evidence suggests otherwise.
You may feel sick and miserable, but speak out loud and say, “Thank you God that you are healing me right now. Thank you for my health and my strength that only you can provide!”
Words are a powerful way to express faith – especially words spoken with expectancy.
“Because of your faith, it will happen.” – Jesus speaking in Matthew 9:29 NLT
Seed #2: Recall God’s Faithfulness
“Many, O Lord my God, are your wonderful works which you have done; and your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to you in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” – Psalm 40:5 NKJV
Plant your second small seed of faith by recalling how God was faithful to you in the past – how He showed Himself to you through favor, blessings, or deliverance.
As the Scripture verse mentions above, it would be literally impossible to list all of the ways God demonstrated His faithfulness toward us, but I’m simply asking you to recall just one event, one blessing, or one example of how God showed His faithfulness to you.
Maybe it was a friend who called you at a moment you needed it most, the birth of a child, or healing from a dreadful past illness. Maybe it was the gift of perseverance – a time when you just didn’t think you could go on any longer but somehow mustered the strength to keep going. Maybe it was financial help that came out of the blue from a family member or guidance and direction during a time you felt lost or confused.
Whatever moment, experience, or event comes to mind, write it down and hang it somewhere in your home where you can see it and be easily reminded of it. Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have a picture of that moment in time. Hang that photo in a place where it will be seen frequently by you.
When you plant this small seed – reminding yourself of how faithful God has been to you in the past, it will grow and sprout greater faith in the future 🙂
Seed #3: Whatever Your Need…Take Action to Meet that Need for Others
“Do for others what you would like them to do for you.” – Jesus speaking in Matthew 7:12 NLT
Plant your third small seed by taking one simple action – fulfilling the specific need you have for someone else. By doing so, you not only demonstrate your faith in God to meet your need, but you allow God to work through you – providing that very same need for another human being.
If you’re sick and in need of healing, visit a friend or acquaintance who needs encouragement – helping to lift them up and heal their spirit. If you need financial help, donate some money or some of your pantry items to the local food bank. If you feel lonely and separated, reach out to a shut-in and spend some time visiting with them. If your car is on its last leg, give rides to folks you know who don’t even have a car.
This kind of seed planting has a way of lifting your own spirit – giving you hope and renewed faith in the process.
“Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.” – Ephesians 6:8 NLT
So tonight, if you feel like your faith is weak or lacking, I hope you are reminded that even the best of us struggle from time to time. Remember that even the tiniest amount of faith can move mountains!
I hope that you plant three small seeds of faith this coming week:
- Speaking out loud with expectancy regarding one of your needs – talking as if God has already provided that need for you.
- Recalling one event, experience, or blessing where God demonstrated His faithfulness to you – making an effort to remind yourself of it frequently throughout your week.
- Taking one small action – meeting your very own need in the life of someone else.
May God bless you with greater, more abundant faith in this life – providing you peace in all the circumstances you encounter 🙂