Questions are powerful. When properly used, they’re an effective tool in helping people identify the reason for their inner struggles and set a course of action to move beyond them. Jesus used them often, and He used them well. Take this question, for instance: “Why do you have so little faith?”
Jesus asked this as He spoke with the disciples about trusting God to provide their daily needs such as food and clothing (Luke 12:22-28). “If God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you,” He said. And then He fired the question: “Why do you have so little faith?”
Good one, eh?
Do you worry about finances? Do you stress over bills? Do you worry about money matters? I do. Granted, my stress isn’t as intense as in years past, but it still presents a challenge once in a while. And so I ask myself, “Why do I have so little faith?”
In all honesty, the answer is, “Because my understanding of God’s character is incomplete.” If I truly understood His ownership of everything on earth, His sovereignty, His ability to provide, and His unfailing love for me as His child, then confidence would bump fear to the back seat.
So what can I do to increase my faith? I believe one key lies in remembering God’s faithfulness in the past. Scripture is filled with commands to “remember” – read Deuteronomy 7:17-19 and 8:2 for starters. Over and over, God told the Israelites to remember His power and recall His faithfulness. He knew that doing so would breed courage for the present and the future. And so, when my faith feels weak, I do what Scripture says and recall instances when God proved Himself faithful in the past. Lo and behold, it works!
If you worry about your physical needs (not your wants) being met, ask yourself the question Jesus posed to His disciples: “Why do you have so little faith?” Be honest with your answer. And then tell the rest of us what you do to build your faith when it feels weak.
Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past! Yes! For the past few years I’ve been teaching memoir classes based on Deuteronomy 4:9 (my paraphrase) “Always remember what you’ve seen God do for you, and be sure to tell your children and grandchildren!” Not only do those stories encourage our children, grandchildren, and other readers in their faith, but our stories encourage the writers of them, too. When we take time to remember and write down what God has done for us, we are often surprised at the enormity of God’s provisions, interventions, guidance, His grace–all the ways He’s actively involved in our lives because He loves us so much. When we take stock of His faithfulness in the past, it makes our understanding of His character less incomplete (to borrow your wording from above) and as a result, we are encouraged to trust Him for the current situations we find ourselves in.
Thanks for your insights, Linda. Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past is paramount to bolstering our faith when we feel weak. And Scripture’s absolutely right about sharing those recollections with our kids and grandkids. Continue teaching about it, my friend!