December 1, 2023
“Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.” . . . “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”—Mark 1:22,23,25
As I write these words from Jesus, I search my memory for a mountain I have moved. Not a literal one, of course, but something seemingly immovable. If it truly was a mountain I moved, surely it shouldn’t be this hard to summon remembrance. My mental gears whir, kicking up dust bunnies of forgotten deeds.
Ah, now something surfaces—that time I prayed for a little girl. The image skids to the forefront of my thoughts. Six-year-old Sara and her mother were walking up some stairs beside me. Sara tripped and crashed onto the edge of a step. Immediately, blood gushed from a huge gash in her bottom lip. She burst into agonizing sobs, tears flooding her face. Her mom picked her up, and we returned to the car. There, Sara continued to wail while her mother tried unsuccessfully to staunch the flow of blood.
Sensing I was to pray for Sara, I asked the Lord to heal Sara’s wound. Sara’s mom gasped when the cut closed—although leaving enough to see a slight injury—before our eyes.
I make no claim to be a “healer.” I just know that at that moment I felt led to pray for God to move that mountain in that moment.
The four critical components of Mark 1:22-25—
- Have faith
- Have No doubt
- First Forgive
Have Faith, Speak, Have No Doubt
In Mathew 9:20, Mark 5:25-34, and Luke 8:43-48 we read of a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years and came up behind Jesus to touch the fringe of His robe. “For she thought,” ‘If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.’” Jesus’ response to her was that her faith had made her well; she was healed at that moment.
It is essential to realize that it wasn’t only her belief that Jesus could heal her, it was her faith put into action that culminated in her deliverance. James speaks of faith as that which is shown by what it does, not what it claims to believe. (James 2:14-26)
This is consistent with Jesus telling His disciples to Have Faith, Speak, and Have No Doubt.
Sara’s Mountain Moved
Was it me who healed Sara? No, it was God Who honored my faith when I spoke. I had no doubt He could mend Sara’s lip.
Was I holding a grudge against someone at that time whom I needed to forgive? I can’t say because I don’t recall.
But this command from the Lord to forgive is definitely worth giving attention to when I encounter a mountain needing moved.
Now that I think about it, there have been times problems loomed larger than I felt equipped to handle—when I went to the Lord in prayer asking Him to remove them—and they didn’t disappear or even diminish. Could it be because I had unforgiveness in my heart? Maybe. Or maybe God had other reasons for not moving in the way I wanted.
Still, this is good for me to delve into, to apply the fourth step in Jesus’ call to action. Which isn’t really the fourth step—He says First Forgive.
As I examine myself, I see there are individuals I need to forgive, people against whom I have harbored resentment in my heart for whatever reason—none of those reasons justifiable or good enough. (Are they ever?) In fact, these people probably don’t even know I harbor umbrage.
Most of the time it is fairly easy for me to forgive. Other times, not so much. Why do I have trouble letting go and letting God cleanse my heart? Especially after I have prayed more than once for Him to help me forgive them? This is an area where I definitely need help. You would think since I am in my 70s and have been a Christian for over forty years that I would have this area of my life down pat. Yeah, well, that goes to show how I am a work in progress and God isn’t finished with me yet. Thank heavens.
My Mountain to be Moved
Okay, so I just realized that’s the next mountain I need moved—to forgive.
Hallelujah for His call for me to write this blog. It is for me and my growth and encouragement in Christ as well as for you, my dear readers.
Thank you Father God. And thank you, faithful readers, for sticking with me through my journey.
Have you ever moved a mountain?
If so, what ones did you move?
What mountain(s) do you presently need to move?
Faith of a Mustard Seed
All you need is a tiny bit of faith, for Jesus promises:
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.”—Matthew 17:20
Mustard seeds are approximately .079 inches in diameter. Your smallest mountain is, well, larger but movable in God’s power manifested through your faith and action.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for your encouragement and guidance, and for what happens when we are obedient to your Word.
Thoughts for the Day:
“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.”—Blaise Pascal
“We are twice armed if we fight with faith.”—Plato