Last Thursday we saw that ‘mountain-moving faith’ is faith that does not require a sign (and certainly not three of them!); it does not question God and give excuses; and it does not demand to be delivered from the storms of life!
So now that we have seen some examples of people who did not have mountain-moving faith, at least not at the beginning, how about an example of someone who did have this kind of faith?
Simeon is only mentioned in one place in the Bible: Luke 2. Even there, only 10 short verses are dedicated to him; yet he stands as a powerful example of what it means for a mere human to have faith that moves mountains:
“At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel.” (Luke 2:25 NLT)
Notice that Simeon was eagerly awaiting the Messiah. How long he had been waiting, we don’t know, but we can surmise that he was old; for in Vs. 29 he says to the Lord, “Now let your servant die in peace…”
Of course, everyone in those days was waiting for the Messiah to arrive, and they knew from prophecy that it would be soon. Now I don’t know how anxiously they were waiting, for I wasn’t there. I can only compare this to our day and age, for we, also, await Jesus’ coming, His 2nd coming. We also know it will be soon. But unfortunately not everyone truly believes it will happen in our lifetime. As a result, we aren’t all waiting with joyous anticipation. We give it lip service and go on about our lives as if it is some distant thing. I suspect most in Israel at the time of Jesus’ birth was in a similar state of mind. Simeon, however, was a noted exception. He: “…was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come…” Why? Because he had something that not everyone had: He had a promise: “The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” (Luke 2:26 NLT)
Notice that Simeon hadn’t been told when the Messiah would come, yet he got up every day expecting it to happen. Nonetheless, he had to wait. Day in and day out he awaited the Messiah; yet the Bible does not record that he became discouraged. It does not record that he got impatient or began to doubt, as I would have done. Rather, when the time was right, “…the Spirit led him to the Temple…” and he was there when, “…Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required…” (Luke 2:27, 28 NLT)!
And Simeon knew immediately that this was the child he awaited, for: “He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!'” (Luke 2:28b-32 NLT).
When I read this story recently, I tried to put myself in Simeon’s shoes. After all, I, too, am awaiting the fulfillment of a promise, a promise of healing from these liver and kidney spots. Like Simeon, I wake up every day and anticipate the fulfillment of my promise. I ask myself daily if perhaps today will be the day that God will fulfill His promise; but each day ends without receiving the promise. Unlike Simeon, however, when each day ends without my promised healing, I get discouraged and begin to doubt. In fact, some days I am sorely tempted to not even anticipate it any longer. After all, if God were going to heal me, why hadn’t He already done it?
This is the difference between Simeon’s mountain-moving faith and my own less-than-mustard-seed quantity: Simeon-like mountain-moving faith is faith that doesn’t get discouraged when the promise isn’t immediately fulfilled; but rather, expects the fulfillment with joyous anticipation, even after waiting hours/days/years/even decades. Simeon’s mountain-moving faith continues to believe and seek the promise even in the face of multiple times when the promise is not fulfilled.
There is one more lesson we can learn from Simeon about mountain-moving faith:
“Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, ‘This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise…'” (Luke 2:33 NLT)
Simeon was absolutely certain that this tiny baby was the awaited Messiah. In fact, he was so certain that he even prophesied over the baby!
I don’t know about you, but if I’m not absolutely certain that something has happened, I won’t do anything as blatant as to prophecy! I am much more likely to keep it to myself! After all, this pain in my abdomen is intermittent. Just because the pain leaves when someone prayers over it doesn’t mean I’m healed! It could come back in the next minute/hour/day.
Friends, Simeon-like, mountain-moving faith not only waits in anticipation, never doubting that it will come, even when the promise is delayed; but Simeon-like mountain-moving faith also recognizes the fulfillment of the promise without doubt and is so self-assured that there is absolutely no fear to tell people.
That is what practical, mountain-moving faith looks like! Join us on Tuesday for another practical example of faith that will move a mountain: “The Faith of…Hannah! Mountain-Moving Faith, Part 5”.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Mountain-Moving Faith” mini-series, please click here!)