So far in this series, we have seen Biblical definitions and examples of what mountain-moving faith looks like; but to date, we have focused on acts of faith that happened within the lifetime of the believer. What happens when we do take a stand in faith and our prayers are never answered?
We all know what it is like to pray for something for weeks, months, even years, and yet never see it come to be. How can we continue to believe when nothing happens? And what of the many, many people of strong faith who have died of cancer? And what about those who have placed their children in God’s hands only to have them die in car crashes or of various medical conditions. What then? Was their faith for naught?
Consider the following verses from Hebrews 11:
Vs. 13-14: “All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.” (NLT)
In the context of Hebrews 11, we see that these people all lived in the era of the Old Covenant. They did not only believe God for specific things that happened in their lifetimes, but they also believed God for the future, the part they could not see. This is not something that they would personally experience; yet the bible says they, “…died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.” (Vs. 13 NLT).
This verse teaches us that one important aspects of mountain-moving faith is believing–even if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime! Why? Because mountain-moving faith causes us to be able to see it all from a distance and welcome it!
Take a look at the next verse:
Vs. 14: “Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland.” (NLT)
Does all this mean prayer doesn’t work? Does it mean that we didn’t even have that shaky mustard-seed-sized faith?
Not at all. Rather, it means that God has something even better planned than what we imagine, and He simply asks us to believe, “for a better place, a heavenly homeland.” (Vs. 14 NLT). In fact, the faith that is required under these conditions is even stronger than faith required in other situations, and this is another important aspect of mountain-moving faith!
Verse 15 of Heb. 11 adds one more interesting piece to the definition of mountain-moving faith: “That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” (NLT)
Did you catch that? The part about God not being ashamed to be called their God? If God did not answer their prayers, He would be ashamed to be called their God! That’s how strongly God feels about answering our prayers! He sees it as His responsibility, to the point that it would be a matter of shame for Him to not answer our prayers. So when our prayers are not answered this side of Heaven, we can be assured that they will be answered in Heaven, for God has prepared a city for us, a Heavenly city, where we can sit at His feet!
Frustrated that your prayers aren’t being answered? Hang on to that mustard-seed-sized faith, ever believing that what you do not see here in this world will be granted in Heaven. If it weren’t so, then God would actually be ashamed to be called our God!
So just what is our definition of mountain-moving faith?
1. It doesn’t have to be big. Faith of the size of a mustard seed is enough (SeeMatt. 17:20);
2. It doesn’t have to be never-wavering. God rewards our ultimate faith, even if we have moments of doubt from time to time (See Abraham and Sarah’s story inGen. 16-21);
3. It doesn’t have to be there at the beginning, it just needs to show up at the end (SeeGen. 18);
4. It is faith that strong enough to drive you to do the illogical;
5. It pushes you to blind obedience;
6. It is theevidence that what we are praying for will happen, meaning that all the evidence we need to take a stand of faith lies in our believing God’s power and ability and love;
7. It is what gives us a good reputation with God;
8. It is the assurance that the God who, by speaking forth the Word, made the universe out of nothing will also make something out of the nothing in your lives;
9. It relies totally on God and not on our own strength;
10. It is acquired by walking in close fellowship with God;
11. It is what pleases God;
12. It is persistent, even in the face of months and years of disappointment;
13. It recognizes the fulfillment of the promise and is not afraid to tell others;
14. It makes us praise God, even when we don’t yet see the fulfillment.
Prayer: Father God, help me to grow my mustard-seed-sized faith so that I, too, can ‘move mountains’! Help me to believe, even when the promise isn’t fulfilled right away. Help me to have the courage to tell others. Help me to be totally reliant upon You, to be pushed into blind obedience, to do the illogical. Dear Lord, in the words of the father of the lad in need of deliverance, I cry out to you, Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!
We invite you to join us on Saturday for a modern-day example of mountain-moving faith: “Modern-Day Mountain-Moving Faith…In Action! Mountain-Moving Faith, Conclusion”.
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!)