"I want to be able to trust my life to God," someone may say. "I certainly would like to help others through prayer. But i need more faith." Christ Jesus' disciples realized the need for deeper faith. In one recorded instance they turned to their Master for inspiration. "Increase our faith," n1 they cried. Jesus' answer, as Matthew gives it in another setting, is somewhat surprising when one thinks about it: "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." n2
n1 Luke 17:5;
n2 Matthew 17:20;
Maybe the reason such a statement is surprising is that you or I may think that if we had a mountainm of faith, we might have the power to move a little stubborn grain of evil or disease! But that's probably because we view spiritual understanding (the foundation of true faith) as something one needs grand accumulations of in order to be effective.
But the Master assured these sincere people, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed . . . ."
Who doesn't want to have the kind of faith Jesus was talking about? What is this mustard-seed faith? And how can someone have it?
Perhaps Jesus was intimating that in order to be effective followers in his healing ministry, people needed more than anything else a steadfast trust and conviction in the plain truth of what God is.
This trusting faith isn't blind. Christian Science sheds light on the nature of such faith, showing that it is based on the spiritual understanding of God. this understanding faith removes fear and its effects and heals physically and morally. Although it is profound, there's nothing complicated about it!
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, makes this encouraging statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:m "The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his heavenly Father, omnipotent Mind, who gives man faith and understanding whereby to defend himself, not only from temptation, but from bodily suffering." n3 Later in this book she adds, "This understanding is not intellectual, is not the result of scholarly attainments; it is the reality of all things brought to light." n4
n3 Science and Health,m p. 387;
n4 ibid.,m p. 505.
I had been striving to base my own faith on the simple but profound fact of god's omnipotence. I linked this with another simple and familiar theme of the Bible: that God is good.
I taught my youngsters the word "omnipotence" and its meaning -- all-power. They already had the other conviction -- the certainty of God's goodness.
Then one day the mustard-seed faith came into play. While a group of children were playing at the park, a baseball hit my son in the eye with such force it knocked him to the ground. I didn't see the ball hit, but I heard the sound and turned to see him huddled on the grass in pain, covering his face with his hands.
As I rushed over and kneeled down to comfort him, I said, "What's our new word?"
"Omnipotence," he replied quickly and clearly through his tears.
"What does it mean?" I continued, asking myself the same question.
"God has all the power!" he answered with conviction. "And God's power is all good!"
We decided them and there that regardless of the apparent force of the ball, it had no power to hurt him. The pain stopped within a couple of minutes. There was no resulting black eye -- in fact, not a single mark -- and no aftereffect.
The same child healed himself of a nauseous feeling at bedtime one night through a similar conviction of God's omnipotence and goodness.
Child and adult alike can have this kind of mustard-seed faith because each one of us is in truth God's own expression and is eternally governed by His spiritual law. Understanding faith is the echo in our hearts and minds of this divine law, and when lived it brings sure healing results. DAILY BIBLE VERSE All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22