Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mark 11:22-24 -- On Faith and Doubt and Prayer

"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
Mark 11:22-24

This is an interesting lesson that Christ is teaching Peter about Faith requiring doubtless belief.  It's insanely cool, but can also be sort of discouraging, because we are often filled with doubt, and even as we learn to trust God and have faith, it difficult to get to a point where there is no doubt, because it isn't just the God of all perfection involved here, but we are too, and we rarely have perfect faith in what we are asking, because we don't know if it is what God wants or not, or whether we should be solving our problems a different way, or whether that mountain really would look better in the other place.  ... Okay, that last one was a joke.  It *obviously* would look better. :)

So, how do we get to that point, where we could actually move a mountain... symbolically if not figuratively?  (Oh yeah, this is my blog so I have to answer my own question.  Darn.)  Okay... let's see... :)

I think the way is practice.  We probably would rather just be blessed with perfect faith, but unfortunately it is something we have to work on over time.  We start small, maybe with the car keys or finding our kids who have run off in the supermarket.  Not small to us in the moment though, because we're stressed and worried and we really need the blessing.  And so we ask, and because we can't solve the problem ourselves, we have that sincere heart and real intent that it talks about in Moroni 10:4.  Even in our small hour of need, we've discovered the pattern, and God answers our prayers, and we know he did, and our tiny little faith starts to grow stronger.  Faith doesn't have to be used on something mountainous to become stronger.  We just have to learn that God really will help us when we ask him to.

Sometimes we distract ourselves trying to make deals with God, or trying to get him to prove himself to us.  And I'm not saying that talking to God is ever a bad thing.  Even when we do it for the wrong reasons, I think God can teach us something... if only because we are there, listening in that moment.  The real trick, though, is to learn to rely on the Lord--to trust him to be there for us, always.  Sometimes that is hard to learn when we have so much else to rely on, and so, at least for me personally, it has been important to have times in my life where I was unmoored from my support system, and I had to learn to rely on God.  And he *has* been there for me, and I know that he always will be.

That doesn't mean, of course, that my life is always going to go the way that I want it to, or that I'm throwing mountains around.  Only, I know that it works, and so, little by little, my faith grows.  And we can all learn, tiny bit by tiny bit, to trust in God, and to build our faith.  Today, let's work on that.  Let's pray to the Lord for help in our lives.  Let's ask with sincerity and real intent for help with our problems, and then let's pay careful attention to how things work out.  Answers don't always come in the way that we expect, or even a way that we want, but they do come.  Let's let go of our doubts that are dragging us down.  Let's trust and believe God and move forward with faith.


  1. And ... the mountain would just obediently move too. It would not lecture you about what a great mountain it had been or try to convince you to pick on some other poor mountain. Neither would it worry about other mountains later teasing it or looking down, thinking less of it. It's act of obedience is an all in commitment.

  2. Good point. Perhaps we should be more like mountains. :)

  3. Mountains rock! ;-D
    I loved your point about sometimes being "unmoored" from our support systems and learning to rely on Him. He is ever faithful and true. We can always trust Him. Humans... not so much.

  4. True. Trusting in "the arm of flesh" is inherently flawed... including humans *and* ourselves usually. :) We learn to be more trustworthy and awesome as we follow God's perfect example, not so much the imperfect examples around us... or our own past history.


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