Faith—Not Quantity but Quality

A collection of black mustard seeds with flower on a shallow silver colored plate
A large amount of black mustard seeds versus
A close up photo of a few black mustard seeds on a light colored surface
just a few black mustard seeds

A line in an old Gospel song says, “Faith, faith, faith you don’t need a whole lot, just use what you’ve got.” Jesus said, “…for verily I say unto you, 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”(Matthew 17:20). Jesus’ disciples asked Him to increase their faith, and He replied, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this [mulberry] tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you”(Luke 17:6). Note that the thrust in each of these examples is not in the amount of faith that we need to accumulate.

A graphical image of a light red balloon hovering just above a flat surface

There are many who have experienced a significant blessing or victory from God who have been told, “I wish I had as much faith as you do.” We tend to look at our trust in God like a balloon. The more we fill it, the greater the likelihood that the Lord will see it, and honor it in return.  Yet nowhere in the Bible does it say that God’s actions are based solely on the quantity of our faith.

The more effort we put into increasing our faith, the less interested He will be in it.

God is actually looking for where we are placing our confidence and belief. Is it in ourselves, or in Jesus Christ, His Son? The real core of the matter is, that only when we put our faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross will we be victorious. The more effort we put into increasing our faith, the less interested He will be in it. As I stated in a previous article on faith: “Often we say we have faith, but the truth is, we just really, really hope that the problem will solve itself.”

cross at sunset

So instead of agonizing over how much trust we have in God, or praying so hard that we pass out and collapse, simply turn the problem or situation over to Jesus—and leave it there. He has already won the war through His sacrifice on the cross for us. Why do we need to fight it all over again on our own? God is not expecting a dump truck full of mustard seeds with us beaming behind the wheel shouting “what a good Christian am I!” As Jesus said earlier, “If ye have faith as [one single] grain of mustard seed…nothing shall be impossible unto you.”Always keep in mind that it is not the quantity, but the quality, of our faith that matters to God.

[Image credits: (Featured image when applicable: Aaron Burden/unsplash) mustard seeds n flowers 4 (3) flickr photo by ratnarajaiah shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license; Mustard Seed flickr photo by karmadude shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license; Rhidona Pratama/pixabay;Chris/freeimages.com]