And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance said unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursed is withered away. And Jesus answering said unto them, Have faith in God.Mark 11:20-26
Believe in His power and goodness when it seems He is weak, distant, and silent. Have faith in God that He does hear and answer prayer.
For Jesus went on to give two clear instructions:
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 said shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he said. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.Mark 11:23-26
Jesus says to pray believing God will do the impossible and move heaven and earth for you, and He will.
His second instruction is this–forgive. What connection is there between faith and forgiveness? It seems Jesus is tacking together two disconnected ideas. But being the Truth, He knew: forgiveness requires incredible faith in Almighty God.
When we forgive, we relinquish our right to revenge and give God the right to be our Judge. When we forgive, it is as if we are telling God, “I trust You to bring about justice, and I trust You, God, that if choose to extend mercy instead of justice to the one who has hurt me, You are making the best choice.”
Forgiveness requires incredible faith, because to choose to forgive is to choose to do the humanly impossible. Only God can move the mountains of hurt within us and give us love for those who hurt us.
Only God could do what Jesus did. He died to redeem a world that had done Him wrong and rose again to give them new, eternal life. He did it, because He loved us.
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.Matthew 22:35-40
Teach us to pray in faith and to take You at Your Word. Teach us how to ask for big, hard things and believe You will move our mountains. Teach us how to live forgiveness in deep gratitude for the forgiveness you grant us every day. Teach us to love You and others as we should. A-men.
*If you would like to follow along for the rest of the week, enter your e-mail address at the top right of this page. If you missed the first two posts you can still read them here: Palm Sunday and Holy Monday.