I don't know about you, but sometimes life seems futile. Occasionally, we may feel like we will never get out of the ruts we are in and that all the good we are doing is for nothing. But if we exercise just a little bit of faith, just a tiny bit to start with, we can grow ourselves into much better people with more fulfilling lives.
In the Bible, in the gospel of Mark, we are given an outline to aid us in our quest. A father has a son who is suffering some unknown malady which no one seems to be able to find him any relief from.
In speaking to Jesus Christ, the father pleads, "If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us."
Jesus said unto him, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
This poor father would be grateful for any glimmer of hope, the smallest of blessings on his son's behalf. In response to his honest and heartfelt plea, even with his admission of incomplete faith, the Savior healed his son fully, almost literally raising him from the dead.
Here is how you can exercise your faith to change your life:
1. Express your conviction
Just as this father did, you can go to God and let him know of your desire for greater faith. Express your faith to him. "Lord, I believe." This not only allows you to tell your Father in Heaven of your faith, but in the same expression, allows you to tell yourself of the truth.
2. Confess your limitations
The Lord delights in honesty and humility. "Help thou mine unbelief." It is a good thing to confess your weaknesses to him and to yourself.
3. Don't let your own doubts get in the way
Have faith in your own faith. You have more than you have probably ever considered. It is in there and if you have children and have done your best to raise them according to your beliefs, faith is in them as well. Never give up hope.
4. Put that belief to work
Back up your words with action. Find time each day to get to know God better. Speak to him often in the name of his son, through whom all blessings are granted. Live what you claim to believe and your convictions will grow exponentially. Be kind to one another. Love your enemies and pray for them. Pray for opportunities to serve. Share your beliefs with someone who may have doubts.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for help
Never let your limitations keep you from pleading to the Father for what you need. Not for worldly things, but for righteous desires of your heart. Turn to God when all hope seems lost and your prayers will be answered.
5. Build on the mustard seed
An important promise is recorded in Mark also: "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." In your prayers, let God know that you believe that 'through Him all things are possible.' Ask for what is expedient to you and your family and then leave the rest to Him, but remember this important proviso. "Thy will be done." Let Him know that you have faith in his ability to judge what is best for you.
6. Believe until you know
These are baby steps toward a truth. Begin by believing and grow that belief into that greater knowledge. Hold steadfast and look forward to the day when you can say, without hesitation, "Lord, I know."
We are given wonderful examples of disciples who have grown their beliefs, moved forward to a greater knowledge and provide a beacon of light to those who doubt. This is a goal to set for you and for your family. Start with a tiny seed of hope, plant it, nourish it with the word, serve often and watch as the plant grows and the roots dig deep, providing a solid foundation for your faith. I promise it works because it has worked for me.