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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Short-Lived Faith

We live in an hour where short-lived faith won’t suffice.

What I mean is, if you and I are going to endure to the end as Jesus encouraged, it’s going to take more than Sunday morning faith.

Last year, my daughter-in-law climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (or “Kili” as they like to call it). It was a trip her dad has made multiple times, at least once with each of his children. She’s the youngest of the family and it was finally her turn. I’m very proud of her. Not many people can say they’ve climbed the highest free-standing mountain in the world. But after hearing her stories, I can definitely tell you I never would’ve made it— at least, not in my current condition.

I just don’t have the stamina for the hike. I don’t have the experience, the muscle, or the want-to (if I’m honest). It’s hard work. But I’m told the summit view at the top is worth it. And that’s what makes me think of what it must take to endure to the end.

Jesus repeatedly used the phrase, “O you of little faith…” in which most people assume He meant little as in small in size, amount, or degree. But actually, the phrase “little faith” means short-lived. It describes duration.

Think about the story of Peter walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33). He had faith to jump out of the boat when Jesus said to come. He even took a few steps— until “he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’” Jesus immediately reached out to rescue him. And as He did, He said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (verse 29).

Peter’s faith wasn’t small. Peter’s faith was short-lived. We should give kudos to him for having faith big enough to jump out of the boat in a storm! There’s no doubt in my mind that Peter had big faith. The problem was that his faith was short-lived. The minute he paused to look around, his faith stopped. 

Short-lived faith starts strong, but doesn’t make it. 

Short-lived faith has big dreams, but lacks endurance.

Short-lived faith won’t suffice in today’s world.

Jesus is still asking this question today: “O you of [short-lived] faith, why did you stop believing?” Was it the pressure? Was it a lack of stamina? Was it a lack of desire? I think any of us, on any given day, might have to answer yes to one or all of these questions. So what do we do?

We increase the longevity of our faith by watering the seeds of faith every day. I wasn’t trying to be clever when I said it’s going to take more than Sunday morning faith. It’s actually true. Too many people rely on one spoon-fed feeding a week at church on Sundays and then wonder why the trials of life are overwhelming. “O you of little faith…” 

You and I must do more than that. We will never reach the summit if we only let the guide (the pastor) feed us. At some point, we have to pick up our Bible, spend time in prayer, and exercise our faith in hard times. In order to have endurance faith, we have to have endurance period.

As one person said, “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves” (Edmund Hilary). 

I encourage you to make the climb, step out of the boat, and press through this hard season. Jesus was right there for Peter and He will be right there for you and I too. Our instruction is, just don’t stop.

Copyright © 2022 Daphne Delay, used with permission.

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