The brother of Jared did not get faith sufficient to see the finger of God by willing himself to be faithful. His powerful, Christ-seeing faith developed over years and years as he consistently made choices to follow Him. It developed as he prayed, as he repented when he was chastised for not praying and as he trusted the Lord to lead him, his family and their friends through the wilderness. A lifetime of consistent, persistent choices to obey brought the brother of Jared’s faith to the point where he saw Christ.
Esther’s choice to risk her life by going uninvited before the king did not come from screwing up her courage and willing herself to believe, nothing doubting, that God would save her. No. She must have known the power of fasting and prayer because she invited the Jews of Shushan to fast with her. She had enough experience with her Lord to trust that the outcome, whatever it was, of her self-initiated intrusion into the king’s court would be okay. “If I perish, I perish,” she said faithfully.
Faith grows. Like a seed. Like a mustard seed….into a huge tree. Trees growth is not instant; it is not even fast. But it is steady. Year in and year out. Some years more growth and some years less. But growing, ever growing. There is a reason the Lord likened faith to a mustard seed—several reasons probably—and I am confident that one of the reasons is that the growth of faith is just that: growth. Like a tree grows through the process of photosynthesis as it turns carbon dioxide and water into sugars and cellulose, faith grows through the process of obedience as we turn prayers, scriptures study, worship, repentance, and service into trust in the Lord and conviction that He keeps His promises. Faith is the sum of a lifetime of righteous acts…. Actually, come to think of it, faith is more than a sum. When we have faith, the Lord does not merely add blessings to our lives. He multiplies them. Exponentially!
I know faith is more than a sum and it is more than a harvest. It is also a gift. I think that is part of the way the Lord multiplies our blessings. One of the blessings given us by the Lord in response to our faithful actions is the gift of increased faith. He gives us experiences that will increase our faith and gifts us with faith as we grow through those experiences. Faith is a sum and a harvest and a gift. I would love to hear/read your thoughts on the matter.