Some Mountains Don’t Move

mtSo I have always wondered about the response Jesus gave his disciples when in frustration they asked him why they had failed to cast the demons out of a young man whose father then brought him to Jesus.

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them.  “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” – Matthew 17:20

It gets worse.  It’s not as though they’d never seen the miraculous.  This incident took place immediately after they descended from the top of the mountain where they had seen the face of Jesus shining like the sun, his clothing white as light; the very place where Moses and Elijah appeared and the voice of God spoke from the cloud, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.  Listen to him.”

(Big sigh.)  If they didn’t have enough faith after such a monumental experience, what hope do I have? Even if I could somehow conjure up enough faith, what if it’s not the right kind?  Are there varying degrees and multiple varieties of faith? If so, how will I ever get by with my little faith, my weak faith – my faltering faith? Who can tell me what quantity or quality is needed to get that mountain moved and while we’re on the subject, why am I so convinced this one needs to move, anyway?

Immediately I recall the words of the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 13:2:  “…if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but I didn’t love others, I would be nothing.”  Everyone is talking about love as a verb.  I get that – we are, after all, commanded to love.  But there’s something greater than faith, and the scriptures also tell me that “God is love.”   (I John 4:16)

In the Christian message alone, love precedes life; in every other worldview, life precedes love.  Therefore, in the Christian framework, love has a point of reference: God Himself.  Ravi Zacharias

I began thinking of Love as a person – THE person who, along with his two companions (Faith and Hope), is making this journey with me.  It takes Faith to accept what Love has already done and to place our hope in Love’s ability to carry us safely through this life and into the next.  It takes Hope to look ahead and cling to the ultimate fulfillment of what Love has promised all along. All three are important and all are necessary but without the enduring faithful love of God, Faith and Hope don’t get the job done.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. – Hebrews 11:1

Love was moved with compassion.  Love came down to seek and to save our poor lost souls. Love gave it all and paid our sin debt on a hideous cross of suffering. Love had the power to rise in victory over sin and death and hell, thus fulfilling the eternal plan and promises of God.  I am overwhelmed with this love and the realization that, to put it in Squire Parsons’ words (from one of my favorite Southern Gospel songs), “when I could not come to where he was, he came to me!”

Love is alive and well, calling us to exercise faith, have hope, and rest assured that he will make a way – not to grant our wildest dreams, promote our own agendas or participate in our self-absorbed schemes – but rather, to fulfill his good intentions, his perfect will and his greatest joy in our lives.

An active faith can remove mountains, not of itself, but in the virtue of a divine power engaged by a divine promise, both which faith fastens upon. – Matthew Henry

So don’t be discouraged with that insurmountable obstacle looming on the horizon. You may have examined all the options, looking at it from every angle.  You’ve worried, wept and prayed, but the situation hasn’t changed. That mountain stubbornly stands in the way, like Goliath to David, taunting you in your weakness, threatening to fulfill your worst fear and turn it into humiliation and failure.

But some mountains don’t move.  Maybe it’s supposed to be there. So whether God wants to remove it or take you to the top, no matter how miserably you’ve failed or how deeply you’ve fallen, remember this:

Love will make a way for me to stand on a mountain
That looks like it’s here to stay;
Love will make a way over and around it
To claim my hope and faith!
Goodness and mercy are running after me, but
Love will make a way!

These three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 13:13

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