Mountains and Thorns

Mountains! I love them! There is something so peaceful about going up into the mountains. I don’t know about you, but I feel closer to God when I’m in the mountains looking down on the valleys. There are many mountains in the Bible. We know that the ark rested on Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4). Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:21). Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18:17-40). Jesus was tempted by Satan on an exceeding high mountain (Matthew 4: 8-10), and taught His disciples in the beautiful “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7). But I’ve had a couple of passages about faith and mountains on my mind lately.

In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said, “Because of your unbelief (little faith): for verily I say unto you, If you 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 to you.” Then in I Corinthians 13:2 – the chapter of love, Paul wrote, “And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge: and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing.” These passages talk about the power of faith and love. Do you have a mountain in your life that you would like moved? Have you prayed asking in faith for something to happen . . . and yet it doesn’t?

This reminds me of Paul praying that his “thorn in the flesh” be removed. He “besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from him” (II Corinthians 12:8) But the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9). Whatever that “thorn” was, the Lord felt that it was good spiritually for Paul to “live with it,” and Paul came to understand that “when I am weak, then am I strong.” When Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray before His arrest, He fell on His face and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). We all know what the answer to that prayer was and because of His willingness to go to the cross, we can have salvation.

So, if you’ve been praying for something to happen, and your “mountain” hasn’t moved, perhaps it’s not a matter of your faith. Have you ever thought that God may like that mountain right where it is? We may be facing that mountain for a reason. Endurance makes us stronger. The way that we “face our mountains” can make a difference to others, who see the powerful example of our faith and that we have the “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) in times of hardship. “Not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Simply blessed, Courtney

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