How to Face Obstacles

Matthew 17:14-23 14 

And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.


   When you think about the major obstacles and trials that you face where are you investing your energy? How are you approaching these problems? Do you work, and worry, and think, and talk to others endlessly about it? Do you wake up at 3 am with worst case scenarios flowing through your mind? Do you try to figure it all out replaying conversations, and imaginary arguments, and “what if” thinking? Are you experiencing tons of stress on your body and mind when you bear this alone? There are definitely mountains in front of you. How will you face them?


What about prayer?

What about faith in God for your future?


Jesus is frustrated (never in a sinful way) in this passage. What frustrates him is that the disciples chose action over prayer. They tried to fix it before they looked to God. They assumed their resources and knowledge from Jesus’ teaching would get the job done. They overestimated their power and did not even estimate God’s power and ability to move mountains. So Jesus moves the “mountain” of this young man’s sickness in a moment through faith. He says if you have faith the size of a “mustard seed” you can move mountains, too. 


So what is the obstacle? What is the mountain?

Are you praying? Or are you trying to control and figure it all out?

Who is ultimately in control? 


Jesus is waiting for you to ask.


Astonishingly, Jesus then announces the mountain he will face on a small hill outside of the mountaintop city Jerusalem. He will not move it, but go through it for us. “What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). 


Let's start with prayers to Jesus the Savior

when we face the mountains we face.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Harvey

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