As a professor at Moody Bible Institute, I've enjoyed training the next generation of teachers. We tackle all sorts of subjects, one being how to engage children in mathematics. New teachers must understand how to help children approach “word problems.” Children often jump in and try to solve the problem without reading and understanding it. Sound familiar? We can make the same mistake when we jump in to solve problems without a purposeful approach.
In Mark 11, Jesus was giving His disciples principles for daily living and problem-solving. The day before had been a long one, during which Jesus had experienced hunger and righteous anger as He drove the moneychangers out of the Temple. The next morning, Peter seemed astonished that the fig tree Jesus had cursed the previous day had actually withered. In this section, Jesus teaches them foundational truths for addressing life’s problems: faith in God, prayer, and forgiveness.
Of course, the disciples had no idea what was ahead for them in the days to come. Peter would deny Christ, and they would all witness Christ’s death and resurrection. But in only four verses, Vv. 22–25, Jesus gives Peter a workable approach to facing whatever life would bring: “Have faith in God” (v. 22). As His followers, we are to realize the power of believing in God (v. 23). We should pray diligently with faith (v. 24). And if we have someone to forgive, we should do so immediately. Don’t let your prayers be hindered by the weight of unforgiveness (v. 25).
These lessons, which happened right before Christ’s arrest, would follow Peter and the other disciples through difficult days to come. Jesus’ words promised them that faith in God could move mountains. Jesus knew problems would arise, and faith would be the solution.
>> Do you get so wrapped up in solving your own problems that you jump ahead to devising your own solutions? Today’s reading reminds us to place all situations in God’s hands and look to Him for answers. Let’s patiently approach difficult times with faith, prayer, and forgiveness. God might just move a mountain!
Is God calling you to a deeper life of faith and obedience? We hope Christ’s teaching in today’s Scripture passage will help you along the way. Pray for God’s will to be done in your life.