One of the greatest challenges Jesus continually gave his followers was to have faith. He knew that having faith held the power to make amazing things happen.
Peter had a little faith and walked on water. A bleeding woman had a little faith and was healed after 12 years of no hope (Matt 9:20-22). A little bit of faith brought people back from the dead (Hebrews 11:35), enabled the blind to see (John 9:1-7), fed thousands (John 6:1-15), and more.
How can we tell when there’s an absence of faith in our life? We stop believing in the impossible, and we settle for living a small life.
In this Bible study, our goal is to journey through the process of developing the faith to move mountains. We all have mountains we must move. This can be accomplished, not by human effort, but by the power of faith. Here is how we get the faith that makes things happen.
Table of Contents
Acknowledge your mountains
 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”  He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”Matthew 17:19-20 NIV
The Bible says that the way we move mountains is through our faith. But before we can even begin moving mountains, we must first acknowledge that they are there.
I ran track in college, and I had an experience with a mountain that I’ll never forget. We had to run parts of the mountain for training, which made me dread Monday afternoons. Sometimes it was just the first steep hill.
Other times, we would get dropped off in the middle of the mountain and we would have to run different parts of the mountain. And during the worst times, we’d run the entire 6+ miles. Running the mountain hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally because it challenged every part of me.
Mountains are massive, magnificent, and overwhelming all at once. That’s what makes it even more incredible that Jesus says faith in God can actually move mountains.
The thing I’ve been learning is that the mountains I need to move in my life aren’t necessarily the circumstances I see in front of me. My biggest mountains are usually inside me: fears in relationships, doubts that I can change, disappointing moments when I tried to have faith and defeats in my life that not only impacted me, but also the friends and family around me.
If I am going to let God move these mountains, I need to acknowledge that they exist.
Pause and reflect
What mountains in your life do you need God’s help to move?
Deal with denial
Acknowledging the mountains in my heart is a recent epiphany for me. Up until now, denial has been a really close friend of mine. Because I don’t really have faith that these mountains can be moved from my heart, it’s easier to deny that the mountains are there.
The story of Abraham and Sarah in the book of Genesis gives us an incredible example of what it looks like when God does the impossible. Abraham and Sarah were past the age of childbearing, yet God promised they would in fact have a child. Along the way, we see them battling to have faith in God, and Sarah struggled with some denial.
 Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children.  So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’  Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.” But the LORD said, “No, you did laugh.”Genesis 18:11-15 NLT
Sarah didn’t want to admit that she didn’t totally believe she could have a child, so she denied the truth that she had laughed at God. Denial is a funny thing because it’s possible to be in denial about being in denial. So how do you know if you are in denial about your faith?
 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.  And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,  but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”Genesis 4:3-7 NIV
No one and nothing, including the Bible, can touch you because you are tornado of emotions, destroying everything and everyone in your path.
Cain displays this kind of anger in Genesis 4:3-7. He gets angry when God doesn’t accept his offering, but doesn’t admit that his own lack of faith led him to make an unacceptable offering (see also Hebrews 11:4).
 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals.  Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.  Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,John 5:1-9 NIV
You don’t make any effort to move forward in your faith. When a challenge comes, you stop in your tracks. Jesus healed a man who likely felt this way in John 5:1-9. He had been lying beside a pool, hoping for healing for 38 years, and felt like any attempt he made at stepping into it failed.
 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”  He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”  “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”  “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.  Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”John 4:15-20 NIV
You always have an excuse for why you can’t be engaged relationally and spiritually. Jesus met a woman at a well who practiced this type of denial; whenever he tried to ask her engaging questions she changed the subject.
But some worthless men said, “How can this man save and rescue us?” And they regarded Saul with contempt and did not bring him a gift. But he ignored the insult and kept silent.1 Samuel 10:27 AMP
You are impenetrable, like Magneto from X-Men. No one can reach you because you are silently repelling everyone away. King Saul handled his mountains of insecurity this way; when faced with criticism and doubt about his ability to be king, he responded with silence.
What forms of denial do you use to avoid the truth about your faith? We have to decide not to live in denial if we want to have genuine faith in God’s power.
When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”Romans 4:18 (MSG)
Faith in God makes the impossible possible. Abraham had a serious mountain, a seemingly expired promise of God to become a father of many nations. He and his wife were past the age of childbearing and yet, he believed anyway.
Abraham’s faith in God was able to move mountains because he had the courage to turn and talk to God to the point of trusting him to do the impossible. Take a moment and consider the past 7 days.
Which form of denial has shown up the most in your life? Your conversations, interactions, thought life and prayers? In order to develop a “believe anyway” attitude, all you need to do is have an honest conversation with God about your mountains. Then you will have the faith to see God do the impossible.
Pause and reflect
Which form of denial do you need to turn from by talking to God about it? What would it look like for you to have a “believe anyway” attitude?
Don’t be afraid to face difficult facts
I can only imagine how hard Abraham had to work to keep believing God’s promise over his emotions, experiences, and the overwhelming facts of his circumstances. Like Jesus says in John 6:29, the work of God is to believe, and believing doesn’t mean ignoring or denying difficult facts.
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,  being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.  This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”Romans 4:19-22 NIV
This passage proves it is possible to face difficult facts without weakening our faith. I tend to believe denial will protect me from discouragement and facing difficult facts will bring me down.
But this passage proves that the real enemy we must resist and conquer is unbelief, not truth. Unbelief makes us waver and doubt God’s ability to help us change. Truth guides us (Psalm 43:3) and helps us respect God’s power more than our own.
Facing facts with faith is being able to look at them, no matter how overwhelming they may be, and attack them head on because you know that God is with you and will help you.
Here are just some of the facts we must face in our daily lives:
- Difficulty with academics
- Challenges in our dating lives
- Distance in marriage
- Struggling to start a family and infertility
- Health challenges that come with aging
- Living with mental health challenges
- Learning how to age well spiritually
- Financial difficulties and setbacks
- Parenting challenges
Facing them can be difficult but when the truths in our lives are met with God’s word, faith is born. (Matthew 26:36-39).
For me, the most amazing things have happened when I let God’s word trump my thoughts, desires, and emotions. That’s the moment when we become fully persuaded by God’s power that he can and will do the impossible. The impossible isn’t always some big miracle. Oftentimes, it’s changing us from the inside out to believe God more than we believe ourselves.
Pause and reflect
Do you believe it’s possible to face facts without weakening in your faith? What are the difficult facts you need to face about the mountains in your life?
Ask God for help
Once we’ve acknowledged our mountains and faced the facts, it’s time to ask God for help. Some of the most frustrating times in my life happened because I tried to move mountains alone. I don’t like to humble myself and ask God for help.
Some time later, the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”  But Abram replied, “O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth.  You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.” Then the LORD said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.”  Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”  And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.Genesis 15:1-6 NLT
Abraham was a man like us. Here in this passage, we see him asking God for help to continue believing his promise. How much do you ask God for help to give you the faith to make things happen? He wants to hear from us. He longs to answer us.
Pause and reflect
Are you willing to utter the words, “I need help”? In what area of your life do you need God’s help the most? Do you have the humility to be vulnerable before God by praying for the impossible?
Decide to take a risk of faith
Faith in God makes everything possible. When we’ve done the hard spiritual work of acknowledging our mountains, facing difficult facts, and asking God for help, then we are ready to experience the power of God to move our mountains and make the impossible possible.
Just then a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years slipped in from behind and lightly touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned-caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.” The woman was well from then on.Matthew 9:20 (MSG)
What I love about this woman is that she just had a little bit of faith in Jesus’ power. Life was really hard for 12 years and yet she tried again to scale her mountain – believing she could be healed when every effort she made said she couldn’t.
The risk she took could have led her to more disappointment, but instead it led her to being healed. Her body was healed and she could hope again. That’s what faith in God can do.
What would happen if you just “put a finger” on Jesus robe? If you made an effort to connect with him by being gut-level honest about your heart and what you need? The moment we decide to be humble, ask for and accept help from God and spiritual friends, is the moment Jesus can heal and change us. Who knows what impossible you can accomplish with God by simply admitting need?
Our faith in God unlocks the belief that anything is possible. Take some time today to acknowledge your mountains, resist the temptation to live in denial, accept the challenge to change your faith, ask God for help and embrace the risk of faith. This will be the beginning of the journey of allowing God to develop your faith to make things happen and for Him to do the impossible in your life and the lives of those around you.
Pause and reflect
What impossible is God trying to accomplish with you?