To answer your good question, let’s begin by reading Luke 17:3-5, “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.”  Here, in teaching His disciples, the Lord gives them warnings and action points.  The disciples felt they needed more faith in order to accomplish those things the Lord asked of them.  They asked the Lord to increase their faith.  Hebrews 12:2 assures us that the Lord Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith.” 

We see the power of faith shown to us in Hebrews 11:33-34 speaking of Old Testament saints, “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”  We are warned that, “without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Hebrews 11:6).  Yet, we also are also told in Hebrews 11 of great victories, accomplishments and acts of boldness that were accomplished “by faith.” 

Getting back to our portion in Luke 17, I am encouraged at the attitude of the Lord’s disciples.  Instead of declaring that they could not do what the Lord told them to do (forgive others repeatedly), they realized they needed more faith and simply asked the Lord for more so that they might do His will.  We learn here that while we are saved by faith, we also need faith to live.  There is nothing that we cannot accomplish when we live in faith.  We learn in Romans 1:17 that, “The just shall live by faith.”  The Lord Jesus, Himself said in Mark 9:23, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” 

The Lord answered His disciples’ request in Luke 17:6, “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”  We learn here that the focus should not be on the amount of our faith, but who are faith is in.  With the smallest bit of faith in the Lord Jesus, we can accomplish those things that are seemingly impossible.  The Lord uses a similar lesson in Matthew 17:20, “If ye 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 unto you.”  This also implies a small, but growing faith.  The tiny seed of a mustard tree would grow into a strong, healthy tree. 

One way to increase our faith is to allow the Lord the opportunity to provide for us, protect us, guide us, etc.  We read in Malachi 3:10, “…prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts…”  We ‘prove’ the Lord by walking according to His Word and being obedient to His will.  He has promised blessings to those who follow and are obedient to Him.  As the Lord blesses us, our faith in Him will increase.  As we “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18), we will know Him better personally and realize more and more that we can trust Him for ALL THINGS. 

Another way to increase our faith is to increase our prayer life.  Talk to the Lord everyday…several times a day.  Cast all your cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7).  Worship Him and praise Him at all times.  Colossians 2:7 tells us we should be “abounding therein with thanksgiving.” As your appreciation of the Lord grows, so will your faith in Him. 

I am thankful that you desire to increase in hope and faith.  I wish more Christians had that same desire.  The word ‘faith’ is found more than 230 times in the Bible.  It is an essential part of the Christian’s life.  May the Lord grant your desire to grow in faith as you walk in dependence upon Him in all things.  (426.6)