“…if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2/NIV).
Really this verse raises many questions. Is it possible to move a mountain? Is it good or necessary to move a mountain? Can we achieve anything by human efforts or are we solely to look for a divine miracle? What does the bible mean by a mountain? Are there different kinds of mountains?
Sorry, but for now I am not going to answer any of these questions. Thinking about mountains in general terms may help us towards a balanced understanding of this verse of scripture.
Let me tell you something based on my own experience! I grew up not too far from mountains of the Black Forest in Southern Germany. Honestly, it is far more common that people are trying to climb a mountain than that they are seeking to remove it. By the way you can comfortably reach the top of some mountains by car. Or the road will end not too far from the mountaintop.
Many people like mountains. From special places you can have a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Others like to walk on mountains as this provides them an experience of nature apart from the centres of industry and modern traffic. Mountain slopes can be used for skiing or other sports. So let me tell you that a mountain is not a bad thing. But you must make good use of the opportunities a mountain provides.
Some may think of their own problems and difficulties and desire to see these ‘mountains’ vanish away. But how do you know, perhaps God has some very loving plans for you based on these issues. Very often it may help to thank God even for unpleasant situations. A grateful attitude may open eyes for opportunities hitherto unseen.
Circumstances will not always change. However, we might learn to look at things from a different angle.
As I am writing this, some scripture verses are coming to my mind. God is seeking our good even as we are facing situations that we do not like. Please note that this verse refers to those who love God! “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28/KJV). If we begin to trust God’s loving intentions, we begin to learn that which God is trying to teach us.
Then I would like to mention Matthew 6:33. Jesus told his listeners not to worry about earthly things such as food and garments. He pointed them to God’s provision for animals and plants. Then he continued saying: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (KJV).
It is when we begin to thank God and to praise him that we might gain a new perspective on our problems: “He who sacrifices thank-offerings honours me, and he prepares the way, so that I may show him the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23/NIV).
We might not see circumstances change. Yet our own attitudes towards these difficulties may be a real obstacle in our lives. Mountains of negative thoughts and feelings might fade away, as we prayerfully study and learn from the word of God.