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What Does it Mean to Have Faith to Move a Mountain?

    Faith to Move a M0untain

    What does it mean to have “faith to move a mountain”? This phrase is taken from the Bible and is a tenant of the Christian faith. It reminds Christians that only a little faith is necessary to make big things happen.

    Previous to this verse, some of the disciples had failed to heal a child, but Jesus was able to do so. They question their inability, and Jesus gently scolds them as being of “little faith.”

    In Matthew 17:20, Jesus says, “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.”

    This verse has come to represent hope and patience for many people. Let’s examine its meaning by looking at key words in the verse.

    How the Word ‘Truly’ Helps Your Faith to Move a Mountain 

    Truly was a term used in the Bible often. Sometimes the speaker would say verily or amen, amen at the beginning of a statement to grab the attention of listeners.

    This was a common way of indicating that the information was very important. Therefore, when any speaker in the Bible used these words, a very powerful statement followed. Oftentimes, these were words uttered by Jesus, God or an angel.

    While this word isn’t actually in the modern phrase “faith to move a mountain,” it is a clear allusion to this Biblical verse, and the use of the word truly at the beginning is an omitted reminder that these are words to live by.

    Mustard seeds

    A mustard seed is only a millimeter or 2 in diameter. That’s very small! Teaching that faith only the size of a mustard seed can do anything at all is quite amazing.

    People intending to refute the Bible have pointed out that mustard seeds certainly aren’t the smallest seeds known to man. But they could have been in Jesus’ time.

    Of course, much of the Bible is parable, not meant to be taken literally but used to teach lessons. This particular statement is considered parabolic in nature. The size of the mustard seed compared to a mountain is insurmountable, but according to this verse, you don’t need a large measure of faith to do seemingly impossible things.

    This idea is encouraging for people who are new in their faith or may be going through a difficult time when it is difficult to see how things can turn out ok. When we simply hope for better times or for problems to disappear, there is no faith involved.

    Faith is a belief that the issue will be resolved.


    The mountains in the verse refer to the problems in our lives. They are big, and they don’t move very easily. Therefore, telling a mountain to go jump in the sea does not seem very probable.

    Your mountains could be financial difficulties, health problems, broken relationships, childhood traumas… the list goes on and on. Whatever you are facing, when you wonder what it means to have faith to move a mountain, it means believing in the impossible.

    Faith and Doubt 

    In the Bible, the disciples were eventually able to perform miracles that compared to the ones Jesus did. The difference in this point in the book of Matthew versus the point when the disciples are able to perform miracles is their development and deepening of faith.

    According to scholars, the type of faith that is being described here is completely free of doubt. In fact, it is said that faith and doubt cannot exist together.

    The question what does it mean to have faith to move a mountain involves several layers of belief and specific actions:

    Speaking the impossible 

    When you need a problem fixed, a relationship repaired, or any other “mountain” to move, say it out loud. You may feel silly at first, but over time it will begin to feel more natural. Much like daily affirmations, speaking your problems out loud gives them context and reminds you that no circumstance lasts forever. 


    Believing is more than hoping. It is believing in your heart and mind without any doubt. This takes practice, since it is most people’s natural inclination to be cautious rather than blindly optimistic. Belief is seeing the odds stacked against you and knowing that your mountain will be moved. 

    Expecting results

    When you ask, what does it mean to have faith to move a mountain, you have to be constantly looking at the horizon for the resolution to your issue. It may happen soon, not long after you begin speaking and believing it. But it can take much longer for your mountain to move. That doesn’t mean you stop expecting the desired results.

    Waiting on Faith to Move a Mountain

    No one likes to wait, but it is a necessary part of having your mountain move. If it takes longer for your resolution to come, keep waiting, and in the meantime, speak, believe and expect results!

    Final Thoughts on Faith to Move a Mountain

    Faith is hard.  Really hard!  Practice and patience will pay off.  Perhaps keep a diary or journal of your thoughts and processes while you learn.  In time, you can go back and reread and watch how you’ve grown in your journey of faithF