And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24 ESV
The interaction between the father of the troubled child and the Lord Jesus in this touching story has invaluable lessons for each one of us with respect to the challenges we frequently face. But today we want to focus on just the one crucial factor Jesus emphasises here.
Interestingly, the possessed child’s father thought the missing link was ABILITY (or possibility). Of course, his assumption was understandable, given that Jesus’ own disciples had failed to deliver the child from the evil spirit. Yet Jesus promptly points out that actually the missing factor was not ability but FAITH.
Please note that at this stage Jesus is not addressing the disciples’ failure as such. He addresses the father’s attitude. He tells the gentleman not to shift responsibility for his child’s deliverance on anyone else’s ability or lack of it. It’s all about his faith. He must forget about any previous failures, and believe now that God can and will help his child. The child cannot believe for himself as yet, but the father can believe on his behalf.
The same applies to each one of us today, dear friend. Sometimes life throws at us stuff that affects our hope for improvement. We may not see light at the end of the tunnel. We become convinced that things will never change for the better. We accept the status quo. We become hopeless, faithless, helpless and even cynical.
Sometimes we begin to make fun of our situation in order to soothe our pain. We joke about our plight. We even mock ourselves. Subtly, we accept that this is now our permanent lot. God forbid!
This applies at personal level as well as at a collective level. It applies at a national level. Many people have lost hope for their families. Many today feel helpless and hopeless for our nation as well. But I believe with all my heart that what Jesus teaches here is relevant at EVERY level. All we need is to BELIEVE.
I plead with you today to believe God for personal deliverance. Believe God for academic success. Believe God for career advancement. Believe God for a wonderful spouse if you are single. Believe God for marital harmony. Believe God for business success. Believe God for your family’s salvation and prosperity. Believe God for church health and growth. Believe God for national healing. Believe God for global peace. Only believe!
If you believe and I believe and we together pray…ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Tell God today that you believe. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in your unbelief. Reject despair. Cast out all doubt and fear. Only believe.
Pastor Josh