Let’s imagine the scene taking place in Mark 9. In our scene the characters are Jesus, a desperate father, a boy, a nasty, evil demon, and the bewildered disciples – and of course there’s a crowd. In this story we will see both the faith and unbelief of a father desperately seeking help for his son and he learns that with God, all things are possible.
If you believe, all things are possible
The boy was possessed by a demon and had been for many years. This demon was so evil that its intent was to destroy the boy. The father was at his wits end and brought his son to Jesus as a last resort for any kind of help. He encountered Jesus’ disciples and they attempted to get rid of the demon, but they were not able to. In light of the disciples in ability to get rid of the demon, it’s not inappropriate for the father to say to Jesus, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
However, the issue is not Jesus’ ability to help, but the father’s faith. Jesus says to the father, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” The father expresses both faith and unbelief at the same time. He says, “Lord I believe.” But then his very next sentence is, “Help my unbelief.”
A hopeless father appeals to the God of the possible
The Bible doesn’t tell us that the father had heard or seen all the miracles that Jesus had been doing. But we can assume that news like that travels – and fast. Even if he hadn’t witnessed Jesus doing miracles, he probably had heard the stories. He could have even seen some of the blind who could now see or the terminally ill now healed. Some of those that Jesus had healed probably resided in the same village as this father and his son. And the son whom he loves has a problem – and a big one.
The father describes the demon as a “mute spirit” that seizes the boy, throws him down and the boy foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. Jesus tells the father to bring the boy to him. As soon as he sees Jesus, the boy convulsed, fell to the ground and began foaming at the mouth. Jesus asks the father how long this had been going on. The father tells him, “from childhood.” He goes on to say that this demon has thrown the boy in the fire and water trying to destroy him. Perhaps this is what happened that caused the father to bring the boy to Jesus at this moment in time. The hopeless father appeals to the compassion of the very person who can do something about his problem.
Is Jesus a first solution or last resort for your impossibles?
Too often we are just like this father. We don’t come to Jesus with our problem until Jesus is our last ditch effort. How would our problems be different if we started with bringing them to Jesus rather than making him our “last resort”? If we truly had the faith that all things are possible, we would bring every impossible problem to Jesus as our first solution rather than our last resort.
Struggling with faith and unbelief
We also can struggle with both faith and unbelief at the same time. We believe that God can bring healing or meet our financial need. Or we believe that he can repair broken relationships and bring the prodigal child back home. And we can believe that God will work everything out for our good. But do we have the faith that was seen in Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego who believed that God would save them from the fiery furnace? They had such faith that God would deliver them that they told Nebuchadnezzar, “We serve a God who is able to deliver us, but even if he does not, we will not worship other gods who are false!” (Daniel 3:16-18)
Can we claim this verse as a promise?
Often times, we see that people “claim” this verse as their promise from God and then expect God to give them whatever they ask for. But God isn’t a “name it and claim it” God. He’s a loving father who only gives good gifts to His children. It doesn’t matter how much I might want Porsche, if God feels that car is not in my best interest He will not give it to me – no matter how much faith I have or how long I pray.
The simple truth: All things are possible for God
The simple truth is God can do anything. I mean He spoke our universe into existence so He really can do anything. He is able. However, he only does things according to His plan, His purpose, and His will. But when we are seeking His will and living according to His will then our wants will align with God’s wants and we can have the faith that God will do exactly we need Him to do. In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said, “if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” A mustard seed is very tiny, but even with just that much faith, Jesus said nothing is impossible.
Help my unbelief
If Jesus had up a faith meter held against you, how much faith would the meter say you have? If it would register a little low, we can cry out just like the boy’s father and say, “Help my unbelief!”
Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template
Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.[Download not found]
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We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.[Download not found]
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With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out![Download not found]
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Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.[Download not found]
This week’s new Christian Tees design:
The prophet Micah, foretold about the birth of Jesus in Micah chapter 5, including that he would be born in Bethlehem. He also prophesied that Jesus would be our peace. In a chaotic world, it’s good to remember that Jesus is our peace. He has reconciled and redeemed us as he paid the penalty for our sin. Because he did, we have peace with God. But we can also have peace no matter what happens in the world around us. Jesus said in John 14:27, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Rest in the peace that Jesus offers to you.
Here are some of our favorite designs
New in the Teespring Store: The Prayer of Blessing
We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store.
God instructed the Israelite priests to pray the prayer of blessing every day over the people. The prayer is found in Numbers 6:24-26. Hang the canvass in your home or carry the mug, tote bag, or water bottle and let the prayer of blessing impact all those who you meet throughout the day.
We’ve also put this design on a poster, coffee mug, a stainless steel water bottle, phone cases, and a few other products.
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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
- Conversation Starters.
- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
- Romance Builders.
- Relationship Builders.
- Personal reflections.
- Date ideas.
- Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.
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