If you can?

In Mark 9 Jesus heals a boy possessed by an impure spirit. In this particular miracle, He addresses faith and unbelief. It’s an important lesson.

In this situation, a man brings his son to Jesus’ disciples for healing. They are unable to help the boy. When Jesus arrives on the scene, He asks the father about his son. The father replies:

“But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

Jesus responds by questioning the father’s unbelief.

“‘If you can?'” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

I very much enjoy the father’s response.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Isn’t that just like us? We say to God: “I trust you.” We follow that with: “Please give me more faith.” I want to challenge you today, but I want to be careful with this challenge.

I think this scripture teaches us that we should live with a bold, audacious faith in God. We can spend each day in eager anticipation of our Father’s care for us through an unmatched, overwhelming, unchanging love. God deserves our belief. This is a big way to live and I hope you accept the challenge.

Here’s my caution: we cannot treat our relationship with God as contractual. This is not a situation where we “believe hard enough” and “God does what we want”.

Give God your heart, your worship, your first. Then live in a big, fearless faith based in His love for you.


About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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