If

In the book of Mark we read of a man who had a son afflicted with a demonic spirit. The father had asked the disciples to heal his son and they could not, so when he was asked to bring the boy to Jesus he had little or no faith in what Christ could do. When he faced Christ, the father said, “I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not. If you can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.”

Jesus Christ, without anger over the man’s doubt, said “If you can believe, all things are possible. It was as though Jesus had said, “There is no ‘if’ about My power or My willingness, the ‘if’ is about you.”

The father said “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” This was both a statement and a prayer. A spark of faith had been kindled, but it was weak. Knowing his faith was not strong he prayed the Lord would give him stronger faith.

Hearing this, Jesus spoke the word, the devil was cast out and the son was healed.

There is a lesson here which we should learn. The real question was not whether Jesus could heal the boy, but whether the father could believe. We, like this father, often put the “if” in the wrong place. “If” Jesus can help me, “if” He can help me to overcome temptation, “if” He can give me pardon, “if” He can make me successful. No, the “if” belongs to you – if you can believe, Jesus can and will. If you can confidently trust, all things are possible through Christ. All things, without limit, are possible to him that believes.

Like the father who prayed for more faith, we should also pray to overcome our doubt. If your faith is weak, cry out for help, for no demon could defy you if you have faith that overflows.

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I am a depraved, morally bankrupt wretched sinner through and through. I’ve attended church sporadically most of my life, haven’t spent a minute in seminary and only recently gave the Bible more than a cursory review. I’ve attended exactly one theology class and I dropped out of that. However, in spite of my moral infidelity, I’ve come to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I’ve learned my salvation isn’t the result of what I do, but rather what Jesus has done on my behalf. I didn’t find the Holy Spirit, He found me. And in our relationship I have invited Him to change me, to use me for His purpose, to conquer my will with His own. Praise the Lord, for even an unworthy, chronic sinner like me can experience and give testimony to His glory!
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