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The three deadliest words for those seeking a miracle: “if You can”

Experiencing the Power of God
God’s Power is Dependent on Faith – Part II

Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:53-58

Key Verse: Matthew 13:58
And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

In Matthew 13, we read about a father that came to Jesus on behalf of his son who kept throwing himself into fire or water. This boy had an evil spirit in him that caused these horrible seizures. The father pleaded with Jesus to heal his son because Jesus’s disciples could not do it.

Here is how Jesus reacted to His disciples’ lack of faith:

Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to Me.” (Mark 9:19)

Can you imagine how the disciples felt about what Jesus said?

Sometimes I wonder if the Lord might be saying something similar about me. How long must the Lord put up with me, after all the years of His faithfulness? Why do I ever have thoughts of doubt? I still struggle in this area of faith from time to time.

I know that God deserves my faith. There is no doubt in my mind of His mighty power, yet I still struggle with certain situations. Wondering what God’s will is, in any given situation, often hinders my complete trust that God will do what I am asking Him to do.

I have been praying for myself and all the believers I know what Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers:

I keep asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. (Ephesians 1:17)

Join me in praying Ephesians 1:17 for yourself as well as the believers around you. God wants all His children to continually grow in the knowledge of Him until we complete our knowledge in Heaven.

Going back to our story of the father with a dire request for Jesus to heal his son, we read the fathers words to Jesus:

“The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if You can.” (Mark 9:22).

As you read over these words, what did the father say that revealed his weak faith? We can hear the father’s desperation as he asked for mercy. You probably see the problem; it is found in the last three words the father spoke… “if You can”.

Look how Jesus reacted to those three words:

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked, “Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:23)

Since the disciples were not able to help the father, he may have had doubts about Jesus. This teaches us that our faith or lack of faith can influence the people around us.

If people around us see our that our faith is strong, then that can help them to have stronger faith. Unfortunately, the opposite is true as well; if our faith is weak, that can rub off on those around us.

Let’s determine to not say or think the words that this father said to Jesus, “if You can”.

Father, I know that whatever the need is, You can do it. Help me to grow strong in my faith and knowledge of You. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.