10/31/2017 – If You Can? – Pr. Sonny Shimaoka

Scripture: 
“…But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.  Jesus said to him, if you can believe all things are possible to him who believes.  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, Lord I believe; help my unbelief.”  Mark 9:23-24 (NKJV)

Observation: 
At this point it looks like the father’s faith had weakened because of the disciple’s inability to heal his son.  “If you can?”  Jesus took these words of doubt by the father to emphasize that the point was not His ability to heal the boy but the father’s ability to trust in God Who can do what is humanly impossible.  I like the father’s honest response.  He declares his faith and at the same time acknowledging its weakness.  It seems to me like the father is saying I do believe that You can heal my son, but will You do it because I’m asking?  Sometimes I think it’ easier for us to believe for others than it is to believe for ourselves.  Another thought comes to mind.  Faith is a gift.  Was the father asking for the gift of faith to believe?  Some have called it overcoming faith.

Application: 
I’m reminded again that faith sets no limits on God’s power and submits itself to His will. (1 John 5:14-15)  One of my responsibilities as a pastor is to look for ways to “cultivate” a climate of faith where healing and wholeness can thrive.  I think the failure of the disciples definitely allowed for a “climate” of unbelief to fester.  The father’s declaration of belief and acknowledgement of unbelief brings to mind an essential element of my faith that I must not forget.  Miracles are possible only with the help of the One who is its Object.

Prayer: 
Father thank you for the giving me faith to believe that You sent Jesus to be my Savior and Lord.  Holy Spirit help me to be more intentional on cultivating a climate of faith where Your gifts can operate and thrive.  Help me also to remain in the confines of Your will for my life.  In Jesus Name…