In preparation for this week’s rehearsal, I listened to the song “Si Puedes Creer”, at least 20 times (my iTunes player says 13 times, but that doesn’t count the times I stopped it right before the track ends and I’d go back to the beginning).
As I was listening to the music and listening to the lyrics, it really got me to thinking about the times my faith and confidence in Jesus have been put to the test. When the storms and trials of just living life rise up around me, does my faith carry me through? The times a difficult moment and a difficult decision presents itself, do I have confidence that Jesus is with me at all times?
In Mark chapter 9 we read the story of a young man possessed by a spirit. The father of the young man is heartbroken and brings his son to Jesus and his disciples (his disciples actually tried to cast out the spirit but were unsuccessful). Jesus asks the father for how long the young man had been possessed to which the father states since childhood and asks Jesus,
“But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (v. 22)
How many times have we come before our Jesus and told Him the same thing… “Lord, I’m going through this issue, I need a touch in this area, heal my sickness, restore my health, give me guidance, help me with this or that.” Then we utter those very words IF YOU CAN DO SOMETHING PLEASE DO IT.
The scripture goes on to tell us Jesus replied, “What do you mean if I can?” Now, I don’t know what tone Jesus used and I don’t know what his facial expression was but to me it seems like Jesus was almost offended by the way this man worded the question. “What do you mean if I can? Are you putting a limitation on what I can do? Are you saying there is a possibility I can’t perform this deed?” Jesus looked at the man and probably thought, you went through all the trouble of bringing your son to me and you say “if you can.”
Jesus reminded the man the only limitation there was, was his ability to believe.
“Everything is possible for one who believes.” (v. 23)
Jesus can still move, even today, this hour, this minute, this second in which you are reading this!! The good news is the man responded and said “I do believe” and then confessed, Lord, yes, I do have some doubt, yes, I do have a bit of trouble with this issue of faith……but “help me overcome my unbelief!” What does Jesus do? Did he say, well, when you overcome your unbelief come back. No, he drove the impure spirit out of the young man and lifted him up off the ground.
Does my confidence sometimes waver? In all honesty, yes, there are times when I have felt my faith and trust begin to falter…moments of pain and despair in which the world seems to be closing in on me and I feel there is no way to escape the moment. But in that moment, Jesus does something in my life and reminds me I can overcome the doubt and I can overcome whatever is hindering my ability to have faith. It can be something as little as seeing my little girl’s smile, listening to a song, a moment of prayer and worship or it can be a move so powerful just like it was for the young man and his father. And each and every time this happens my faith grows stronger…my confidence in Jesus is harder to shake and I am reminded of what the Lord said to Israel and what He says to you and me:
1 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)
Isn’t that awesome!! God promises to be with you and me no matter what we are crossing in our lives. You and I can have the same confidence as David did and proclaim:
The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 (NIV)
So remember if you and I can believe, if you and I have faith, if you and I can trust, if you and I can have confidence…Jesus can do it and He will do it! If only you can believe! What are some things that help you strengthen your faith? Your prayer time? Your moments of worship? What seems to help most? I would love to know your thoughts.