And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24
For those of you who are new Christians: If you haven’t struggled with spiritual doubts yet, you will.
For those of you who have been Christians for many years: If you haven’t struggled with spiritual doubts yet then one of several things may be happening.
Maybe you haven’t ever truly lived out your faith in a context where what you believed way down at your core was tested.
Maybe you have learned to suppress all doubts and just walk blindly through life. You’ve never run up to Jesus with the question like the father in our Fighter Verse.
Maybe you are secretly blaming Jesus or too ashamed to confront the Christ. To admit that there is unbelief mixed in with your belief may seem too embarrassing or lacking in spirituality.
Sometimes Jesus’ own statements cause our doubts. Jesus says “all things are possible for the one who believes.” And of course because it doesn’t seem like your life is getting “all things” the conclusion must be that you lack faith.
“If I believe I will get the promotion.” But you didn’t.
“If I believe I will get married.” But you’re still single.
“If I believe my child will win the spelling bee.” But he can’t spell cat.
“If I believe I will be healed.” But the illness remains.
We believe that our faith should solve problems, rather than believing that Jesus solves problems. There is a big difference. Isn’t my faith supposed to cause God to move? To change my life? To make my dreams come true? But how is that any different from the world’s self- empowering, power of positive thinking, pop psychology that Satan’s been selling us for decades now? “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky” (thank you R. Kelly).
So what does our Fighter Verse mean? It means that to admit your doubts and take them to Christ IS faith. Is your faith in Christ as the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:24)? Jesus doesn’t just dispense the power of God or point to the power of God. He doesn’t give us a spell or incantation to say. He literally is the power of God. His life is power and you get his life. His righteousness. His status. His inheritance. His love. His acceptance. His mercy. His truth. His son-ship. You get it all. And that is what heals you.
Now all things are possible.
More on that later.