Monday, October 14, 2013

A Story for The Ages

Who's for you today? Does it seem like you're in the fight by yourself? Does it seem like your friends have either left you on the battlefield all alone or they are powerless to come to your rescue? Are you in the battle but don't have anything to defend yourself with? Does it seem like you brought a knife to a gun fight? Don't despair. Your Big Brother is here to step in.

Read this below and remember that if you are a Christian this is your Advocate, your Big Brother.

Rom. 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There are some hard things in the pipe for many people these days, including yours truly but look at these verses. Christ, our Brother is at the right hand of the Father making requests and pleading with the Father on our behalf. This is not some kind of distant relative that doesn't have any idea what we are going through and this is not the kind of person who has never been through difficulties Himself. He has been through every kind of trial, to the highest degree, and yet He didn't fail in those trials. This is the Savior we pray to, look to and believe in.
But what about my little faith? What about those days when I believe part way but wonder if He's going to come through for me? I mean I KNOW He will come through for you but what about my situation today? Isn't that where we often live? We know this, that or the other thing will work perfectly for others but maybe we're not completely convinced that it will work for us. We know God is good and kind because we've read all the stories and we've seen Him work in other's lives but will he do the same for us today?
There's a story about that in the Bible too. A father who loves his son very much and this boy is a mess. Mute, deaf and having seizures that throw him into the fire for as long as he's been alive. That's a hard thing for a father to watch. This man brings his son to Jesus' disciples because he's heard the stories. Whatever it took he was going to get his son there. 
Heartbreak awaits him as the disciples can't get it done. Wow, now that would be discouraging. All that he had seen and heard and maybe his case was out of reach for a cure. He had seen everyone else's cures but maybe...
Nope, he didn't give up all his hope. He was in this to the end. He was going to stop at nothing to make sure that his son got what he needed; a cure. So when the disciples couldn't pull it off he went straight to the top. He went to the man with the shining face, Jesus had just come down from the mountain, and he was going to take his son to Him.
There was doubt in his heart about the disciples. There was doubt in his heart about his own abilities and there even seems to be some doubt in his heart about Jesus' ability to make his son completely whole but he knew Jesus could do something and something was much better than where they were at the moment. 
He asks Jesus to do something; anything but he puts an "if" in the sentence. "If you can do anything". We can read the story and wonder what this guy was thinking- "IF". What, where's your faith man? Did he realize he was talking to Jesus, the Son of God? Probably not. He knew that there were a bunch of people that were sick and this "man" was healing them but maybe his case was too difficult and especially since these guys that were with him were healing people too and they couldn't seem to give his son any relief. This is a father in need of some answers and he is hoping that this "Jesus" is the final stop.
Mark 9:21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Jesus answers him. “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes." "Believe" in what or whom? Not the disciples. Not the words he had heard. Not the stories of other. Not the words he had read or had read to him in the synagogue but he needed to believe in Jesus; just Jesus.  
He is honest with Jesus. “I believe; help my unbelief!” He had lived a life of hardship, watching his son suffer, and he had seen the disciples inability to remedy his son and so Jesus is his last resort. Truly Jesus is his ONLY resort. He had faith but he knew it was wavering and he needed Jesus to give him the faith to believe all things were possible.
He was going to have a story to tell. This is a story for the ages and stories like this bring glory to God. This is NOT a story about a sick boy or a father with awesome faith. This is a story about Jesus healing someone, the boy, who may not have had any faith himself and a father who had some faith that Jesus could come to his rescue. But the story is not about having all the faith you need and that is what gets your need met. It's about Jesus taking the little faith we do have and increasing it right in front of our eyes so when we watch Him work we can tell generations to come what Jesus did.
This is a hard story for me to read as I know that many others see the little faith I have and think that I believe all the time; it's not true. I can relate way too much for my liking with this father. I hate that my faith goes up and down like a roller coast. I hate that I trust God implicitly one minute and the next it's like I never even believed. I have to talk to my soul all the time and I think that it seems childish that I am at this point of unbelief at this stage of my walk with Christ. Maybe it's that my faith is not childish enough.
A child believes their daddy is going to make it better  and can handle everything that comes their way. There is no over thinking going on with a child. They believe-period. 
Jesus can handle what concerns us today. He can increase our little faith but it requires that we go with the faith we have and at least ask Him to work on our behalf and on our faith. He is willing, able and excited to grant our requests to us so we need to stop thinking that He is good to all others and question whether He will be good to us. That last paragraph should be written in first person.
Ask. Believe. Trust. Get ready to tell some amazing stories about God's work on your behalf. I'll do the same. 

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