DayBreaks for 3/01/18 – If You Can

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DayBreaks for 3/01/18: If You Can

From the DayBreaks archive, February 2008:

“Hey, hon, would you see if you can get the lid off this jar?”  If I had a dollar for every time my wife asked me that question, I’d have a much faster PC than I do now!  There is also something in the male ego that rises to such a challenge: “What do you mean, ‘If you can?’  I’m macho!”  Then, so us guys can demonstrate our physical prowess, we try really hard to make it look easy to get the lid off the jar.  Sometimes it is very easy, but other times it is hard (but we can’t ever let on that it is hard).

In Mark 9.22-23, Jesus has been approached by a man who had a son who was possessed by demons, and here is part of their conversion, the man speaking first of all to Jesus: It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.

Here was a man who had a broken heart.  His son, whom he no doubt loved greatly, had been wracked with suffering as a result of the demon.  As a parent, you would feel like you could never take your eyes off your child for an instant because the demon might try to throw him into the fire or water at any time.  Parenting would become a very intense 24-hour a day job.  You can hear the desperation in the man’s voice: “But, IF you can do anything..”.  Undoubtedly this poor man had tried other “healers” or religious leaders – including the very disciples of Jesus – but to no avail.  He finds himself now, not daring again to get his hopes up, confronted with Jesus himself.  Would he be able to do what his disciples could not?  Was there any reason to hope?  Hence, the words, “…if you can…”.

Jesus’ reply picks up on the lack of faith in the father of the child.  “If you can?  EVERYTHING is possible for him who believes.” 

First of all, Jesus believed.  He knew the power of the Father that was at his beck and call.  He had no doubt that he could deliver the boy from demonic struggle.  The disciples apparently doubted that they could do it.  He didn’t permit the lack of faith from the boy’s father to cause him to doubt his own faith.  With Jesus is found certainty. 

Second, Jesus doesn’t limit the ability to do great things to just himself – but says EVERYTHING is possible for EVERYONE who believes. 

Are you at a point in your life right now where you are not sure that even God can help you?  It happens.  Does it seem you have tried everything and everyone with no progress?  The father who brought his tormented son to Jesus found mercy and grace and healing in spite of his personal lack of faith.  He only had enough faith to ask the question – “If you can, can you help me?” 

In your despair and the pit of your suffering, if you can find even the smallest bit of faith when you go to him, he can and will help you, too.

PRAYER: Lord, grow our belief!  Help our unbelief!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 10/20/14 – The Critical Calculation

DayBreaks for 10/20/14 – Faith Walking #4 – The Critical Calculation

“It makes no sense.  This just can’t work.”  “It’s impossible.”  “There is no way.”

Such statements can be heard in business meetings around the world every day.  These sentiments are not limited to just the business world, but can be found in academia, in science, politics, even in homes.

I suppose that one of the things God gave us was good sense – or at least enough of it to not take exorbitant risks that might cost us life and limb. We do, for the most part, want to survive, avoid untenable risk and keep body and soul together (though I do wonder about some folks who are into really extreme sports, etc.).

But there comes a point and time, however, where we are called to cast caution to the wind.  Those are the times when God has given us clear direction or promises – and then asks us to take some action prior to seeing His solution – even, and perhaps especially, when it makes no sense and seems impossible.

It is the capacity to trust God in spite of the severity and size of the obstacles that distinguishes faith from un-faith.  Consider just a few cases in point: David faced a 9-foot tall obstacle.  Elijah faced hundreds of prophets of Baal and an altar of extremely waterlogged wood.  For three young Hebrew boys it was a furnace of fire.  For the apostle Peter, it was the corpse of a dead girl.

Those obstacles are huge.  Can you imagine how Peter felt when confronted with the dead body of the young girl?  How much courage (or craziness, as some would say) does it take to go and stand at a bedside and tell her to “Rise”?  Can you think of either a greater risk or greater obstacle than death itself?  Yet, in each of those instances, the child of God chose to act in spite of the risks and the sheer lunacy of the situation.  They walked in faith.

How large, really, are the obstacles that stand in your way of walking in faith?  How large do the obstacles have to be before we throw up our hands and abandon all effort related to walking by faith? And one more question as we calculate the risk: is it really a risk when we have a promise of God and act upon it?

Luke 1:37 (NLT) – For nothing is impossible with God.

PRAYER: Father, I confess that it doesn’t take much of a threat or risk to get me to walk by sight and not by faith.  With each passing day, help me to walk with greater courage and faith in You and Your promises.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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