“But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If I 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 9:22-24)
I absolutely know that Jesus can do all things which are in accordance with His character and will.
For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)
If Jesus created all things and sustains all things (which He did and does), He is able to do all things that are in accord with His character as God (i.e He cannot sin because that violates His character as God.) But what He does must be according to the counsel of His own will. He will not do what is not for His glory and for our good.
Now to the story in Mark 9. This father is distraught. His son has been in a terrible state for years. The father approaches Jesus and says, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” There things are certainly within the character and will of Jesus. Jesus has great compassion. He aches for us at times. He feels what we feel. He has experienced what we experience. He was fully man as well as fully God. His humanity was real. It was not lost in His deity. He really felt temptation, pain, loss, disappointment, grief, etc.
We so not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Jesus is also our divine Helper. He is the One who comes to our aid. He comes after us in our weaknesses and trials, our pain and suffering, in our confusion, and, yes, in our doubts. We simply must go to Him and seek His mercy and grace to help in our times of need.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Herein lies the answer to our distress, trouble and confusion. Flee to the throne of grace! Come boldly with great confidence, approach the One who loves us and has compassion for us.
Come to Me, all who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
This is the Creator and the great High Priest who is speaking. When we come to Him, yielded and trusting, we will receive His mercy, find grace to help in time of need, and experience rest for our souls.
Now back to the man in our story. Jesus clearly told him two things: I can help and all things are possible for the one who believes. He can! We have already established this fact. Now what about us? Do we believe Him and His power to act? All things are possible for those who believe. The question is, Do we believe?
I so relate to the man’s response to Jesus: “I believe, help my unbelief!” There it is. I believe. I know on an intellectual basis. But there are times I choose not to believe or I question Him in the deep recesses of my heart or I am away from Him in a distant land. All these things hinder me from really believing.
I must choose to believe. That is a conscious decision. My believing must also be from the depth of my soul, not just on an intellectual basis. I must come back to Him, especially when I am in the distant land. He eagerly awaits my return. I must come to my senses as the prodigal son did.
On many occasions I have to cry out as that father did many years ago — “Help my unbelief!” When we do this in faith, we are coming to the throne of grace where we will receive His mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
How wonderful is this? How awesome is He? Mercy, grace and rest are there for me if I draw near to the throne of grace in confidence. There the great High Priest will take me in His arms, comfort me, help me, and do what is best for His glory and for my good.
What are the things that I am concerned with most? No, let me be honest. What am I deeply worried about? What cares do I continue to keep and am not going to Him fully to find help? Lord, I lift these things before your throne of grace and commit them to You.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist Him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (I Peter 5:6-11)
1. Bow before the sovereignty of God
2. Continue to cast your cares (anxieties) on Him
3. Resist Satan’s assaults
4. Be hopeful — God will heal and sustain!
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