If You Can

If You Can

02 March 2011

Today’s Reading: Numbers 30-31; Mark 9


22 …Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” 23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” 24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22-24 NLT)

This man was desperate! His son was tormented by and evil spirit and there was nothing he could do. Then Jesus was there and the man said, “If you can do anything, do it! Please!” Jesus replied, “Anything is possible if you believe.” And the man replied, “I do believe! But this has been going on so long, the pattern is so well-established, and I’ve been so discouraged, please help me with my doubts!”

In Mark 1, Jesus responded to another “if.” 40 A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. 41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” (Mark 1:40-41 NLT)

In these two stories, there are two kinds of “ifs” – “If you can,” and “If you are willing.” I’m thankful that both the “If you can” father and the “If you are willing” leper experienced the transformational, miraculous power of God to meet their need.

I also believe. I believe Jesus is the son of God. I believe God’s Holy Spirit lives in me and is with me and will never leave me. I believe the Bible is God’s word and so I read it and think about it every day and make some practical application to my own life. I believe. I believe Jesus can and I believe Jesus is willing.

But sometimes I also have doubts when I’m faced with a big challenge, or when I get discouraged, or when I don’t know what to do about something that is long-term and well-established and is blocking my way forward.

I’m thankful that whether I’m struggling with “If you can” or “If you are willing,” Father God is gracious and loving and patient with me. I’m thankful that I can honestly say to Jesus, “I believe. Please help me with my doubts!”


Father, That’s my prayer today and on so many other occasions. I believe. Help me with my doubts. Thank you that you can and that you want to! Amen.

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