If You Can Believe…

by Guest blogger on February 4, 2011 · 3 comments

(Guest post)

When Michelle asked if I would be interested in guest posting in this series, I was sure that I wanted to, but not sure how it would look.  How would I go about reading one of the Gospels and then try to get across how God spoke to me through it?  Turns out it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.

This month, as I read the book of Mark, I’d like to share with you my thoughts.  As the Gospels go, the book of Mark seems to be the most “to the point” of all of them.  Mark is a bit like a reporter, giving us the details in a very concise format.  He tells us about Jesus’ miracle-working power, and the knack he had for inspiring opposition.  It’s fact paced and interesting to read, but it’s important to slow down and really see what we are reading.

Take, for instance, the story in Mark 2:1-12 of Jesus forgiving and healing a paralytic.  We’ve all read this story.  Jesus is at a home in Capernaum and word gets out that he is there.  At this point he is very well known for the miracles that he has been performing, and everyone wants a piece of the action.  They have come to hear him speak and have crowded the house to the point that “there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door (verse 2).”

One man, a paralytic, has undoubtedly heard about the miracles that Jesus has been performing, at least his friends have.  They have brought him to see Jesus.  They went so far as to climb to the roof and lower their friend’s bed down through an opening that they made (verse 4).  I’m sure that they were hoping that Jesus would heal their friend.  We don’t know from this account how long the man had been paralyzed, or how he came to be that way.  However it happened, we can be sure that he was hoping to receive a touch from Jesus, the one that would make him whole again.  He may have thought that he was dreaming BIG.

I wonder if the possibility of spiritual healing ever entered his mind.

You see, on that day, his faith resulted in him rising up, picking up his mat, and walking (perhaps for the first time in his life). But that was not all, and not the most important thing that happened to him that day.

“…when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.  When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.'”

The paralytic dared to believe that his body would be healed, but had he underestimated the power of the man whose help he sought?  Jesus didn’t merely heal the paralytic’s body… He healed his soul!  He gave that man more than he even dreamed of hoping for.  He gave Him eternal life, forgiveness of sin, and He did this BEFORE He told him to arise and walk.

When I read this passage in Mark, it reminded me of a post I read recently at Inspired to Action.   Kat’s post really made me take a hard look at myself and what I expect from God.  Here’s what she wrote:

My question for moms is this – Do we have dreams for our children – wild, crazy, “only God could do this” dreams of who they will become and how they will live life?

I don’t want to be content with prayers of thanks at the dinner table. I dream that my children’s hearts would break for the things that break the heart of God. That they would be passionate in prayer and as desperate for Him as they are for air.

I don’t want to just hope that my kids will go to church and maybe participate in See You at the Pole. I dream that their faithful and fervent prayers would ignite revival In their school.

I don’t want to just hope that they will stay away from drugs. I dream that they will dive into the lives of hurting classmates, help them break free from addiction, and introduce them to Life.

I have been guilty of underestimating my God.

God wants more for us… more for our spouses, more for our marriages and more for our children!  Why are we content with less?  Why don’t we dare to dream BIG?  God wants to bring glory to Himself, and He can do that when we dare to ask and we believe!

In Mark 9:14-27, Jesus tells the father of a mute boy “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

But still we doubt.  Still we are hopeless.  What should we do?  We should do what this boy’s father did.  He cried out, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!”

Jesus saw the faith of the paralytic and He healed him, body and soul.  We need that kind of faith, and He has been gracious enough to tell us, in His Word, how we can acquire it.

Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

My faith has been encouraged, has yours?


Jenny has so kindly offered to lead us through the book of Mark during the month of February (you are invited to join her by reading through Mark at your own pace). I am SO thankful! She is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and I know you will all enjoy getting to know her! She describes herself as a Yankee girl, born and raised just outside of Chicago, living in Tennessee (where I had the pleasure of spending several days with her last week).

She is a blessed wife and mother of three young children, and the owner of Southern Institute of Domestic Arts and Crafts where she blogs about family, faith, sewing, and healthy living.

I know you’re going to LOVE getting to know her!


Cranberry Morning

Wonderful post. Faith comes by hearing…by the Word of God. Never apart from the Word. We don’t get faith by going out into the woods and looking at the beautiful trees and flowers. It is God’s Word that is ‘more powerful than a two-edged sword.’ Praise God for revealing Himself to us, for His Son, for FORGIVENESS of SINS. What a wonderful Savior! Praise God that He is over all, and that He will accomplish His purposes.


“God wants more for us… more for our spouses, more for our marriages and more for our children!  Why are we content with less?  Why don’t we dare to dream BIG?  God wants to bring glory to Himself, and He can do that when we dare to ask and we believe!” LOVE that!!

And thanks be to God that He has, indeed, been gracious enough to give us His word and helps our unbelief!

Thank you, Jenny!!


I am reading through Mark as well, and was struck by the faith and persistence of the paralyzed man’s friends. But it hadn’t occurred to me that the nature of his healing, being healed not only physically but also spiritually, must have been a surprise to the man himself. Very thought provoking.

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