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Mark 9:23

Misplaced “If”

The man to whom Jesus spoke these words had a son with a mute spirit. Having just seen the disciples powerless to cast out the spirit, he doubted whether their Master could help him. Therefore he said to Jesus, “But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” (Mark 9:22).

Now there was an if in his plea, but the poor, trembling father had put the if in the wrong place. Jesus didn’t command him to retract the if, but He put it where it belonged. He seemed to say, “There should be no if about My power or willingness—the if lies somewhere else.” Jesus countered the father’s if with another if. “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” The man’s trust was strengthened, and he humbly asked for help to overcome his unbelief. Instantly Jesus spoke the word, and the boy was healed.

Like this man, we often see an if in relation to our problems. And we too put it in the wrong place. “If Jesus can help me overcome this sinful habit.” “If He can change my life.” No, the real issue is, if we can believe, He both can and will respond.

Is there something you know is God’s will for your life but you have doubts? Maybe you’ve misplaced your if. - H.G.B.

Our Daily Bread, August 24, 1992