by Bruce Strom
A couple of weeks ago, Helen and I were able to spend some time with Stephen and Belinda Bauman. Stephen is President/CEO of World Relief and recently published a book titled Possible. I highly recommend it. The thesis of Stephen’s message is simple: “With God all things are possible.”
Sometimes we forget.
The media bombards us with negative news filled with fear. That news sells and we buy into it. But the truth is God is doing great things in the world. There is significantly more clean drinking water in the world today, fewer childhood deaths, drastic reduction in global extreme poverty, increasing education and health care. This is good news. More than 68,000 people come to faith in Christ every day in the world. That is the good news of the gospel. When social good and gospel hope are brought together, the Holy Spirit transforms lives, communities and even nations to the glory of God!
So why aren’t we more fired up to be part of this Holy Spirit work? I think we doubt we can make a difference. Doubting is not new. There was a man who brought his son to Jesus’ disciples. The boy suffered convulsions and was both deaf and mute. The father longed to see his son restored even though he secretly believed nothing could be done.
Aren’t we like that? Don’t we long to see people freed from health problems, legal problems or other issues that overwhelm and would destroy someone from experiencing all God has for them? Deep down we believe in justice for all, but don’t really believe it is possible. Problems are too big, life is messy, and we don’t believe we have the time or the skills to make a difference.
The disciples were no different. They could not heal the boy. They lacked the faith. Instead of relying on God through prayer to do the impossible, they acted in their own strength and fell short. When we try to change the world, we will always fall short. But when we rely on the power of prayer to direct our steps, the Holy Spirit will change people and circumstances.
“…if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (Mk. 9: 22b) the boy’s father cried. That is the cry of the wounded. Every day more than 4,300 people are turned away from legal help in America, thousands more don’t even try. But they are desperate for some measure of help and hope. We cannot fill that void, but God can.
“If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mk. 9:23.
“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mk. 9:24
Are we willing to respond like the boy’s father? Do we believe all things are possible for one who believes? In the power of unbelief, dare to walk forward by faith, bathed in prayer, and God will do immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine. That is the power of the possible. But the great mystery is that God invites us into His work so that through us He advances His kingdom. We are His workmanship created for good works.
This world needs hope and help. We can provide the gospel and justice to a world in need. And the church can lead the way. It is time for lawyers, justice lovers and churches to come together to love their neighbors by meeting practical legal and spiritual needs. We have opportunity to step outside our comfort zones by faith, through prayer, to serve the needs of our neighbors. That is the mission of the church and it is the call of Christ followers. Let’s join together in the belief that with God all things are possible. Today millions of Americans suffer in the shadow of injustice as they face fraud, abuse, exploitation, housing, family, consumer and other significant needs. Will we walk past their need or will we stop to serve?
Let’s believe in the power of possible as we
Go and Do Likewise!