If you can believe

A Simple Message

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

– Mark 9:23

Something I touch upon often in this column, and what I see as one of the most recurring topics in Scripture, is the instruction for us believers to be still and allow God to work in our lives.

The above verse is one of the most fundamental examples of this teaching, and one of the best explanations for why this teaching exists.

The statement seems very straightforward on the surface: If you can believe God can do it, then you can see it happen. That’s most certainly true, yet the reality is, we don’t always see the things we pray for happen. Why is that? The obvious answer, of course, is unbelief. Perhaps we just couldn’t muster up the faith in our heart to truly believe that God could or would do the thing we were asking.

Though, truthfully, unbelief accounts for a relatively small portion of seemingly unanswered prayers; misbelief is most often the cause — when we have all the faith that’s needed, but we aim it in the wrong direction.

I believe that God can do all things, and can give me all the wealth in the world. God can do that, it’s by all means possible, although I doubt God will ever actually do that for me, because that would require me to fundamentally misunderstand God’s plans for me. God’s goal is to bring me to my best self, help me live my best life, and enter into eternal joy some day. Having all the wealth in the world is irrelevant to any of that. Truthfully, I’d not know what to do with that amount of money. I certainly don’t need it to be happy, or to be a better version of myself. So while I could believe God will grant me all that wealth, it doesn’t mean I’ll ever actually see it, because I’m still failing to believe properly in who God actually is.

Instead, I find myself believing that God is always seeking what is best for me, and will always bring my life to a better condition. Now, not only am I believing in something that is very possible for God to do, but also I am believing in who God actually is and what God actually wants for me. Now I can begin to see miracles.

When I believe that God wants what is best for me and is perfectly capable of delivering just that, I can find peace in the most chaotic situations. As impossible as that may seem, it’s very possible if I am willing to believe. Likewise, whatever problem I may face, if I can believe God is willing and able to give me the right solution, it will happen. In this, we find the fulfillment of two of God’s promises for us: one, that we have a peace that passes all understanding, and two, we live a life that is truly fulfilled. These promises are yours to live, if you can believe.

Jason Shockley is an evangelist and teacher passionate about uplifting others through the word of God.