God is always faithful to His Word (see 1 John 5:14-15)…

Even if your faith is as small as a mustard Seed, it can move mountains…

Jesus heals a boy with epileptic seizures:

Matthew 17:14-27

The following events happen right after Jesus came down from His mountain top Transfiguration.

Life is not all mountain-top experiences.

After moments of spiritual exhilaration come hours and days of toil and expenditure.

The time comes when we must leave the mountain to minister in the valley of human need.

At the base of the mountain, a distraught father was waiting for the Savior.

Kneeling down before Him, he poured out his impassioned plea that his demon-possessed son might be healed.

The son suffered from violent epileptic seizures which sometimes caused him to fall into the fire and often into the water, so his misery was compounded by burns and near-drownings.

NOTE that the Greek word for seizures (used only here in the New Testament) means literally, “to be moon-struck.”

The similarity between the backgrounds of the Greek and English words reveals the belief, common to many cultures, that insanity waxed and waned with the phases of the moon.

The symptoms described by the boy’s father were similar to those of epilepsy, but the context makes it clear that the boy’s self-destructive behavior (falling into fire or water) was due to the influence of a demon (17:18-19).

This is a classic example of the sort of suffering that’s caused by Satan, the cruelest of all taskmasters.

Where does sickness and disease come from?

Satan works in three major ways to bring sickness and suffering on people:

1. Satan causes sickness directly.

An obvious tactic is demonization. For example, approximately 25 percent of Jesus’ healings as recorded in the Gospel of Mark involve demons.

The direct influence of the devil is explicitly demonstrated when Jesus healed a crippled woman and was scolded by a synagogue leader for doing it on the Sabbath.

Jesus said, “Ought not this woman being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:16).

Satan’s direct role is also explicit in the case of Job.

What percentage of sickness is directly caused by Satan we do not know, but unquestionably much is.

2. Satan indirectly uses the natural results of the Fall to cause sickness and suffering.

He uses bacteria, viruses, malnutrition, accidents, fights, poison, old age, rapists, murderers and on and on.

In all probability most sickness falls into this category.

3. Satan tempts people to fall into sin, and God at times uses sickness to punish them for it.

There are many examples in the Old Testament of plagues, which God sent on His own people to punish them for sin.

When some Israelites rebelled against Moses and Aaron, God sent a plague and killed 14,700 (see Num. 16:45-50).

Then God killed another 50,070 Israelites at Beth Shemesh when they disobeyed Him by looking into the ark of the Lord (see 1 Sam. 6:19), just to cite two examples.

In the New Testament, God made Elymas the sorcerer blind as part of a power encounter (see Acts 13:6-12).

In Corinth some believers were sick and some had died as a result of abusing the Lord’s supper (see I Cor. 11:30).

No matter what the immediate cause, the usual outcomes of sickness are pain, suffering and death, all the works of Satan.

In this incident in Matthew 17, the father of this epileptic boy had gone to the disciples for help, only to learn that “vain is the help of man.”

They had been powerless to cure him.

And in verse 17 Jesus said to His disciples,

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?”

They did not have the faith to heal the epileptic, but in that respect, His disciples were but a cross section of the Jewish people of that day—faithless and perverse.

As soon as the epileptic was brought to Him, Jesus rebuked the demon, and the sufferer was instantly cured.

Puzzled by their powerlessness, the disciples privately asked the Lord for an explanation.

His answer was straightforward: unbelief!

If they had faith the size of a mustard seed (the smallest of seeds), they could command a mountain to be cast into the sea and it would happen.

Of course, it should be understood that true faith must be based upon some command or promise of God.

Expecting to perform some spectacular stunt in order to gratify a personal whim is not faith but presumption.

But if God guides a believer in a certain direction or issues a command, the Christian can have utmost confidence that mountainous difficulties will be miraculously removed.

In his desperation, the father had come to Jesus saying if you can do anything please help my son.

To which Jesus answered no you have it wrong, it’s not a matter of if I can, but rather it’s a matter of whether you believe I can, because…

Nothing is impossible to those who believe!

This was also the lesson regarding the fig tree, found in Mark 11:20-24, where Jesus said to His disciples after the fig tree had withered:

The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree
“Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

The point being that God doesn’t tell us to ask Him for things He doesn’t want us to have; so if you can find a promise in God’s Word regarding whatever need you may have, then just hang your faith and the entirety of your circumstances on that promise until you receive your breakthrough!.

NEVER GIVE UP!

Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
_________________________________

Tuesday, October 31
My Utmost for His Highest
by Oswald Chambers

THE TRIAL OF FAITH

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed…nothing will be impossible for you. —Matthew 17:20

We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, and it may be so in the initial stages. But we do not earn anything through faith— faith brings us into the right relationship with God and gives Him His opportunity to work.

Yet God frequently has to knock the bottom out of your experience as His saint to get you in direct contact with Himself.

God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of emotional enjoyment of His blessings.

The beginning of your life of faith was very narrow and intense, centered around a small amount of experience that had as much emotion as faith in it, and it was full of light and sweetness.

Then God withdrew His conscious blessings to teach you to “walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

And you are worth much more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight with your thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried.

And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds.

Faith being worked out into reality must experience times of unbroken isolation.

Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, because a great deal of what we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive.

Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts Him— a faith that says,

“I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.”

The highest and the greatest expression of faith in the whole Bible is—

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).
____

Come join the Adventure!

Skip 🕊️

Author: SPARKS FROM THE ANVIL OF LIFE

This is an open forum where we look into and investigate the Rhema Mysteries of God's Word; and also other issues of importance for our day and time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: