The Bible tells the story of a young boy who was being tormented by a demon (Matthew 17:14-21). He had seizures, was suffering greatly, and would even throw himself into fire or water. His family was at a loss, not knowing what to do until His father brought him to Jesus’ disciples. They could not cast out the demon. I can just imagine that it was very embarrassing. But what happened? It was not for the lack of trying; they had tried. It was not an entirely new situation for them. They had seen Jesus cast out demons before. In fact, Jesus had given them the authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (Matthew 10:1).
Jesus came back from the mountain and cast out the demon instantly. The father was grateful, the boy was delivered, and everyone was happy. But the disciples were disturbed, so they waited until Jesus was alone and went privately to Him. “Why, Lord?” they asked. “Why could we not cast out the demon? Did we say the wrong words? Did we not try hard enough? Were the demons too powerful?” Jesus put His finger on just one thing. “Because you have so little faith,” He told them.
Faith taps into the power of God. Faith pleases God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Do we have faith in Him? It had little to do with how seriously ill the boy was. It had nothing to do with how bad the situation was. It had nothing to do with the demons. It has to do with where we place our faith. As difficult as this situation was, as sick as the boy was, nothing could stop God from doing His will. If you have faith in Him, even if your faith is as small as a mustard seed, God will deliver.
The emphasis here is not the size of your faith, but the placement of your faith, even though small. Jesus referred to them as an “unbelieving and perverse generation.” Simply put, the people did not have faith in God. They began to trust in their own power, and were confident they could do it by themselves. Their faith had shifted from God to themselves. We need faith, not in ourselves, not in our good works, not in our experience, not in our knowledge, but in God. He does not always do things the same way or your way, but you can trust Him.
Place your faith in God, and keep your eyes on Him! Here is what I suggest we continue doing:
• Keep listening to God’s Word as much as possible. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17). You cannot trust a stranger.
• Keep drawing near to Him in prayer and worship. Never underestimate the need to fast and pray. We need to lean on Jesus during times of trouble. The more you see Him, and the more confident you are, the more you can trust Him.
• Keep sharing your faith with others. There are many people out there like the father and son, wanting a miracle, searching for answers, in need of help, and hoping for Hope. Spend time with people like those whose faith needs placement in a powerful God, like your God.
Paul, in his letter to the Galatian believers, tells us with assured clarity where our faith must be placed. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”—Galatians 2:20, NKJV.