“’But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’–He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” Mark 2:10-12 (NKJV)
Why did those men go to all the trouble of getting their friend to Jesus? It is because they were convinced that Jesus had the power to help their friend. It doesn’t appear that they doubted this for a minute. They were completely convinced that Jesus had all the power in the world to do what they needed done. Jesus didn’t disappoint them. He did all they thought He could do and more. They took their friend to Jesus to be physically healed. Jesus went above and beyond that and healed him spiritually as well as physically.
This might be the most important part of being a bulldog Christian. There is no point in never giving up unless Jesus is going to do something. There is no point in facing opposition unless Jesus is going to do something. It is a complete confidence that Jesus can do what the Bible says He can do that will motivate us to keep on when we want to quit. It is a complete confidence that Jesus can do what the Bible says He can do that will keep us going in the face of opposition. Bulldog Christians are convinced of the power of Jesus.
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” Mark 9:23-24 (NKJV)
Jesus has been on the mount of transfiguration. He comes down and sees a ruckus waiting on Him at the bottom. The problem is that a man brought his son to Jesus disciples to cast a demon out of him. They were unable to do this. When Jesus comes down He questions the man to see how long this has been going on. The father replied it has been going on since the boy was small.
The dad then asks Jesus to do something if He can. Jesus explains that anything is possible if someone believes. I love the dad’s honest response. He believes, but also admits there is some doubt. He then asks Jesus to help him not to doubt. I love this response because I can identify with this response. I can identify with believing but also having doubts. I hear some preachers and books talk about this seemingly perfect faith that never has any doubts ever. Sometimes I have a faith kinda like that. But more often than not I have a faith like this dad here. I truly believe, but there may be some nagging doubts in the back of my mind.
The dad is completely honest with Jesus about his level of faith. He didn’t try to sound super-spiritual and talk up a level of faith he didn’t have.
“When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!’ Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.” Mark 9:25-27 (NKJV)
Jesus responded to this imperfect but honest faith. Jesus healed in response to that mans imperfect but honest faith. This man believed that Jesus had the power to do what needed to be done, but was honest and admitted that there were some doubts. Jesus showed His power in response to this—what I call—honest faith.
I’ll be honest; I want that Mark 11 faith that seems to have no doubts. But I don’t always have it. But I am convinced that we don’t always have to have that super-spiritual faith. We see here that Jesus will display His power for an honest faith. If we are going to be bulldog Christians we must believe in Jesus’ power. We must never doubt that He can do what needs to be done. In my opinion an honest faith is a bulldog faith. This man was totally convinced that Jesus could do it, but acknowledged that his faith wasn’t perfect.
We must believe that Jesus can do all things. When I pray I pray for Jesus to make my faith stronger. I am brutally honest with Him about my doubts and fears. Despite my imperfect, but honest faith I have seen Jesus answer my prayers exactly the way I prayed them.