Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Mark 9:14-32 NIV
Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently, and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
— How can you live with the full reality of evil and yet with the strong awareness of God’s transforming power?
Evil is real. The biggest power of evil is fear. The devil has used fear as his weapon to control and manipulate. What we tolerate is going to grow and as a result, fear has grown in our society today. In 2 Timothy it says God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind. Fear is not an emotion, it is a demonic spirit. The spirit of fear is the enemy of power, a sound mind, and Your love. Any demonic fear makes me a powerless Christian. Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear is the number one enemy of Your love. When I give fear any place in my heart, I will not be able to feel Your love or operate with a sound mind. Your transforming power is crippled by my fear. But Your Word teaches me how to fight fear. 1 John 4:18 tells me that there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. There is no fear in love. You have not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind. Help me to replace fear and negative what if’s with faith in Your transforming love. You died for my sins and there are many stories in Your Word that prove how Your love transforms people and situations. I have seen Your transforming power in my life. Help me to remember these things and to trust that Your power is transforming the situation today. Peace comes through trusting in Your sovereign control and submitting to You in the midst of circumstances and believing that You will work it out for our good and Your glory. I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! You are a mighty and loving God. Everything is possible for one who believes. Your Word tells me that You are my refuge and strength, a very help in trouble! Lord, I receive Your love. I am a child of God. Your love is a transforming power. Let me boldly live in love and share Your love with others. Transform the fear in this world with Your powerful love for all people. Let Your great love spread like wildfire and burn out the demon of fear. You are sovereign over every situation and will bring about Your good purposes through Your love. Let me not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with Your good and perfect love. Amen