How much importance do we place on belief or believing something? I am not just talking about “believing” anything, but rather things in relationship to God the Father and Jesus Christ and their ability to perform miracles in our life. Some may not think it is that important, while others may feel that it is somewhat important, and then there are those who know that it is very important.
There was a popular song called “Believe,” which was performed by two well-known artists. This song had very interesting lyrics. Here are a few lines from that song: “There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill… Who knows what miracles you can achieve? When you believe, somehow you will. Now you will… when you believe.”
It is amazing how true these words are. Let us consider some of the healings that Christ performed, and let us also review some of the examples when Christ did not do mighty works.
We read in Mark 9 that a father asked Christ to heal his son who was demon-possessed. Christ answered 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!’ 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!'” (Mark 9:23-25). Then we read that the demon did in fact leave the child.
This man believed but only up to a certain point. He had little faith and asked for more, and as a result his son was healed. This demonstrates the power of belief or faith.
Another example can be found in the book of Matthew. We read in Matthew 9:27-29: “When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’ And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.'”
Christ specifically asked them if they believed or had the faith that Christ could heal them, and they replied with YES. After that expression of their conviction, they were healed, according to their faith.
Belief or faith is a living dynamic force which can have positive miraculous results, as demonstrated by the healings performed for those who believed. On the other hand, lack of belief is a strong negative force, which resists or impedes the ability to heal and perform miracles, as shown by the next example, recorded in Matthew 13:53-58:
“Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?’ So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.’ Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Christ did not do many mighty works there because of unbelief and because of their rejection of Christ. The parallel passage in Mark 6:5-6 is even more telling: “Now He COULD DO NO mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a FEW sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief…”
Their lack of faith inhibited Christ’s ability to heal MANY people and to perform many MIGHTY miracles. This is really amazing when you think about it, because we are not just talking about an ordinary man here. Christ was God in the flesh, the second member of the God Family, the God of the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit of God the Father dwelled in Him without measure, and it was through the power of THAT Spirit that on some occasions, He healed “all sick people” who were brought to Him and “who were afflicted with various diseases and torments” (Matthew 4:24). However, as we have seen, because of unbelief and the rejection of Christ, He was unable to perform mighty works or miracles on other occasions–showing the negative and restricting consequences of unbelief.
The same kind of rejection of one of God’s true ministers might also prevent the healing of sick persons today. We read in Matthew 10:1 that Christ gave His early apostles power over unclean spirits and to heal “all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” He promised in Mark 16:18 that that same power would be given to all of His true ministers throughout the ages. But as people could not be healed because of their unbelief and their rejection of Christ, so the same may be true for people today who hold grudges against God’s true ministers; who have not really repented of their sins and are unwilling to reconcile with others; and who do not REALLY believe that God can and will heal them (compare James 5:14-16).
It is clearly evident that miracles can be performed if we believe and not waver in faith, and that the ability to heal is stifled, as it were, by unbelief, which causes resistance and barriers for those who are in need of miraculous intervention. Such unbelief can prevent the effectiveness of the healing powers of God.
These are glaring warnings for us today, not to fall into the ditch of unbelief or of rejection of God’s true servants. Do you want to have your prayers answered? Do you want your prayers to be effective? If you do, then it is imperative that you believe, with true and unwavering faith, and then you can expect miracles. The real question is: “Do you believe in miracles?”