Determination - Part III
“And again He entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that He was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and He preached the Word unto them. And they come unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” —Mark 2:1-5
The men in this passage refused to give up. They were determined to get their friend to Jesus, even in the face of disappointment. One thing about faith is, it’s active. The very ingredient of faith pushes through obstacles to its intended purpose; it cannot be stopped. The men in Mark 2 saw what was in front of them—a mass of people with no way to get to Jesus—but instead of giving up as most would, they looked instead for another way to get their sick friend in front of Jesus.
As we discussed earlier in this series, faith must be tested, but there also has to be a tenacity to our faith that says, “No matter what, I will not give up.” In spite of your current situation, in spite of what is going on around you, in spite of the attacks of the enemy, there must be an internal resolve, a determination that allows nothing to stand between you and your blessing or between you and your miracle.
These men had a choice. They could have easily said to each other and to their friend, “It just didn’t work out for us today. There is just no possible way for us to get to Jesus,” and left this chaotic scene. But they refused to do that. Why? Because they knew that if their friend didn’t receive a miracle at that moment, he would remain in his condition—sick of the palsy. I want to stop right here for a moment and ask these questions:
• How many Christians have given up on asking for a miracle because it didn’t happen the first time they asked the Lord to meet their need?
• How many Christians have given up hope because of circumstances that were not conducive to receiving from the Lord?
• How many Christians have stopped believing altogether because of adversity?
• How many of you feel the urge to give up because your need has not been met?
If you are feeling pressure to give up hope, I want to encourage you to reconsider your position because you may be on the verge of receiving what you’ve been believing for. You have to be tenacious in your belief and determine that nothing is going to stop you from receiving what God has in store for you. Even if you have to wait year after year, you must resolve to hang on to the hope that you will receive what the Lord has promised you.
These men, while trying to get to Jesus, saw something that gave them an idea: steps. Steps? Yes, steps. You see, back in the days of Christ, homes in that part of the world had flat tops, or flat roofs, that included a hatch of sorts. These hatches were used by homeowners to access their rooftops where they could sleep, eat, or pray. These men noticed steps that led to the roof of Peter’s home, and they decided that if they couldn’t get through the front door and see Jesus, then they would take the steps to the roof, open the hatch, and lower their friend into Peter’s home. We don’t know what went through the mind of that paralyzed man when this plan was conveyed to him, but I believe he was all for it. I believe he would have said something like, “Get up to that roof quick, boys, and don’t let anyone stop you!”
Can you imagine the scene? A crowd is packed into Peter’s home, and Jesus is standing there teaching and speaking the wonderful words of life, when suddenly the hatch on the roof flies open, and a voice yells out, “I see Him!” No doubt Peter began to panic as his roof was destroyed by total strangers, but these men had a mission, and nothing was going to stand in their way of completing that mission.
The ceiling around the open hatch began to crumble, and clumps of dry clay and mud fall on the heads of those in attendance as a cot is carefully lowered to the floor in front of Jesus. Faith always finds a way to get to Jesus! No matter what is in front of you, and no matter how difficult the obstacles of life may be, faith will find a way to get to the Creator of the worlds.
The more you believe God for something, the more likely it is that it will not be received right away; there will be obstacles. But faith doesn’t let obstacles deter believers from getting to Jesus, and faith doesn’t let people stand in the way of receiving miracles. If you have to tear the roof off to get to Jesus, then so be it! You must not give up, for your miracle is right around the corner. Keep believing and never give up hope. Let your faith become the mountain that will rise and never fall. Cling to what He has promised and never lose sight of what He can do for those who trust and depend upon Him.
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