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Joined: 2002/12/11
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 Hope for this Kind -currin

[b]Hope for this Kind[/b]
[i]by Don Currin[/i]

We live in a generation where the youth are passionately following hard after the gods of this world. Allured by the enticements of a sensual age, not a few have cast in their lot to pursue a kingdom of fleeting pleasures. With an unwavering loyalty to lesser gods they have bowed the knee to Baal and chosen the way of least resistance that leads to destruction.

Sadly, a rapidly growing number of children who were reared in Christian homes and taught to embrace the God of the Bible have enthusiastically embarked on the same broad road in spite of the appeals of their broken-hearted parents. Like Demas, they have departed from the path of righteousness, “having loved this present world”.

In an attempt to restore their prodigal children from spiritual delinquency, many Christian parents have utilized every available method from religion to reform school. Desperate to rescue their wayward children, some have even employed secular strategies that produce at best a life that is “empty, swept, and garnished,” but unguarded from unclean spirits that return to make their abode.

In Matthew 17, we are given the story of a perplexed father and his demonized son. This caring parent ushers his boy into the presence of twelve deliverance ministers whose track record was flawless. Without exception, every case file up to this point in dealing with the demonic had been a success. If ever a group of men could make their claim to wholelistic healing, it was these counselors. But they could not help him. Imagine the best spiritual therapists of the day could not cure this boy.

In the face of the spiritual impotence of these faithless disciples, this determined father persisted in getting his afflicted boy to the Savior. The result was a cured child.

This text provides much hope and consolation to the anguishing parents who has exhausted every method to turn their wandering children back to God and yet their attempts have been fruitless. There are three truths that concerned parents can lay hold of in this inspired narrative that will encourage their faith.

The first is to understand that it is not the size of our faith, but the sufficiency of the Savior, that affords deliverance. We should take great encouragement in knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ honors our weakest faith as long as He is the object. Even those of us who have the same weak faith have the same strong Christ as others. Interestingly, while Jesus charged the disciples with unbelief, He chose to respond to the faith of this persistent father.

Secondly, we must learn to lay hold of the promises of God in prayer. Jesus said, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer ….” It is when we frequent the throne of God with His promises that we may gain the greatest confidence that Christ is at work in our children. Church history bears this out as numerous parental prayers were answered in the conversion of their children. Such an answer came in response to the mother of James Alexander Stewart of Glasglow, Scotland.

As a fourteen year old boy, James was much preoccupied with the sport of soccer football. His athleticism and passion for the game gave him every hope for a promising carrier. The only thing that stood in his way was the prayers of his godly parents. Often his mother would remind him of her petitions and plead with him to turn to Christ, but he would respond by saying that he was going to hell and play football.

One day James was competing in an important soccer match. During a play, he received the ball and proceeded to run through his offensive line. Suddenly, without any warning, he was met head on and knocked off his feet by an opposing defensive player. James later testified that before he hit the ground, God answered his mother’s prayers for he was sounded converted.

Finally, the third truth that will bring hope to the believing parent is fasting. God has chosen a fast according to Isaiah 58 that breaks the bondage of wickedness and sets the captive free. It is a fast that does not twist the arm of God to get what we want, but rather to develop an intense satisfaction with an all sufficient Savior. As John Piper put it, “fasting is an internal, spiritual matter of finding more contentment in Christ than in food.”

Very few spiritual disciplines strengthen our faith to reclaim occupied enemy territory as much as fasting. Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones relates the story of one of China’s mightiest intercessors, Pastor Hsi. This able minister was used to bring hundreds of his fellow countrymen to deliverance from opium and demon possession.

Only a few months after his conversion, Hsi was confronted with his greatest
spiritual conflict as his wife was found to be demonized. She suffered continually from deep depression, mental torment, and when the time for worship came each day, she was seized with “paroxysms of ungovernable rage.”

Hsi had learned the conquering power of Christ through prayer and fasting against Satan. He called for a fast for three days and nights in his home, and gave himself to prayer. At the end of the third day, he went to his tormented wife and commanded the spirits to depart from her. Mrs. Hsi was delivered instantly and permanently. Following this experience, she became a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

In a day of growing cynicism and discouragement over the youth in our homes and churches let us take heart in knowing that no situation is hopeless. Against insurmountable odds, repeated failures, and seemly invincible resistance, there is hope for this kind. Not because of man’s ability to manipulate God, but because of an omnipotent Savior who delights in showing Himself strong in response to the weakest faith, for it is then that He receives the most glory.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/1/5 17:23Profile

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