We continue our walk through the Gospel of Luke by looking at Luke 9:37-45 today. This is the one time in Jesus' earthly ministry that something of the full glory of who He was shone through and only three people saw it, three human beings that lived and ministered with Him, His inner circle - Peter, James, and John.

Now the passage that we're going to read has two parts. Verses 37-43 speak of the disciples' inability to heal a boy and verses 43-45 speak of the disciples' inability to understand and believe.

What I'm going to suggest to you is there is a battle in this passage for belief and in both cases it's a battle for believing to be true what Jesus has said.

I think this passage has something to teach us about that very struggle and I think it's a struggle that almost all of us have from time to time. And I think this passage unfolds that struggle in three phases.

I. We Live In A Fallen World

First of all, I it unfolds that struggle by reminding us that we live in a fallen world and you see this almost immediately. Luke is reminding you that they've just come down from the Mount of Transfiguration where they've seen this amazing display of Jesus' glory. "On the next day, when they came down from the mountain they meet a great crowd and with them is a man with a son who is possessed by the demon." In other words, Luke leads you from the Mount of Transfiguration right back down into the trouble of every day life.

The norm is not what was happening on the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus' glory is apparent to all. No, the norm for our experiences is what Jesus met when He came down from the mountain. It's trouble. We live in a world of trouble.

Now here's the problem. When we're not in trouble or at least when we're not aware of how much trouble we're in, we begin to think that that's the norm for our lives. And then when trouble comes along we're surprised. And we're not only surprised by the trouble, but we start wondering if God is in control.

And Luke is presenting for us a circumstance that is the norm in the fallen world. In this case it's a man who has a demon possessed son. And Jesus sighs and cares with us and for us in this fallen world.

But it takes us by surprise. And we need to pause and remember that that is the world that we live in. We live in a fallen world. We don't live in the world of the age to come when all of these things are going to be taken away and there's going to be no more tears and no more sighing and no more sorrow and no more trouble. We live in the here and now. And when we're going through those seasons of life where trouble isn't just falling in on our shoulders, we need to remember, "Well, that's a blessing from the Lord because normally in this life it's a life filled with trouble." Trouble is not the exception to the rule now. It is the rule. And so we shouldn't be surprised when it comes because we live in a fallen world.

II. Our Response To God's Sovereignty

The second way that God teaches us about how we respond to His sovereignty in our trouble in this passage is He focuses us on a story of a man whose son, his only child, was in a terrible predicament, possessed of an evil spirit. And we see something, I think, for Jesus' concern for young people in this passage. And isn't it interesting how often the spiritual battlefield that we fight is a spiritual battlefield that often involves our young people.

Jesus has a deep concern for young people and there are many things that we can learn from that, but I want to suggest this - if this man, in the midst of that spiritual battlefield brought his son to Jesus, ought not we, who say that we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, bring our children to Him in prayer? If we spend more time noodling with their circumstances than we do interceding before the Lord in prayer, then we clearly think that we're sovereign; not God. This man brought his son to Jesus. Let us bring our children to Jesus in prayer.

III. A Battle About Unbelief

Third, the battle in this passage is a battle about unbelief. In the first case, it's a battle about whether the disciples are going to believe in the healing power of God. Look at what happens here. The man comes and he says to Jesus, verse 40, "I begged Your disciples to cast it out but they could not." And then Jesus responds and then He says something really strange. "O faithless and twisted generation. How long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here."

Now why would Jesus say that?

Go back and look at verse 1. "Jesus called His twelve together" and did what? "Gave them power and authority" over what? "All demons." He had given His disciples authority over all demons. Not one demon, not one demon had He rescinded from the totality of this command. All demons were under their authority, and yet when this boy is brought, they're not able to cast him out.

What's going on here is the disciples are not believing what Jesus said.

He said, "I've given you authority over all demons" and they did not believe that.

And friends, that is the same kind of struggle that we face in regard to faith and unbelief when we are looking our troubles in the eye and we don't believe that God is sovereign over our troubles and that He's working all things together for good according to His own purposes.

So, do you believe that God is sovereign over your troubles? Because you and I can point our fingers to the disciples and say, "Why didn't you believe Him?" But Jesus also said through His servant the Apostle Paul, that "God works together all things for your good." So, the question before us is that in our troubles do we believe that God is sovereign over those troubles, or are we daunted by despair and despondency when we look at our problems and begin to ask "What's going on?"?

This passage tells us that it is that battle between faith and unbelief that is so crucial for a Christian disciple to understand and to encounter by believing what Jesus says.

Look at how after Jesus heals this child, the crowd were all amazed at the greatness of God. Are you, when you look at your troubles, when you look at your problems, are you despondent and despairing and daunted because of the size of your problems or are you astonished by the majesty of God? Are you amazed by the greatness of God?

So the lesson in this passage is not to look around the room and see all your brothers and sisters who are struggling to believe that God is greater than their troubles.

You're supposed to be patient with them. The application of this truth is to look at your own heart and ask, "Do I believe that God is bigger than my troubles, that He's sovereign over my troubles, and I'm going to trust in Him?" May God enable you to do so.