I can because Jesus can is a single sentence pep talk we ought to give ourselves whenever life makes us feel like a team in the locker room at halftime down by three touchdowns.
Sometimes a command from God makes us feel this way doesn’t it? Orders from Him like forgive someone who’s wronged you for the umpteenth time (Matthew 18:22), let no destructive but only constructive talk come out of your mouth (Ephesians 4:29), and never worry about anything (Matthew 6:24)—to cite just a few examples—are impossible to obey in our own strength. Yet we’re expected to salute and do what we’re told with Semper Fi resoluteness. How can we obey these commands?
Sometimes a particular trial makes us feel as scared as a sheep surrounded by starving wolves. We know we’re to count it all joy when we meet various trials (James 1:2) but being joyful when the doctor says the tumor’s malignant or a romance sours or a dream turns into a nightmare is about as easy as shooting 69 every time you play golf. How can we rejoice in such trials?
And who can say that he/she never faces a temptation as enticing as Salome’s dance before Herod, causing everything in us to long to say “Yes” and give in the way that wicked king did (Mark 6:21-27)? Oscar Wilde said, “I can resist anything but temptation.” Been there, done that huh? How can we resist the devil when he tempts us this way?
We can’t. At least not on our own (John 15:5).
Where Does My Help Come From?
But as we saw in our first two posts on this subject, praise God, we’re not on our own. Jesus is with us (Matthew 20:18). And through Jesus we can obey the most difficult command, endure the severest trial, and resist seemingly irresistible temptations.
Jesus can, and I can because Jesus can.
“Yes,” you say, “but will Jesus always help me?”
Yes, He will. Always. But there’s an if involved.
Take first the truth that Jesus is always willing to help you. I give you a single promise, out of a hundred I could give you, that assures you Jesus is as willing to help you as the Prodigal’s father was to welcome him home. Here it is: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth to show himself strong in behalf of all who trust him” (2 Chronicles 16:9, my translation).
The point? Jesus isn’t as reluctant to help you as a miser is to part with his money. He’s as eager to help as a father rushing into a burning building to save his only child from a fiery death.
Jesus—the Jesus Who can do mighty works—loves doing mighty works in you, for you, and through you. With no irreverence, I say to you your challenges are Showtime for Him. Every challenge you face gives you the opportunity to watch Him work for you. That’s what Jesus means when He tells Paul and us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Jesus loves getting glory from us by giving grace to us.
Jesus—the Jesus Who can do mighty works—loves doing mighty works in you, for you, and through you.
In fact, the greater the challenge, the bigger the demand, the more difficult the task, the more we can expect Him to help. Like a skillful surgeon who loves demonstrating his prowess by saving a patient’s life through high risk surgery he alone can perform, Jesus loves showing what He alone can do in our biggest challenges.
But, again, there’s that pesky if.
Preach and Pray
Jesus’ help isn’t automatic. It has to be appropriated. I can because Jesus can if I take advantage of His will and skill to help me. How do we do that? By going through our day preaching to ourselves and praying to Him.
First, go through your day preaching to yourself. Whenever a need arises—a commandment to keep, a trial to handle, a temptation to conquer—preach to yourself the five-word sermon, I can because Jesus can.
Second, pray to Jesus. The prayer’s as simple as the sermon. “Lord Jesus, help me here, now, at this moment.”
Preach and pray this way as you go through your day and you’ll find Jesus a brook full of stones to fell all your Goliaths.
Preach and pray this way as you go through your day and you’ll and spread your wings in His mighty wind and soar.
Preach and pray this way as you go through your day and you’ll find something extraordinary happening in your life.
This: I can because Jesus can!