“… God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17 NKJV).
With His words, God created everything. With His words, He upholds all things (Hebrews 1:3). With His words, He changes things. With His words, He “calls those things which do not exist as though they did.”
His words are powerful, and we are called to give our situations, our cares, to Him and to trust Him.
He can call anything He wants into existence.
So, it begs the question: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” The solution? “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance” (Psalm 42:5).
He will help, and we will praise. It is a given.
The story of Hannah gives a great example of how we should respond when we have a promise from the Lord regarding our prodigals, when the Lord makes a declaration. She prayed earnestly for a male child, making a vow to the Lord. Eli, the priest, told her, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him. … So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad” (1 Samuel 1:17–18).
If your prodigal’s salvation seems too difficult or impossible, consider that Jesus demonstrated His power for spiritual miracles through a physical miracle when He told the bedridden man that his sins were forgiven. Knowing the scribes accused Him of blasphemy in their hearts, He literally told them: “‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house’” (Mark 2:8–11). After remembering this demonstration, recall every miracle Jesus did while on earth and know they point to spiritual miracles.
In Mark 9:19–27, a dad brings his son to Jesus to be delivered of a spirit, and Jesus delivers him. The last two verses of this story say: “many said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.”
Luke tells us the story of a widow woman in a funeral procession for her only son: “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother (Luke 7:13-15).
Jesus is still calling to life those spiritually dead sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, family, and friends.
Next, remember the man possessed with a legion of demons who was so bound that he lived in the cemetery and the mountains, “crying out and cutting himself with stones” (Mark 5:5), who broke every chain of man that tried to control him. When Jesus spoke, every demon came out of him (Mark 5:1–13). They had no choice. Not one was left. The next time the people of the city and country saw the man, he was “sitting and clothed and in his right mind” (v. 15). Jesus spoke and cast out Legion. Your prodigal’s sin is not too great that God cannot save.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Refrain your voice from weeping, And your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, And they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the Lord, That your children shall come back to their own border’” (Jeremiah 31:16–17).
Yes, we do our part. We pray. We fast. We love.
Then hope in God.
Then we trust. We trust God. We trust that what He calls alive is alive.
Then we sit still (Isaiah 30:7).
Then we refrain from weeping.
Then we go our way and eat with a face that is no longer sad.
Then we live that way, looking forward to the day we see the reality of their spiritual life with our own eyes.
“When He came in, He said to them, ‘Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping’” (Mark 5:39).