The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
Relate: I have always known that I serve a powerful and capable God, but understanding has not always translated to a belief that God will be Lord of my circumstances. There have been times when I have wondered how I would pay the bills, times I have doubted God would answer if I prayed for healing, and times I questioned God’s ability to demonstrate love for me. Even though I had seen his mighty hand in action again and again, I doubted that God would act on my behalf. I repeatedly need God to come in his grace to heal my unbelief.
I am not alone in this need. In fact, in the Old Testament, the twelve tribes of Israel had seen God act in amazing and powerful ways to free them from Egypt, and they still doubted that God would lead. When Moses was on Mt. Sinai longer than they were willing to wait, Moses descended from the mountain to find a people that had already started to put their belief in a false god. In the Mark 9, we see a very similar picture as Jesus descends from the mount of transfiguration to find his twelve disciples unable to heal a boy possessed by an evil spirit. His response was, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
React: The beauty of the story is that Jesus, although he expressed frustration with the people’s lack of belief, showed the father mercy and grace. When the man called out to him for help to overcome his unbelief, Jesus healed the boy.
How often do we treat God with a “What have you done for me lately?” attitude? I am challenged to face each new trial with the question of how God will show up rather than if God will show up. God is able, and it is time for me to stop focusing on the trials ahead and to recall the victories behind me. The first step to healing unbelief is to ask for God’s help. We need to pray for our eyes to be opened to the faithfulness of our God.
God, please help me to constantly cry out to you to increase my faith. Please help me to remember that you care about where I am and what I need in this moment. Thank you for the grace you give me when I fail to trust you. I do believe; help me to overcome my unbelief.