In Mark 9:14-29, a father brought his suffering son to Jesus. But Jesus was not on the scene at first, so he presents his beloved son to some of Jesus’ disciples. The son was possessed of an evil spirit that made him both deaf and mute. He had been so possessed since childhood. The spirit also brought other terrible manifestations as it would convulse the boy and, as his father said, “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him…”
Imagine with me a child, unable to cry out in pain or to tell his parents where he was hurting. Imagine the scars upon his body and his heart from multiple wounds suffered in silent tears. Imagine the weight upon a father’s and a mother’s heart. The disciples were unable to rid the boy of the evil spirit. When Jesus arrived a large crowd was present and an argument was ongoing that involved Jesus’ disciples and the teachers of the law. Our Lord intervened, as He always did whenever pitiful need was apparent. He asked for an explanation of what was going on. The boy’s father explained and finished by saying, “…If You can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Jesus replied, “If You can?” “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Then the long-suffering dad replied, no doubt with great emotion…“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Can you identify with this dad? I feel I can. We are challenged to believe Jesus and to believe in God and the Bible. Sometimes that’s easier than at other times. The father might have thought things like this…I believe You’ve healed lots of folks, but this is my son…so…help my unbelief. I believe You’ve handled hard cases before, but I’ve never known one to be this tough or this near to my heart…so…help my unbelief. I believe You’ve never seen a case You couldn’t handle, but this one is so difficult that Your disciples failed…so…help my unbelief. I believe You can stop the wind and walk on the water, but my son’s torture has gone on for so very long now…so…help my unbelief. I know You’ve given sight and hearing to others but this is my child who is my life; and I have been completely unable to do anything for him…so…help my unbelief, please. Jesus honored this sincere request from a father by giving him and us yet more evidence for placing our trust in Him. He freed the boy from a powerful demon that no one else could cast out. The father learned that Jesus was indeed right, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
In the face of life’s great pressures, we must have a great Lord. And we do. It is faith in Him that sees us through…not a pretend faith…but a real faith. Real faith doesn’t mean we have no doubts at all. It means we look to Jesus with all the faith we presently hold and ask Him to give us more faith. That is the correct response to the truth about our faith. No, it isn’t big enough, strong enough, pure enough, yet! But it is still real, and we won’t back off that. And we will be honest with our Lord. We do believe, Jesus! Please keep helping our unbelief.