Faith to Believe

Mark 9:21-24
And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.  And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Sometimes our unbelief rises up in those most personal and desperate situations we face.  Here was a father whose son suffered greatly.  He had dealt with this for multiple years.  He had feared for his son’s life, and he could not bear it any longer.  He went to the disciples, but they were unable to help.  Now it’s become this kind of spectacle.  The spirit seemed to be prevailing.  It seemed to have all the power, and so his faith starts to wane.

So when Jesus shows up, he has some doubts about whether his son can be healed.  He just wanted someone to be able to help, but his faith is fragile.  But Jesus says that all things are possible.  That is always true.  God can do anything.  His power is unlimited.  He is known as the God of the impossible, and He has proved it over and over again.

But even though that is always true, we don’t always believe it.  Sometimes we trust too much in what we see.  Sometimes the situation seems too impossible and we can’t comprehend how it can change.  Sometimes we look inside grasping for some faith and we can’t find enough for what we’re dealing with.  But Jesus can even do that impossible thing of giving us faith when we lack it and of enabling us to believe when we don’t know that we can.

This man’s faith had been shaken by his experience, by the powerlessness of the disciples, by the hopelessness he felt.  But Jesus healed his son and gave him new life.  And perhaps even more significant than the son’s miraculous deliverance that day was the father gaining the understanding that he could fully trust Jesus, that he could believe God for the impossible.  Sometimes it takes us getting to the end of ourselves in those kinds of situations for us to really understand that God can do what we don’t think can be done.  And even when we feel like we can’t possibly have enough faith for the size of the miracle we need, Jesus will help our unbelief and show us that we really can believe Him and trust in Him.

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