“…But if thou canst do anything, 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.” - Mark 9:22-24
Like the caring father who sought healing for his son, we oftentimes find tension between faith and belief as we bring our petitions before the Lord. How can you find hope when it seems as if all hope is gone? How do you find peace when war is raging all around? How do you find life in the midst of death? It’s difficult, isn’t it? Yet, in spite of all this, I really believe that we want to believe. But, there is always a struggle between faith and doubt; and this is the struggle we find in the passage of Scripture above.
I can’t imagine how overwhelming this whole scene must have been for the boy and his father. He comes to find Jesus, but Jesus isn’t there. (Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter, James and John at the beginning of this story.) Even worse, Jesus’ disciples couldn’t heal his son. Then the disciples started arguing and finally—a crowd gathered to watch the outcome. How frustrated this father must have been!
Then Jesus appears. I’m so glad that Jesus can do what we cannot do! I also hope someone is encouraged by the father’s transparent honesty when he said, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” Isn’t that so real? Today, we try and appear like we have it altogether. But we don’t. None of us do. But this father understood that Jesus was the only One who could help him. And you know what? Jesus didn’t scold him and say, “Well, get rid of that unbelief and then I’ll heal your son.” No. Instead, we watch love go to work.
I want you to grasp this because there’s so much here for us. The question is not whether we have a great amount of faith, the question is, “Who is the One in whom our faith is placed?” The father of the boy admitted that his faith lacked in some areas, but at the end of the day, Jesus wasn’t concerned with the amount of faith the man had, He wanted to make sure the faith he had was in the right place. Folks don’t be discouraged by the frustration you’re experiencing. Don’t be paralyzed by your inability to be able to handle your problem on your own. Don’t be intimidated by the crowd. Why? Because Jesus can do what we can’t. Just place your faith in Him alone!