And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
From this last sentence, this final statement of the father, two words stand out — believe and unbelief. They are below in the Greek:
to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
of the thing believed
to credit, have confidence
used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith
to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity
to be entrusted with a thing
want of faith, unbelief
weakness of faith
How often I have felt that I could not ask God for physical healing or for a relationship to be healed because my own heart was so amiss. I desired to aim high for my life yet I often could not even hold the bow up, let alone shoot that arrow. God knows my heart, yet I often feel so weak and feeble when it comes to my spiritual strength because I am trying to do something in my own strength, not His. He wants me to come lowly and weak so He can be strong in my life. I want that too.
But…that seems wrong. I am supposed to be strong and handle things myself. Or so I think!
This sentence, “I believe; help my unbelief!,” speaks seriously and directly from this father’s heart in Mark 9. His hope and desire is for healing to happen. He wants that more than anything. He wants it to work. He knows it is not up to him to make it happen.
He says to Jesus, “…if You can….” How often do I ask Jesus to do something, then waffle back and forth, afraid that what I asked of Him won’t happen. Then I doubt and wonder why I even bother to ask.
How many people are around us every day who want to know that God exists, that there is something good in this world, that Jesus is Who He says He is…and yet, at the same time, even when we have a grasp of something, believing can be so hard because we cannot touch, see, smell. We prefer some sort of sensory affirmation. Today, we, the doubting Thomas’, cannot touch the wound in the side of Jesus nor the nail holes in His hands and feet.
I struggle with what is called blind faith. How can I believe when I cannot see the One Who promises so much and loves unconditionally? How? Doubt and shame color my world far too often because I think I ought to be strong. Doubt can be so real, blocking my way.
Belief can be a statement of fact (the ocean is vast, or Sally looks good in yellow). Belief is also an acknowledgment of trust that will fly with that arrow from the bow. When I know by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is real, that He hears me, I trust. I trust Jesus to answer my prayers in some way, even if the answer is “No.” I cannot see outcomes, yet by trusting, I can know that Jesus hears and knows and will answer.
Jesus is Truth and Light. So I pray that my unbelief be helped. I want to believe. I want to trust. I want that arrow to go out from my heart with guidance from God with faith to His.
Help my unbelief, O God. Please. In my doubt, Father, I take one step after another, moving forward in life, knowing that I have asked You for this healing. I trust that I believe somewhere within me. I trust that You hear my prayer and will heal my unbelief because You want me to walk with You without fear. You want me to let You be in control of everything. I am not to hold those reins. That arrow is really in Your hands, isn’t it? You line it up in the bow because You are the Archer. Am I the arrow, Lord? Oh! I thank You, Father, for blessing me with insights and newness. In the Name of Your Son, I pray. Amen.