Authored by Lou Geense
Read: Mark 9:14-29.
Vs. 24 – Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
I really appreciate the bible’s honest accounts of people who had questions and doubts. Those stories allow me to breath a little easier when I have doubts. Early in my Christian life I was just like the father in our story today. I believed with all my heart that Jesus could heal people today. But like the dad I also had that twinge of uncertainty and doubt. While I was in Northern India, I questioned DR. R.B. Lal of the Yeshu Darbar movement, about the hundreds of people he and the pastors prayed over for healing, and things became a little clearer. He said, “The bible tells me to anoint the sick with oil and pray for their healing. So that is what I must do. The rest is up to Jesus.” All too often we want to have the results that support us rather than leaving it to God’s purposes.
It’s not that we don’t want to believe! It’s simply that sometimes we find it hard to believe. A believer from hundreds of years ago, St. John of the Cross, called that experience “the dark night of the soul.” Many of us have been through that dark night.
That was true of the father who came to Jesus, desperately longing for his son to be healed. He assured Jesus that he believed, but, in the same breath, he asked Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief. It was an example of doubt seeking faith, and, in response, Jesus honoured the father’s request.
God doesn’t want us to be stuck in doubt. The apostle John said, “I write these things to you who believe … so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
God wants us to live with the joy and peace that come from being certain Jesus is alive, trusting that we will live with him forever! But when we’re not sure, God understands – and he uses our questions and doubts to teach us to rely on him more fully.
Ask for his help, and he will restore your faith and deepen your trust.
O God, sometimes I’m not sure and I want to believe. Help me overcome my unbelief! Assure me deep within so that I can live with the peace and joy you intend for me! Amen.