Mark 9:23-24, And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
What is faith and where does it come from? Hebrews 11:1 simply says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is a result of something other than the simple assumption of some empty promise. Words like “assurance” and “conviction” are powerful and specific in their use here. What about those times when we are less than sure, and something short of convicted?
The faithful are often characterized as unlearned and superstitious. They are seen as ignorant of fact, and deliberately avoidant of reality. The truth is that faith for the Christian is based on fact, not fantasy. Some people will trust without substantial reason and only find themselves disappointed in the long run. They will even blame God for their own faulty faith. Before we can really trust somebody with anything of importance they must show themselves trustworthy. The father of this episode was really looking for two things; 1) to have his son healed, and 2) to be able to trust Jesus to do so.
His son was possessed by an evil spirit from nearly the beginning of his life. He watched his baby boy turn from a loving normal child into a mute. Unable to hear “I love you,” or “daddy” or even “help,” the father was pushed to the limit of his faith. What he believed about a loving and protective God was challenged. It was desperation that brought him to the disciples who failed to evict the evil spirit. While the father didn’t know Jesus well, he had seen or heard enough to believe that any hope for change would be with Jesus. While he was crying out in desperation, Jesus was responding with compassion. God is so good! In spite of struggling to be faithful, the father still went to Jesus.
Do you struggle to believe? Do you wrestle with reality and faith? They are not mutually exclusive. Faith and vision do not need to be separated, just translated by the hearts and minds of those who know God. Trouble is not the time to avoid Christ or to allow shame to keep you from stepping out in faith. You will never grow your faith by recoiling away from God. You will never move forward faithfully by lying in some spiritually “fetal” position, and waiting for anyone to come by and pick you up. Our faith is our own responsibility, and evading the Savior will never get us to where we need to be in the eyes of God. Jesus is seeking to help us with our problems. He can not only fulfill your need, but help you to grown in the process.
If you are struggling with faith, know that Satan plans every day to direct our downfall. (1 Peter 5:8) If you are thinking God doesn’t care, you are allowing the voice of Satan to drown out the evidences that God has given you. (Romans 1) Faith is not about us getting what we want from God as if He were some “supernatural soft touch.” It is about learning to trust Him to give the answer we need. If you will give God the opportunity to walk with you, you may not get everything you want, but you will always get more than you need. If we can trust God long enough to learn the truth of life, the lesson we learn is that the God of all righteousness loves us more than we could possibly ever know! Keep up the fight and always run to the Savior! He’s waiting on you…