BVCC continues to suspend non-ministry events and Kids Connect until further notice.

Lord, Help My Unbelief

Mark 9.14-29
And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 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.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Do you ever experience times where you doubt what God can do or what you can personally do in and through God? Well if you answered “yes” to one of those questions, then you are not alone today. For we read here in Mark 9.14-29, that some of Jesus’ closest disciples found themselves in unbelief as well. Obviously there is a lot in this passage of scripture. Jesus and His closest disciples, Peter, James and John, are returning from one of the greatest mountaintop experiences (literally) that they more than likely have ever experienced in their lifetime, only to be thrust into a crowd filled with people arguing with the disciples about not being able to heal a boy with an unclean spirit.

Mark tells us that as soon as the crowd saw Jesus, they “were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him” (9.15b). I’m sure the other disciples were thankful that Jesus showed up; now the pressure is off them and has been placed on Jesus to perform for the crowd. Jesus responds to the crowd by asking a question which is a great leadership moment here. Jesus wants to know why the crowd is arguing with His team. I get the sense here that Jesus is being protective of His team which is what any good leader would do. Even though His team wasn’t able to quite meet the expectation, He seems to be ready to defend them. The father of the son with the demonic spirit speaks up and tells Jesus why they were arguing with His disciples. Clearly the disciples were not able to cast out the demonic spirit.

I would imagine they, like the dad, are experiencing some doubt and disbelief. The dad just seems to be at a place where he is willing to accept that he has doubt by responding to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (9.23b) What a powerful statement that rings true even for many of us today. I don’t know how many times in prayer I have cried out this exact line, “I believe; help my unbelief.” I needed God to move, and while I had faith to believe, I also doubted to a certain extent that God would move on behalf of my situation.

Prayer is an important piece, and Jesus makes reference to that. Once the disciples are with Him privately, because I am sure they are too ashamed to ask Him in front of the crowd, they ask why they couldn’t heal the boy. Jesus explains to them that this type of ministry can only be done by prayer. Matthew includes both prayer and fasting in his gospel account (Matthew 17.21). But whether with prayer and fasting or just prayer, what seems to be important in this passage is the fact that unbelief is both a danger for the unbeliever as well as the believer.

Just because you become a believer does not mean that you will never have any doubts ever again. Here were men who literately walked with Jesus, yet they doubted that they could cast out the demon.

So, what are some of your doubts? Do you find yourself doubting God? Can you trust Him again? Maybe you believe God for some small things but not intermediate to large things. I would encourage you today to express your doubts to God; trust Him with your doubts. For I believe that is truly what this father did with Jesus. He trusted Jesus enough to express his belief as well as his unbelief. Some of us just need to be more real with God, for He truly knows how we feel anyway.

As the final calendar page turns on 2020, can you trust God with 2021? I would challenge you this week to spend some time in reflection and meditation over this passage of scripture. Ask the Holy Spirit, “What are some ways in my life that I am not trusting you? Do I have blind spots that you can show me?” I would encourage you do this, and then tell someone, such as a spouse or a trusted friend or mentor. Start 2021 out right with a greater belief and dependence upon Christ.

In Christ’s Service,
Cody Ragland
Posted in
Tagged with ,