Sunday, November 8, 2020

Help my unbelief

 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:22-24 emphasis added)

In the Scripture text, a man took his son with a mute spirit to Jesus' disciples for healing. This spirit would throw him down to the ground and have him foaming at the mouth and gnashing his teeth. (v. 17-18) Can you imagine? His disciples weren't able to heal the boy and I suppose this caused the man to question whether or not the boy's healing could actually happen. Because, how could the people who hung out with Jesus every day not help? 

By the time the man meets Jesus, he says, But if you can do anything. I had to pause and meditate here. What's up with the "if?" He had to believe Jesus and/or disciples could do something because he took the boy to them. But his experience taught him that perhaps healing wasn't possible. I had to ask myself if that's my attitude in approaching Jesus. Is that your mentality?

Jesus responds by telling the man his son's healing rests on his belief. Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." The father admitted he wrestled with unbelief and asked Jesus to help his unbelief.

Have you been wrestling with unbelief? I can imagine that the current events may have something to do with that or perhaps you have something more personal you're dealing with. 

Certain things hinder our belief: circumstances, experience, change. We often fear change. To believe Jesus can do anything and that all things are possible means that things will be different after healing takes place or prayers are answered.  It means we will have to do some things differently: be different,  think different, speak different, believe different. And that can be hard because we've been holding on to a certain pattern, sin, etc. for so long. We want Jesus to make us new and believe He can, but that often requires something of us.

Earlier this year, I decided to lose weight. For me, that meant giving up the cookies, cakes, and bread that I loved and craved. I had to be different. If you've ever attempted weight loss, you know it isn't easy because oftentimes, the excess weight is a culmination of bad habits. I'd been "losing" weight for a year before that time, without result. Why? All things are possible, right? I believed Jesus would help me maintain portion control. But that wasn't enough, I had to put my belief in action.

Your belief, your faith requires action from you. The weight loss is a rather simple experience compared to something heavier you may be battling with, but I'd like to encourage you to look within. What's hindering your belief? Time? Waiting can be a downer but stay the course. Whatever is hindering you, remember Jesus can help with that, too. Just ask.  All things are possible to him who believes.

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