“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”
The passage of Mark 9:17-27 is the gripping story of a father’s agony and the relief Jesus brings to him. The man’s son, since childhood, was tortured by an evil spirit. He took him to Jesus’ disciples and they couldn’t heal the boy. So Jesus stepped into the situation. ‘‘‘O unbelieving generation’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you. Bring the boy to me’” (Mark 9:19). The father asked Jesus if He could heal his son, “If you can?” (Mark 9:23) was Jesus’ response. Whoa. The father believed there was a limit to what Jesus could do!
Jesus said to him, “Everything is possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). Then the father’s agony increased because he realized his faith was weak and was afraid it was his lack of faith that was keeping his son from being healed. He said to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)! It was as if he was responding to a wake-up call. Hello! He was so distressed.
No matter how spiritually strong we are, our faith is imperfect. This father was crying out to God to strengthen his faith. He knew even his faith comes from God. The disciples had the “authority to drive out demons” (Mark 3:15) through their prayers. Why didn’t they drive out this boy’s demon? They had the power from the LORD through their prayers to do it. Did they forget to pray?
So it is with us today. The deeper we go with God, the more we can see His love, His greatness and His compassion for His children. And then when a crisis arises, all of a sudden we panic and we can’t find our faith. We try to take the disastrous situation in our own hands and we fail. Then we anxiously cry out to God for help and we see our own unbelief; that is, we don’t think God is big enough to take care of our hardship, which is why we panicked in the first place.
Am I speaking from experience? Ahem. Yes.
When we ask, Jesus answers...in His time, in accordance with His will and purposes. The father asked Jesus to help. Jesus rebuked the evil spirit. “‘You deaf and mute spirit,’ he said, ’I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, ‘He’s dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up to his feet, and he stood up” (Mark 9:25- 27).
Jesus is not intimidated by anything. Jesus is always greater than our circumstances. Jesus is sovereign over the universe, He “…who has gone to heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him” (1 Peter 3:22).
We are still in our fleshly bodies and are desperately in need of our Savior, every moment. We must believe – overcome our unbelief --in the only One who “having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15).
Jesus want us to be free. We want to be free. If we're not free, we have to get to the root of the reason why we're not free. Our unbelief is agony! It is despair. It is because we are looking at the physical circumstances and not at the power of God within us.
We have to believe He is who He says He is. We have to believe God has given us the ability to overcome! "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 5:1).
Okay, according to the word of God, we have the ability to overcome. So let's rise up, shine the light, and overcome evil with good!
He's already given us the power to do it, Sister.
Love & blessings,
This devotion is a revised version of my second book,
Totally Devoted 2, in preparation for a Kindle version!