I Believe...Kind of
Bible Reading: Mark 9:14-29 Anything is possible if a person believes. Mark 9:23
“Why can't you do something for the boy?” The scribe screams a taunt at the nine disciples. “You say the Rabbi has given you power to deliver the demon-possessed, but there you stand powerless while a boy suffers. Let’s see some action here—or stop all this talk about being followers of the Son of God!”
In the shadows stands a sorrowful-looking man with his arms wrapped around a pale, thin boy with dark eyes and unkempt hair. Tears streak the father’s weathered face. The boy rests his head on the father’s chest—a blank stare in his shadowy eyes and saliva dripping from his chin.
Suddenly the argument stops. The crowd hushes as it turns in the direction of four approaching men—Peter, James, John, and Jesus. Recognizing Jesus, the father half carries, half drags his son forward and tells him the story behind the argument. As Jesus draws near, the boy stiffens and moans, and the evil spirit within him wrenches him into violent convulsions.
“Have mercy on us and help us,” the father cries helplessly (Mark 9:22). Jesus encourages the man to have faith. But the confused father sobs piercing words: “I do believe, but help me not to doubt!” (verse 24).
Is that dad delirious? How can he say he believes and doesn’t believe at the same time?
If you have followed Jesus for more than a few feet, you probably know the feeling: “Lord, I really believe in you and your power. But I’m having trouble trusting you in this mess.” The statement isn’t contradictory—it’s reality! And Jesus responded to the dad’s statement by healing the boy.
Faith is the ability to see and act on what God can do in a certain situation. Kim can “see” her friend Robin coming to Christ in the future, so she prays for Robin and invites her often to campus Bible study. Ian can “see” God work in his life as a result of quiet time alone with God, so he spends 10-15 minutes each morning reading his Bible and talking to God in prayer.
Faith looks ahead to see what God wants to do and then acts on what it sees. But how do you sharpen your vision to see what God wants to do? You start by soaking in Scripture. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes from listening to this message of good news—the Good News about Christ.” The more of God’s Word you get into you, the more clearly you will see where he’s going and what he’s doing. And your faith will grow as a result.
REFLECT: When have you felt torn between believing-and knowing you needed to believe more?
PRAY: Pray these words to God: “I do believe, but help me in my doubt!”
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