I never get tired of reading this story. This father brought his afflicted son, who had suffered from childhood, to see if Jesus would heal him. He first ran into Jesus’ disciples and asked them for help, but they could not. By the time he finally gained Jesus’ attention, there had to be a growing doubt in his mind as to whether his son could ever be healed. And the instant he comes into the presence of Jesus, his son wallows on the ground, foaming at the mouth. He timidly puts his request to Jesus, “If you can do anything… help us.” Only to have Jesus throw the ball back in his court, “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
How this father must have struggled to find the right words, the right response. Finally, through his tears, he gives this confession:
First, he calls Jesus his Lord. He knows Jesus has authority that is not of this world and humbles himself before him. Then he cries out,“I believe!” This is not an arrogant presumption that he has the faith Jesus requires, but a sincere statement of why he came to Jesus in the first place.
Finally, he admits his fear and doubt, and runs to the right place for help: “help me overcome my unbelief!” Without realizing it, this father displayed exactly what great faith looks like! Genuine faith does not trust in one’s own ability to believe, to work, or to obey. True faith looks to Christ to fulfill all our gaping inadequacies.
Do you feel yourself doubting? Falling? Giving in? Don’t try to hide your struggles or difficulties from Jesus; take them to Him, confess them to Him, and let His grace supply your every need.