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"I believe; help my unbelief!" Lenten Devotional 6

Mark 9:23-24 ESV “‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘All things are possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’
To fully understand the power of this short passage, we need to understand the context. The father in this story brings his son to Jesus to heal him from a demon that has possessed the little boy for years. The father has asked the disciples and many church leaders to help him, but the boy has never been healed. The father comes to Jesus weak in faith, but begs him “if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (Mark 9:22). Jesus then proclaims everything is possible for anyone who believes and proceeds to cast out the demon that has been held within the child. But for me, the power in this story comes from the father’s response before Jesus heals his son.
“I believe, help my unbelief!”
For years, the father has seen his son hurting and held captive by this evil spirit and he has been hopeless to see anyone or anything help him. He was at a place struggling to believe this circumstance would ever change. I have been in a similar situation before. When I moved to Ft. Worth for graduate school, I had a hard time with settling into this new place. I had moved all the way from Washington state, I just returned back to the US after a 3 month trip abroad with my church community back home and quickly moved to Texas where I didn’t know anyone. My first 3 months here, I desperately missed home and had a really difficult time believing the Lord brought me to Texas for anything good. I knew the Lord was faithful and I knew He was good, I just was having a really hard time believing that truth in this new season and in this new place. DAILY this was my prayer, “I believe, help my unbelief”. Even now I still struggle with the doubts of being in Ft. Worth, but the Lord has been transforming my perspective every day to see why He wants me here.
I am sure you have experienced similar seasons. Seasons that are plagued with doubt or darkness and it is a struggle to see where the Lord is working, or believe He is working at all. During those moments, I think most of us are ashamed to admit we have doubts in God because that feels wrong. We become quick to withdraw and rely on our own strength to get ourselves out of it, but that is opposite of what the Lord desires from us. In this passage, He shows up and heals the boy even when the father admits his doubts. We follow a God who is gracious enough to meet us exactly where we are at and still move in the midst of our doubts and unbelief in who He is. Where in your life are you having a hard time believing the truths about the Lord? Have you expressed your unbelief to Him? This week I challenge you to step into raw honesty about your doubts in who the Lord is. He will not withhold things from you because of it, He promises to show up with even the faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). I encourage you this week to believe that He is working even in the midst of your doubts.
“Father, thank you for being a God who doesn’t withhold your goodness from us even when we doubt in who you are. Will you challenge us to be honest with where we have little fight in who you are? Lord, we believe, help our unbelief.”
-Taylor Christenson, Graduate Assistant in the Wellness Center.


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