Our Unbelief

Read Mark 9:4-29

Jesus said to him, "If you are able! - All things can be done for the one who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief!" Mark 9:23-24 (NRSV)

In Mark 9, when some of the disciples were unable to heal a boy with an evil spirit, Jesus reassured the father of the boy, who then responded, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" What a profound prayer! The desperate man was trying his best to believe, but he knew he needed help. Jesus accepted the father's imperfect belief and healed the boy. Apparently, healing didn't depend on the dad's faith, but on Jesus' righteousness.

That's good news for those of us who struggle with belief. Jesus was brutally beaten, crucified, and buried. Even after a violent death, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to 500 followers. that story is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. But many in the world, even many in the church, may confront that story with an honest prayer: "Lord, we believe. Help us overcome our unbelief."

The good news is that Jesus meets us where we are. Jesus' goodness made up for whatever lack of belief the father in Mark 9 had, and it will make up for a lack of belief in us as well. Christ invites us all to come as we are. When we offer ourselves - unbelief and all - Jesus redeems us.

by Kevin L. Thomas (Alabama)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we do believe in you, but sometimes we doubt. Help us overcome our unbelief, in Jesus' name, amen.

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