Can we read a story together today? A story that can’t just be for me. Surely there’s someone out there struggling with unbelief too? Yep, I said it. Now listen, I’m not saying that you aren’t a Christ follower. I’m not accusing you of not going to church yesterday or that you aren’t reading a daily devotion. I’m not suggesting that you aren’t praying or listening to your favorite worship song in the car. Shoot, I’m not even sure that we realize our choices and actions are often times rooted in unbelief. Let’s just move on before I make an even bigger mess of things.
And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”
And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me. And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.
And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.
And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. Mark 9:14-27
My goodness. I need a breather. This is a heavy, uncomfortable story.
Now, I know what you must be thinking. Melissa, my child isn’t demon possessed and I most certainly wouldn’t have doubted the power of God in His very face. But don’t we?
Aren’t we prone to secretly enable our unbelief behind closed doors while lifting hands in praise on Sunday mornings?
Isn’t there something that you are desperately seeking an answer for by continuously weighing your options and obsessing over the next move?
Don’t you need a miracle to overcome that obstacle in your life that has formed anxiety and doubt?
Are you feeling like you just can’t take one more day of this pain and have chosen to turn to addiction and numbness to get you through the wait for a miracle?
Frustrated. Hurt. Exhausted. Worried. Angry. You name it. Fill in the blank.
And aren’t we quick to leave our problems at the church altar but carry them right back out to our car when we leave? Aren’t we scripture savvy Christians who still lie awake in sweat and tears worrying about what’s next? Maybe you’re like me who professes faith in a miraculous God but yet gets to work trying to solve the problem in my own terms, in my own understanding? God forgive me.
“God will not force his miracles where there is unbelief.” I know, right? Conviction it is.
As I read God’s word this morning with a frustrated, overwhelmed heart and a depleted mind on how to change my circumstance, I am convicted and reminded that my obsession for controlling the situation and trying to fix my problem is actually unbelief that God will not follow through with His promises.
Seriously. Why else would I pout when it seems too much? Why do I worry myself sick and work myself to death to handle the problem? Why do I assume guilt for my children’s choices and responsibility to change my husband? Why do I carry the need to take care of everyone else and do just enough to prove my worth?
Unbelief that our Sovereign God, who promises miracles and an abundant life no matter what we encounter, will actually follow through. Unbelief that our Heavenly Father, who requires a heart that firmly believes and trusts in His faithfulness, means what He says. Unbelief in the power of a Mighty Savior’s blood ran red and what it actually means.
Listen beloved, God can handle my issues just as He can handle yours. He is God. But in order to receive the miracle we are so desperately in need of, repentance and belief is required.
Instead of suggesting that God can help us, why don’t we actually trust Him. Instead of hoping that God will come through, why don’t we bank on the truth of His Word. Instead of assuming that we have something to do with the goodness of God, why don’t we get out of God’s way and let Him be God.
I’m not certain what your struggle is but I’m certain you have one.
Maybe you are facing hurricane devastation and a lifestyle destroyed?
It could be a marriage that is broken and facing divorce.
Your children could be making choices rooted in the pain of the past or the struggle of addiction.
Your bank account may be empty and your job applications ignored.
Your health may be declining and the doctor has even more bad news.
My life or those close to me have been touched by all of the above. But the good news? An Almighty, Powerful God can touch all of the above and provide miracles. We just have to believe.
Choose today to repent for any unbelief that may be preventing the answer to your prayers and decide to wait in expectation and belief in the power of God.