TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Ask any bookworm, and they will all agree… It’s a well-written dialogue that takes a character from black and white to flesh and blood. And the Bible is full of such. But these aren’t merely characters. We tend to forget that these WERE real people. Thousands of years removed, their stories continue to compel us. And God uses their stories to echo through the millennia to speak to our hearts today. One of my favorites is an unnamed father from the New Testament.
Mark 9:14-29 tells the story of a demon-possessed boy whose father had sought help from every possible source. Jesus was his last hope. The dialogue between the man and Jesus paints a picture of desperation, but it’s the words of the man in verse 24 that pull at my heartstrings. The verse says, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’”
As a parent, I’ve gone through my share of anguish with my son. Some physical. Some mental. Some spiritual. We’ve dealt with seizures. A messy custody situation. Troubles at school. When he was 13, my son decided not to live with me anymore, and it caused me so much heartache, I can hardly describe it. Then, we’ve dealt with severe depression and other issues that have overwhelmed my soul to the point of hopelessness.
It’s a battle I wage every day as I pray for him. So it’s the unnamed father’s declaration, “I believe; help my unbelief!” that speaks so deeply to my heart. I relate to his anguish. I relate to his vulnerability. I relate to his cautious hope—that hope that desperately wants to believe, but is so guarded for fear of being disappointed yet again.
My heart hurts for this man, but what I know, especially as I continue to face our challenges, Jesus is not only the last hope, He’s the first hope. The best hope. The only hope. Jesus was the redeemer of this unnamed father’s son… And He is my redeemer…
And my Redeemer lives. And He is still at work.
All of us have our own, “I believe; help my unbelief!” set of circumstances. Whatever shape yours look like, let the words of this father become your own. Confess your faith, but admit your weakness. Be vulnerable to the One who saved you. He knows your heart even better than you do. He’s the one that turns hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26), and He is the very author of the faith that can be written on our hearts if we ask (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus is willing to help us in our moments of doubt, pain, sorrow, and even those times when we’re afraid to hope again, unsure if we can handle another disappointment.
Lean on Him, knowing that even if He doesn’t answer as you expect, His plan is greater than our own.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for not only understanding our hearts, but thank Him for His willingness to equip them. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you trust God with everything, even if you have to ask Him to help you overcome your unbelief in the process.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.