Help Me Overcome My Unbelief

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

February 27

Help Me Overcome My Unbelief

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 32:6-11 | Leviticus 20:22- 22:16 | Mark 9:1-29 | Proverbs 10:18

Today’s Scripture Focus:  Leviticus 19-20

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. [22] “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” [23] “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” [24] Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:21-24 (NIV)

Everything is possible for the one who believes. It seems simple enough. But it was a difficult lesson for the disciples of Jesus to learn. It is hard for us too. The lessons of faith are never easily learned.

A boy was terribly tormented by a demon. The disciples were unable to set him free and this was causing quite a stir among the people in the crowd (and the religious leaders). Jesus rebukes them again for their lack of faith: “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 

The boy’s father honestly expresses the struggle of a heart that earnestly hopes but struggles with doubts: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” In response to that honest confession, Jesus sets the boy free in an instant.

The simple statement of Jesus, “Everything is possible for him who believes,” is a source of hope and expectation to us as we pray. The boy’s father expresses the true state of most of our hearts: a mixture of hope and doubt—a combination of belief and unbelief.  Yet Jesus seems to focus on the faith of the man—however incomplete—and seeks to encourage him to trust him even more.

Yes, we all struggle. Our faith is often mixed with unbelief. It is hard to overcome what we see in order to walk by faith. Yet Jesus looks into our hearts and sees the seeds of faith and encourages them to bloom. He calls us to trust him more; to trust him for even the impossible. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” 

Lord, help us to trust you; help us to overcome our unbelief knowing that everything is possible to the one who believes. Give us the grace to trust you more. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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