Help My Unbelief

Help My Unbelief

katiejprof

Today’s guest post comes from Katie Johnson, a FUGE staffer who most recenly served as a Bible Study leader at North Greenville University in 2013. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Theology. Katie loves spending time with family, North Carolina in the fall, and Tarheel basketball. 
 
 
 
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!” Mark 9:23-24

Webster’s defines belief as this: a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true. We place belief in so many things: we believe our car will start when we turn the key,  a chair will hold us up when we sit down, a roller coaster won’t break when we get on. We place our trust in family and friends, but the one thing that all of these things have in common is their tendency to fail. It may not be often but nothing of this world is perfect.

In Mark 9 we find the story of a father asking Christ to cleanse his son of an unclean spirit. I will focus on the statements made by these two men; one by Christ and the other by the father. The father says to Christ, “if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us”. Christ is surprised by this, it’s as if He was saying, “If I can, are you kidding?” How could he doubt His ability to heal his son and the power that Christ had? He had been displaying it in that area for over a year, but sometimes that’s not enough. We have seen the power of Christ in the Word and in the world, yet we doubt His ability and control over our lives countless times. We are so independent that we believe we can try to take care of things on our own rather than going to God first. The father cries to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief”. What an honest man. He believes in Jesus, believes in His power but admits he has doubt. God has never expected us to have perfect faith. There is always going to be some doubt mixed in but Christ assures us that, “All things are possible for one who believes”. So don’t be afraid to admit your doubt to God, He already knows. Confront it, face it head on and ask God to remove it.

Constant

Constant

 

The resurrection of Jesus is hard to believe. If I am really honest, it is difficult for me to wrap my mind around the idea that Jesus’ physical heart stopped, and three days later, it started again. How could one go from death to life? Nothing I learned in science class tells me that this is possible. I, like the apostle Thomas, want to see it for myself.  I want to understand the how. I am, by nature, a skeptic.

But this is the beauty and the mystery of the Gospel story: it doesn’t depend on me. Despite my unbelief at times, this story does not fade. Nothing I do or think makes the Great Narrative of God any less true.

In Mark 9, a father brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus. The father pleads with Jesus to heal his son, if He is able. Jesus responds by saying that anything is possible for the one who truly believes. To this the father cries out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” He recognizes the deceitfulness of his own heart. Though Jesus himself stands before him in the flesh, this man is still having doubts.

So often, I am just like this doubting father. God has shown me his power time and time again. I can testify to his faithfulness in my life. Scripture reminds me of His character. Creation itself is a daily reminder of the almighty Creator. Yet I still must cry out to my Savior: “I do believe! Help my unbelief!”

Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ is coming again; I know this to be true, even in the moments that I don’t feel it. Today, I rest in the fact that I can lean on the finished work of Christ and not the fickleness of my heart. I am thankful for a resurrection and a Gospel that can never be made untrue.