"And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
In just a few short weeks, we will participate in our annual "I Believe" Sunday. Webster's dictionary defines the word believe thusly, "To credit upon the ground of authority, testimony, argument, or any other circumstances than personal knowledge; to expect or hope with confidence." The Greek word translated as believe in Mark 9:24 is pisteuo, which has the idea of trusting another for an action expected to take place. Mark 9 records the story of the man who had a son, a child, that was possessed by a devil. The son had a record of being so controlled by the devil inside of him that physical pain and harm were a continual problem. (ref. Mark 9:22) The first attempt of the father was to bring his son to the disciples so that the devil would be cast out and the boy spiritually healed. The disciples failed in their ministry - largely due to a not understanding that both prayer and fasting were requirements for spiritual victory in this situation.
When the father brought the son to Jesus Christ, our Lord said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." Examining verse 24 we learn of a few characteristics that show the desperation of this man. The word straightway indicates that the father of the devil-possessed son was wasting no time in approaching Christ. We discover the passion of this nameless individual when words such as cried and tears are used to indicate the level of hopelessness in which he found himself. Realizing his helpless state of affairs, the father humbled himself enough to say, "...help thou mine unbelief."
I submit to you that our Lord is waiting to accomplish great things in the life we now live, not just in the life to come! All that stands in the way is our unbelief. Over in Matthew 13:58 and in a parallel passage in Mark 6:5 we find that our sovereign God limited His great work among mankind because of our unbelief. O, may God help us to be a people, humbled before Him, who passionately beg His presence and power upon us for His glory! What mighty works He can accomplish if only we will but trust His mighty hand!
This world has yet to see what God can do through a people who wholly and unashamedly believe Him for victory. The next generation, the direct recipients of I Believe Sunday, are waiting and watching for us to give more than lip service to the phrase. Will you believe? Will you stake your claim upon the unfailing promises of God? Will you fully trust the Lord to bring victory for the sake of spiritual healing in this generation of students and youth? The unnamed father in Mark 9 certainly did, and through him the Lord Jesus Christ wrought a great work for God's glory.
Written by Dan Jessup