The message found in Mark 9 speaks to the need to believe and trust in God. A desperate father approaches Jesus to have his son healed of impure spirits. The father had already gone to the disciples, but they were unsuccessful. So, he confronted Jesus and asked “if you can” heal him.
Jesus replied, “Everything is possible for the one who believes.” Right away, the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9: 23-24.
The father may have thought the disciples were incompetent. Despite their bravado, they seemed unable to help. Sometimes other people, despite good intentions, can’t relieve our needs. The father may have thought the problem was hopeless. The boy’s disease was fitful, mysterious, and violent. We sometimes forget that the Lord delights in working impossibilities. The father may have thought Jesus was powerless. The man half hinted at this when he said, “If you can do anything….” Fear and worry whisper demonically in our ears, “God doesn’t care. The Saviour is powerless.” But the father discovered his unbelief. Sometimes we have just enough faith to realize our belief’s weakness. That isn’t great faith, but it’s enough to start with. If we have enough faith to recognize our weaknesses, we have a place to start.
Faith is based on the belief that we have a Creator. We understand that our Creator is like a good parent who loves us unconditionally and wants to protect, guide, and help His children. And like a good parent, He would never harm us and only wants what is best for us. When our faith is strong, we trust God’s love for us, regardless of our circumstances.
Faith requires us to understand and accept God’s expectations for us, brought to us by Jesus. God wants us to love others through genuine and sincere kindness and compassion. This means that we will be humble. We will not be critical or judgmental of others. We will not be hurtful or take advantage of others. Likewise, we will not treat others with indifference. We will help those who need help. And when we are wronged, we will forgive. If we love God, we will do these things daily, not just to those close to us, like family and friends – but to everyone.
Faith reminds us that God wants us to join Him in heaven, but our hearts must reflect God’s love which we convey with our thoughts, how we speak to others, how we treat others, and how we live our lives. Faith will compel us to invite God into our lives and maintain a relationship with Him through prayer. We should pray every day and throughout the day. It is impossible to pray too much. We can pray for protection, forgiveness, guidance, understanding, and peace. We can express our love, our gratitude, our needs, our worries, and our fears.
We should pray boldly and be generous with our prayers for others. Trust, believe, and believe that God will hear your prayers and respond.