Jessica Albritton, NextGen Minister LHBC 

Mark 9:14-29
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Once in high school we had a situation where someone tried to break into our home. The police came to search the property and take statements but the guy who attempted to break in was never found. The guy had been crouching right outside my bedroom window and in the days and weeks that followed I would find myself staring at the window looking for movements in the shadows. My heart would race, palms would go sweaty, and my mind would go crazy with the what ifs… 

But it wasn’t just me that was nervous, for a while it became harder for us all to feel at ease in our home, especially when it came time to sleep. We would lock the doors, turn the deadbolt, set the security alarm, re-check the locks on the door, secure all the windows shut, run back to the alarm just to make sure that it was in fact set… It all seems so silly now looking back but at the time we were all on edge. I knew that we were totally safe and there was nothing to worry about but the fear and anxiety we all felt was so real. I had to keep reminding myself over and over that I was safe, my family was safe, no harm was coming after us. You see, knowing something and resting in that knowledge are two very different things.

That’s why I love the story in Mark chapter 9 so much. Here we see a desperate father in a tragic situation approach Jesus. Jesus is his last resort, he has tried everything else. The father brings his son, possessed by a spirit, to Jesus in order to find healing. This is a man who believed in Jesus’ power and had seen and heard of the miracles performed. But the father was also conflicted and had doubts about Jesus’ sufficiency. This father had belief in the person of Jesus but he was also keenly aware of the reality of his situation. This father had tried for years to seek healing for his son and yet nothing he ever did was enough. His son was still possessed and tormented by a demon. So he cried out to Jesus “if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 

The father comes to Jesus, desperate for a miracle, but carrying the weight of doubt and disappointment that the world had placed on him throughout the years. Jesus responds, “’If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” To that all the father can respond with is, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 

I don’t know about you but I have been in that place, knowing about God and witnessing miracles that He has performed, but in the here and now, when things get tough, it’s often hard to connect the head knowledge to the heart knowledge. 

When we have fears and doubts that grip us the very best place to take those is at the feet of Jesus. He is the one that can take those fears and doubts away, the one in which we can depend on with everything. But think about what happens when we don’t take it to Jesus, when we harbor the doubts and worry up. We end up closing off our hearts to Him. It is not just in the good times, but in our darkest times as well that we should run hard after Jesus. Don’t let times of uncertainty keep us from Jesus. Bring your doubts, fears, and worries to the Lord and ask Him to help your unbelief. 

Heavenly Father, with all the uncertainty that is in the world right now help me to keep my eyes fixed on you. When fear and doubt start to creep in help me to hold fast to your promises and rest in the truth of who you are. Jesus, I believe; help my unbelief! In Jesus name, amen! 

2 Timothy 1:7
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.