“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” Mark 9:24
At work, I want to project the image of a calm, confident professional who has it all together. Sometimes, though, I catch myself trying to carry that persona into my spiritual life. I can become so focused on my to-do list and managing everything perfectly that I’m tempted to hide my struggles when I pray.
I find great encouragement in the father’s cry in today’s verse. An evil spirit controlled his son, and he was desperate for help. The father’s heart broke to see his child in torment. He needed a miracle. He’d asked the disciples, but they failed. So, he turned to Jesus.
He asked Jesus to help if He could. Jesus zeroed in on the “if” and heard the truth behind it. The man’s despair had brought doubt. Jesus told him, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (verse 23). The question the father needed to answer was “Do you believe?”
His response was immediate: “I do believe.” But then he added, “help me overcome my unbelief.”
The father’s honesty should encourage us. Jesus wants us to have faith and trust Him, but all the work doesn’t rest on our shoulders. We don’t have to put on perfect faces when we come to Jesus. We don’t have to pretend to have it all together.
We can be honest and tell Jesus when we struggle with believing fully. When we pray for increased faith, Jesus hears our words—and the heart behind them—and gives us the strength we need. He’ll help us overcome our unbelief.
Dawn Tolbert, a contributing writer to Wholly Loved’s devotional project, is a Christ-follower who writes to honor God, thank Him for His goodness, and encourage readers by sharing her faith journey. She works in higher education public relations and is writing her first novel and her first book-length Bible study. She has earned a B.A. in Communication Studies and English (Gardner-Webb College), a M.A. in Professional Writing (Kennesaw State University), and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership (Union University). She and her husband, Larry, live in Cedartown, Georgia, and serve actively in their church. Dawn blogs at dawntolbert.com.
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