I believe! Help my unbelief! I wish those words—those polar opposite words—weren’t reflective of my own experience with faith. How can both be true? The footnote in my Bible says, “Since faith is never perfect, belief and unbelief are often mixed.” I find that comforting to my schizophrenic spirit.
When the father described in Mark 9 came to Jesus on behalf of his demon-possessed son, he asked him for the help Jesus’ disciples had been unable to deliver. The disciples appeared to be as baffled as the father over their lack of power so they asked Jesus basically what went wrong. His answer was simple (and simple answers are always the best): “This kind can come out only by prayer” (Mark 9:29). Isn’t that what they were doing?
Evidently, their faith needed some adjustment. Maybe they were taking faith for granted. It worked before, so it should work now. Maybe they forgot that the authority of God—not their prayers—was the source of their power. Maybe like the father, they were being forced to recognize that unbelief tainted their belief.
All too often I think we succumb to discouragement when we feel our prayers ascend no further than the ceiling. The mountain didn’t move so we’re tempted to settle into a faith that if not attended to won’t even move an anthill. This incident illustrates the importance of not letting that happen.
The key lies in not viewing our faith—especially when it falters—as a finished product. Jesus answered that father’s plea to help him overcome his unbelief and his son was restored. The disciples also allowed their faith to be altered, remodeled. History records they continued on with a faith that changed the world.
Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes” (verse 23). If we hope to attain such confidence let’s ask the Master’s Faith Construction and Remodeling company to keep working on us, to change, modify, alter, and construct our beliefs into a living, vibrant faith. One that’s not so double-minded….