Tuesday, 2 February 2021
Title: Help My Unbelief!
By: Pastor Isaac Yim

Mark 9:14-24

This passage of scripture records the mountain top experience of Peter, James and John witnessing the transfiguration of Jesus and seeing a display of His glory as God.  They witnessed Moses and Elijah and heard God affirm Jesus as His Son.  Now they are returning back to the valley. They found the rest of the disciples arguing with the Jewish scribes. The disciples were trying to deliver a young boy possessed by demon. All their efforts to exorcise the demon from the boy were futile. You can feel the confusion and disappointment of the disciples because they were not able to help this poor boy. At that moment Jesus arrived. The father of the boy cried out loudly, “Jesus, help my son – have mercy on us – help us, if you can.” “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe; but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24.)

I BELIEVE, HELP MY UNBELIEF

This is one of the most poignant verses of scripture in the Bible, and I believe all of us can identify with ourselves in our journey of faith. In my personal journey of faith, many times I was confronted with very tough situations that caused me to doubt, especially involving cross-cultural missions. Friends of Pastors International have carried out many micro-financing projects to help poor pastors and leaders in remote and restricted areas within our regions. In some of our projects we encountered betrayal of trust. Once trust had been betrayed, it will almost colour all subsequent decision-making related to that particular person or group. You want to believe, but doubt often creeps in.

I believe the father of the boy had strong faith to believe that Jesus would be able to heal his epileptic son. This father cried out with great passion to Jesus for help. The word “help” in the original language means “bring aid to” or “comfort”. He knew as a father he would do anything for his son. The disciples may have failed to cure the son but he still believed Jesus, with the heart of a loving father, would reach out with authority and compassion to heal his son.

In the past, we thank God we had enjoyed a pretty good life in Malaysia. Things have changed so drastically under the Covid-19 pandemic locally and globally. Things will never be the same again. It is so much easier to trust and believe God when everything runs smoothly. It is rather difficult to believe when times are filled with troubles and uncertainty.

LORD, I BELIEVE, HELP MY UNBELIEF.

We may have weak faith but we have a strong Saviour. Charles Spurgeon put it beautifully when he said, “There is the sun; I do not know how many thousands of times the sun is bigger than the earth, and yet the sun can come into a little room. And what is more, the sun can get in through a chink. So Christ can come in through a little faith, a mere chink of confidence.”

Spurgeon captured this very essence of our cry for help, “Help my unbelief.” I believe all of us struggle with doubts and unbelief when our faith does not work as we hope. As a result, there is a deep struggle inside us to believe or disbelieve:

  • When we have been praying for the last 6 years, that our grandson Todd is able to walk and it does not look like God is doing anything.
  • When we pray that our marriage will patch up and move on, but after years of waiting, nothing is happening.
  • When we are dealing with chronic illness, and struggle to believe that God is good.
  • When we are dealing with a prodigal son or daughter; daily longing for him/her to return, but there is no sign of it at all.
  • When we wait for a new job opportunity literally for years, and continue waiting aimlessly.

In moments like these, we find ourselves caught in between faith and unbelief. Deep in our hearts, we know that God is a trustworthy God and He will help us in our predicament. We struggle in our hearts and our heads; we know God will answer us but we are not sure that He will.

And so we cry out to God, “I believe, help my unbelief!’

I have good news for all of us. JESUS LOVES TO RESPOND TO EVEN THE WEAKEST, AND THE MOST FEEBLE OF FAITH.  Like Spurgeon said, Christ can come into any situation, even when there’s just a little chink of faith.

Prayer for Today

O Lord, have mercy on me a man of little faith; please help my unbelief. Forgive me when I find it hard to let go and let You take control of all my life. Help me to willingly submit to Your will and totally trust You that You are more than able to handle all the things in my life. I thank You for still performing miracles; You still answer prayers. Lord, I do go through bouts of no confidence and uncertainty. In times like these. help me to come before Your throne of grace to pour out my hopes, fears and disappointments. For I know You will never forsake me nor leave me. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV)

Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Help My Unbelief! A Prayer God Loves To Answer! (By Stephen Altrogge)

每日灵粮
星期二, 2021年2月2日
标题:我信心不足,求帮助我!
作者:严以撒牧师
翻译:陈健萍姐妹

马可福音9:14-24

这段经文记载了彼得、雅各和约翰在山上的经历,他们见证了耶稣的变像,并目睹了祂作为上帝荣耀的展示;他们看见了摩西和以利亚,听到了上帝确认耶稣是祂的儿子。现在他们返回山下,他们看见其余的门徒在与犹太人的文士辩论。门徒们正试图救助一个被鬼附身的男孩,但他们所有赶鬼的努力都是徒劳的。您可以感受到门徒的困惑和失望,因为他们无法帮助这个可怜的男孩。就在那一刻,耶稣来到了。男孩的父亲大声喊道:“耶稣,救救我的儿子 – 怜悯我们 – 如果你能作什么,帮助我们吧。” “你说 ‘如果我能’ 是何解?” 耶稣问道。 “一个人只要相信,凡事都能。” 父亲立刻喊道:“我相信,但是帮助我克服我信心的不足!”【马可福音9:23-24】

我相信,帮助我信心的不足。

这是圣经中最凄美的经文之一,我相信我们所有人在信心之旅中都能认同。在我个人的信心之历程中,很多时候我都会遇到非常艰难的情况而让我产生了怀疑,特别是在涉及跨文化的使命上。“国际牧师之友” 开展了许多小额融资的计划,帮助我们区域内偏远和管制地区的贫困牧者和领袖。在我们的一些计划中,我们遇到了对信任的背叛。一旦信任被出卖了,它几乎会影响到与该特定个人或团体相关的所有后续决策。您想要相信,但怀疑常常悄悄潜入内心。

我相信这个男孩的父亲坚信耶稣能够治愈他患有癫痫的儿子。这位父亲抱着满怀激动之情向耶稣求助。 “帮助”一词在原文中的意思是 “带来帮助” 或 “安慰”。他知道身为一名父亲,他会为儿子做任何事。门徒可能没有治好儿子,但他仍然相信耶稣会怀着一位慈爱父亲的心肠,带着权威和怜悯去治愈他的儿子。

过去,我们感谢上帝,我们在马来西亚的日子过得相当好。在新冠肺炎大流行的影响下,本地和全球的情况都发生了急剧的变化。事情再也不会是原来的样子了。当一切顺利时,信靠与相信上帝就容易多了;当日子充满烦恼和不确定性时,要相信就相当困难了。

主啊,我相信,帮助我信心的不足。

我们可能信心软弱,但我们有一位刚强的救主。查尔斯·司布真说得很好,他说:“有太阳;我不知道太阳比地球大上多少千倍,但太阳却可以进入一个小房间。更重要的是,太阳可以通过缝隙进入。所以基督可以藉着一点点的信心,只是一点小小信心的缝隙进来。”

司布真道出了我们呼救的精髓:“帮助我信心的不足。” 我相信,当我们的信心没有像我们所希望地发挥果效时,我们每个人都会在与怀疑和不信中挣扎。因此,我们内心深处有一场关于相信或不相信的斗争:
~ 当我们为我们的孙子托德 (Todd) 祷告了6年,祈望他可以走路,看起来上帝并没有做什么的时候。
~ 当我们祈求我们的婚姻得以修复,继续进展;但经过多年的等待,什么也没有发生的时候。
~ 当我们面对长期的疾病,且努力地相信上帝是良善的时候。
~ 当我们处理一个浪荡的儿子或女儿的问题;每天都渴望他/她回来,但根本没有如是的迹象的时候。
~ 当我们等待新的工作机会,而且已经等了很多年了,仍继续漫无目的地等待着的时候。

在这样的时刻,我们发觉自己陷入了信和不信之间。在我们内心深处,我们知道上帝是值得信靠的上帝,祂会在我们的困境中帮助我们。我们在内心和头脑中挣扎;我们知道上帝会应允我们,但我们却不能确定。

因此我们向上帝呼求:“我相信,但我信心不足,求帮助我!”

我有个好消息要告诉大家。耶稣喜欢应允即使是最软弱、最微弱无力的信心。 正如司布真所言,基督可以进入任何情况,即使只有一丁点的信心的缝隙。

今天的祈祷

主阿,求祢怜悯我这小信的人,求祢帮助我信心的不足。当我难于松手让祢掌控我的一生之时,求祢赦免我。帮助我甘心乐意地顺服祢的旨意,并且完全信靠祢是绝对有能力处理我生命中的所有事情。我感谢祢仍在施行神迹奇事;祢仍然应允祈祷。主啊,我确实经历一回又一回的没有信心和不确定的战斗。在如此的时刻,求帮助我来到祢施恩的宝座前,向祢倾吐我的希望、恐惧和失望。因为我知道祢永远不会撇下我,也不会离弃我。“你求告我,我就应允你,并将你所不知道、又大又难的事指示你。”【耶利米书33:3】 (和合本)

谢谢祢,耶稣。阿们。

我信心不足,求帮助我!上帝喜欢应允的祈祷!(作者:斯蒂芬·阿尔特罗格)