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