I Believe but Help Me with My Unbelief!
By Pastor Dr. Shana Wise
I believe that all of us have experienced the title of this message at some point in our life. Many of us are experiencing this right now. That phrase that comes to my mind as it relates to this topic is too, “hope against Hope” (Romans 4:18). For some of us, we have been walking with Jesus for a long time, but life’s hardships have a way of testing our faith in ways we could have never imagined. There are times where our faith will be tested to the point beyond our natural abilities, and we find ourselves pressing into the supernatural. Yet, what about the times when we have been believing God for a long time and it seems like nothing is happening or changing? Or maybe, it seems like the more we pray about a certain situation, the worse it seems to become? Let us examine this passage of scripture that will give us hope, clarity, and instructions during the difficult times that we face in life.
Mark 9:14-29 KJV
14 And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.
· Jesus was coming back from His transfiguration on the Mount when he saw the crowd surrounding some of the disciples. The scribes were questioning them, some versions say that they were arguing amongst themselves. A man had brought his son to them to be healed, and they were unable to heal him.
· Here is a prime example of how the church people can become ineffective in ministry. Whenever we allow other people, in the crowd, to shift our focus from the Kingdom, it hinders the work of the ministry. When we allow others to get us not to be on one accord, it hinders the ministry. Wherever there is discord and division amongst the believers, it hinders others from getting delivered from the works of the enemy.
15 And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.16 And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; 18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
· The father explained his situation in detail to Jesus. He told Jesus that he went to his disciples, but they could not help him.
· How many times have people came to the church to get help, and did not receive any results or relief? Or maybe you have sought help from others in the faith and they did not have an answer or solution for you? How did you feel?
· Thank goodness the man went directly to Jesus and pleaded his case!
19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
· When Jesus asks this question or any question that God poses to us, he is not asking for an answer, he is asking for a response.
· Jesus is still posing these questions today. We have only so much time left here on earth; God still expects us to represent the Kingdom by getting results. Jesus expects his disciples to produce fruit and part of bearing fruit is to demonstrate the supernatural power of the Kingdom of God to the unbelievers of the world. He has given of power and authority to heal and cast out demons, but how often do we exercise our right to do so (Mat. 10:1)?
21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.25
· There are things in our life that we have been dealing with for so long without anything changing, that when we are standing right in the presence of help, it is hard for us to receive and/or believe it. When the father pleaded to Jesus to help his son he stated, ““if” you can do anything”. How many times have we partially believed God, because we have not been getting any results or relief from our situation? For some of us, maybe the situation has made us become hopeless or has broken our spirit.
· By the time this man got in the presence of Jesus, his mindset was “maybe he can do something”. He came to him with little or no expectation.
· His son was possessed by a demon since he was a child. The father had gotten used to “managing” the demon residing in his son. A demon is a fallen angel that is always looking for a human body to use for evil purposes. This demon was trying to kill the young man by throwing him in fires and water.
· The enemy likes to come and attack our faith in God. He wants our attention to be more focused on the problem than the problem fixer. Satan aims to discourage us, make us feel hopeless and defeated, and not believe or see God for who He is. Yet, the devil is a liar and there is no truth in him!
· The father cried out to Jesus from the depth of his soul, “I believe but help me with my unbelief!” Once again Jesus was not looking for a response but an answer when he questioned the father. This leads me to believe that our situation may not be changing because God is waiting on us to respond from the depth of our souls to believe Him.
· God wants us to believe Him despite how long we have been suffering through a specific situation. He wants us to “hope against Hope”. God wants us to understand that even demons do not have any power over Him or us. He wants us to see beyond our current situation and see Him working things out for our good. He wants us to trust Him despite the people who may have let us down.
· What problem(s) are you facing today that you need to believe God for? What thing has shaken your faith in God? Do you believe that God can still fix it?
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
· Jesus was able to call out the demon by its name: dumb and deaf spirit. The demon had to obey Jesus because Jesus is Lord over all things. The lesson we can learn from Jesus rebuking the spirit is that we need to be able to identify which messenger of Satan is attacking us or our loved ones. We need to speak over it with the power and authority that God has given us.
· Notice that the son's healing did not happen until the father cried out to Jesus about his unbelief. The father’s response in faith to Jesus brought forth deliverance for his son.
· When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon, Jesus responded that they needed to fast and pray. I believe Jesus told them that because like the son’s father, their focus was off. Prayer and fasting will keep us sensitive to the Holy Spirit. It will cause us to be on one accord with each other, call out demons by their name, and not get caught off guard by the “crowd”. The disciples could have cast the demon out of the young man, but they did not see that the young man’s healing was connected to the father’s response of faith.
· I challenge us this week to pinpoint the things that have shaken our faith in God. While we are fasting, let us have the spirit of expectation, anticipating God to respond supernaturally to our prayer request.
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About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, The Impact of Your Election, and co-author of Basic Ministry Training Manual (available on Amazon) and Chief Women Arise. She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets. Shana is married to Deacon Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.
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