“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
Mark 9:23, 24
This father was in a desperate strait. His son was demon possessed. The devil was mercilessly tormenting the boy. More than once, his son had tried to take his own life, casting himself into the fire and into the water, as the enemy attempted to destroy him.
Nothing troubles a parent like seeing his children sick or helpless. The father had brought the son to the disciples, but they were not able to cast the devil out. The father pleaded with Jesus to have compassion on them and help them. The reply of Jesus is recorded in the two Scriptures that are before us. Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Let’s put ourselves in the dad’s place. Since he was a child, this boy had been plagued with this problem. Nothing seemed to help. Even the disciples were not able to cure the boy of his dreadful condition. Now Jesus was telling the father that the deliverance of his son depended on his personal faith.
This father desperately needed a miracle. “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” He knew God was able, but He also knew that his faith was not perfect. A few verses later, we find that Jesus cast out the devil and marvelously healed the son.
There are two lessons in our text that we would do well to consider. We see that God works in our lives as we believe Him and trust Him. There is a direct connection between our faith and God’s intervention in the affairs of our lives. For this reason, it is of supreme importance that we nurture our faith and learn to consistently depend on God. We know that our faith is directly strengthened by the Word of God. We are to live by faith, work by faith, and walk by faith.
Another thing we learn from our story is that one’s faith must not be perfect in order for God to hear and answer. As a matter of fact, the most important thing in our prayer life is not the purity of our faith, but the object of our faith. It is not a perfect faith that God honors, but a sincere faith in our perfect God and His perfect Word. God is caring and merciful and will show Himself strong as we trust Him.