Wavering Faith – Mark 9:20-24

“And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘“If you can”! All things are possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’” Mark 9:20-24

This interaction between Jesus and the boy’s father can give so much hope to us when our faith is wavering. When we desperately want to believe that God is good and that He can do all things, that He is able to do abundantly more than we can even imagine, but just can’t seem to grasp that truth in the depths of our heart. We fight with doubt and fear, and then wonder whether or not God will hear us when we are caught in this weakness.

Upon hearing Jesus’ statement that all things are possible for one who believes, the man doesn’t claim greater faith than he feels. And he doesn’t give up all hope at those words, knowing there is unbelief in his heart. Instead, he immediately cries out for help. Not just help for his son, but help for the faith needed to make healing possible. And at his cry, “I believe; help my unbelief!”, Jesus heals the boy. This man’s faith was wavering. But it was enough. His cry was enough.

Our cry is enough. In those moments, whatever our circumstance looks like, when our faith wavers. Because it isn’t about us and how much faith we can muster. It’s about our God and how faithful He is when we look to Him. The gospel of Matthew also records this miracle. In Matthew’s account, Jesus tells His disciples, “if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). Because it is God’s power that moves the mountain, not the size of our faith.

So whatever small measure of faith we have, let us cling to it. And let us cry out to our God to help us. So that we will be strengthened in the faith that our Lord surrounds us as the mountains surround Jerusalem, with strength, power, steadfast love and faithfulness. Faith that He never leaves us. Faith that He sees us. Faith that He can accomplish everything and that He will fulfill His every purpose for our lives. Faith that those purposes are full of His goodness and mercy which follow us every day. Faith that the blood that Jesus shed on the cross covers all our sin and we are no longer condemned, that we are free and can run in His paths of righteousness, rejoicing in abundant life. Faith that we are being renewed day by day and are not the same person we were yesterday. Faith that whatever God calls us to, He will equip us for. Faith that we walk in His strength and He will not fail us.

Jesus will hear our cry. And it will be enough. Because while our faith may waver, His faithfulness never will.

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