Luke chapter 9 details a story of Jesus healing a little boy who was being tormented by a demon. The disciples had tried and failed to heal him, so you can probably imagine the desperation of the boy’s father. What follows is a powerful exchange between the father and Jesus: “All things are possible to him who believes,” Jesus says to this father. “I DO believe. Help my unbelief,” the father responds (Mark 9: 23-24, emphasis added).
I love this passage. I love the raw, vulnerability seen in the father’s expression of faith. So what’s happening here? Jesus is telling us that to be a follower of God is to recognize that ALL THINGS are possible for those who believe, for those who have faith. Does that mean that God answers every single prayer in the exact way that we imagined? No. Because He’s a loving Father, He’s not always going to give us exactly what we want. Does that mean that a person will be healed IF we have enough faith? No, because that’s not how God works in His ultimate sovereign plan. And yet, Jesus says that ALL THINGS are possible for those who believe.
The father in this story showed up because he believed in the power of Jesus, and yet he wasn’t completely sure that anything would happen. The problem was so big. It was so overwhelming and his honesty in that moment with Jesus was so real. As Jesus said, God is always powerful and yet it’s prayer, it’s faith that activates God’s mighty power.
So does God still heal and perform miracles? Does He answer prayers? Absolutely! And while our faith might waver between confidence and uncertainty, we can confidently go before God and pour out our hopes, fears, and disappointments. And when we face seasons of doubt, continue to show up and ask God to help our unbelief.
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