A Guy Who “Sort of” Believed
• He was desperate to find help for his son.
“A man in the crowd answered, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech’” (Mark 9:17).
o The father was desperate: “I beg you to look at my son” (Luke 9:38).
o The boy was his “only child” (Luke 9:38).
o The evil spirit was “destroying him” (Luke 9:39).
• He wanted to believe that his son could be healed, but he doubted.
“Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?’ ‘From childhood,’ he answered. ‘It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us’” (Mark 9:21-22).
o Sometimes we doubt God’s CAPABILITY: “If you can do anything” (Mark 9:22).
o Sometimes we doubt God’s CONSENT: “If you are willing, you can make me clean” (Mark 1:40).
o Sometimes we doubt God’s COMPASSION: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38).
Why Do Many of Us Doubt?
• God doesn’t DO what we WOULD do.
If the boy’s father was God, he would have healed his son long ago.
• We’ve tried things that DIDN’T WORK.
“I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not” (Mark 9:18).
• Many people around us express DOUBTS.
Diluted, Polluted, Partial, Faltering Faith
“‘But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ ‘“If you can”?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:22b-24).
What should you do when you have doubts?
1. Be HONEST about your faith struggles.
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
There were three kinds of faith:
• There is STRUGGLING faith, like a man in deep water desperately swimming.
• There is CLINGING faith, like a man hanging to the side of a boat.
• There is RESTING faith, like a man safely within the boat and able to reach out and help others get in.
Many people experience all three kinds of faith and move back and forth between them.
2. Don’t expect EASY answers.
There are not “seven simple steps” to increasing your faith.
3. ACT on the faith you have.
The father’s faith wasn’t perfect. But is our faith ever perfect?
Real, Committed, Deep, Sincere Faith
“‘If you can’?”: It is as though Jesus said, “Think about those words—‘if you can.’” (KJV – “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” The oldest manuscripts omit “believe.”)
“Everything is possible for him who believes”: This statement does not mean that faith can accomplish anything but that those who have faith will set no limits to the power of God.
Two great statements of faith:
• “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king” (Daniel 3:17).
• “But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:18).
Will you pray: “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief”?
“I Doubt God Will Help Me”