Mark 9:24 (NKJV) “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Most of is have read and/or heard sermons about this scripture many times. The scene was after Jesus, Peter, James, and John came down from the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:1-13). Just to refresh your memory the father here has a son who was possessed by a demon that caused him to be deaf and mute. The man had asked Jesus’ disciples to heal the boy but they had been unable to do it. The father then asked Jesus to cast the demon out and Jesus said;
Mark 9:23 (NKJV) 23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
The verse at the beginning of this post is the father’s response. What he was saying is I do believe, or I have faith but not enough, but please increase my faith.
This father, like many of us, did believe but he was also aware, as we are at times, that we struggle with our desire to believe and trust. We often have to cry out "Lord increase my faith". Our lack of faith isn’t a refusal to believe, it is a weakness we can’t deal with ourselves, so we need to ask for help. We ask for and need help but, we can do some things ourselves, too to increase our faith. After all the word help implies that we do something. It doesn’t mean anything if we ask for help and then do nothing ourselves.
At those times we feel that we are wavering and we need to cry out Lord increase my faith, here are 3 things that will help.
Think about the character of God
Romans 5:8 (NKJV) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Isaiah 40:28 (NKJV) 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
Isaiah 43:1-3 (NKJV) 1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
1 John 1:5 (NKJV) 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
James 1:17 (NKJV) 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
I could go on and on but God’s character and attributes are throughout the scriptures seek them out as you work to increase your faith.
Look at who God is
• HE IS SOVEREIGN – He reigns over everyone and everything and has never been stressed out.
• HE IS UNSTOPPABLE – and so are those who follow Him.
• HE IS HOLY – God is perfect, which means everything He wants/desires for my life is far greater than anything I could have thought of.
• HE IS CONSISTENT – I don’t have to worry about Him being in a bad mood.
• HE IS GREATER - than any temptation the enemy throws my way.
• HE IS BETTER - than anything the world has to offer.
• HE IS BIGGER – than any sin or failure in my life.
• HE IS GRACIOUS – He knows every stupid, foolish, sinful thing I’ve ever done (or will do), and yet He loves me anyway!
• HE IS ALWAYS – here with me — God has NEVER walked away from me. He doesn’t always deliver me from the fire, but He has ALWAYS – walked with me through it!
• HE IS FAITHFUL – If I fail to see His faithfulness in my past, I will probably not recognize the fruitfulness of my future.
• HE IS THE ONE WHO PURSUES ME – He pursues me even on the days I tend to walk away from Him.
• HE IS RELENTLESS - He has NEVER given up on me!
• HE IS PASSIONATE – His passion and zeal that the scriptures reveal cause me to be in AWE.
*From The Overwhelmed Challenge Devotional by Perry Noble, senior pastor of New Spring Church,
Think back to those past times when you felt there was no hope and you couldn't see your way out and you cried out the the Lord. Remember that He did deliver you. You survived because of your faith in God. If He did it then, and for me it’s been several times, He will do it again and again.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (HCSB) Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Joshua 1:5 (HCSB) No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.
1 Samuel 12:22 (NKJV) For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. to make you His people.
Hebrews 13:5-6 (HCSB) 5 Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. 6 Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Times come when we feel that we are at the end of our rope and we know that we trust and have faith in God. Often though in those stressful times our faith becomes week and we cry out "Lord help my unbelief"! When those times come think about something that David did.
In 1 Samuel 30:1-6 we learn that David’s men were considering stoning him because their families had been taken captive while they were out following David in battle. The scripture says that David was very depressed, as we often get when facing daunting situations, but even while he was depressed he encouraged himself in the Lord.
1 Samuel 30:1-6 (KJV)1 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.5 And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
We can encourage ourselves in the Lord by doing the 3 things listed above add to them prayer and supplication with thanksgiving letting our requests be made known unto God.
Here are some books that may help you if you are struggling with doubts and uncertainties about your Christian faith.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.