Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 223/260: The Father of the Possessed Boy

Read Mark 9:14-29

Help My Unbelief!

The disciples faced a challenge in the healing of a child possessed with a mute spirit. This spirit caused the boy to have seizures, foam at the mouth, gnash his teeth, and become rigid. The boy’s father sought help from the disciples, but they were unable to cast the spirit out.

Enter Jesus. The man complained that the disciples had failed, then pleads, “But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” (Mark 9:22). When no one else could help, he turned to the Lord.

How often do we seek help from others before turning to God? How often do we consult the philosophies of man without consulting the God who gives wisdom to all who ask? We have trouble in our relationships and we run to some therapist who has no grounding in the truth, but rather gives worldly advice, and we wonder why our problems remain unsolved.

Let’s be clear: therapists have their place especially those rooted in Christian principles. They can be extremely helpful to those in need, and their expertise should not be minimized. But if we are not putting in some work outside the therapist’s office by seeking help from God’s Word, the hours we spend with that professional will not reach their potential.

No matter who you turn to for help, you should put forth some effort yourself by comparing their advice to God’s advice and making sure they are in agreement. Hearing the same advice in two different ways can help our understanding.

What the man in this text faced was a problem of faith. Jesus lamented, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” (Mark 9:19). There was a problem with the heart of the people, with a lack of trust in the Almighty. So when the man said, “If You can,” Jesus responded, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23).

Do you believe, or do you doubt? Perhaps you answered yes to both parts of that question. Perhaps you, like the father of the possessed boy, need to pray, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

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