The prince of preachers, Charles Spurgeon , once said,
“Help my unbelief is something a man can only say by faith. While men have no faith, they are unconscious of their unbelief; but, as soon as they get a little faith, then they begin to be conscious of the greatness of their unbelief.”
Have you ever been, or are you currently in a situation so dire that you began to question your faith? Maybe it’s been a season of your life where it seems God hasn’t brought about a solution to your problems. Maybe it seems like He never will. It isn’t that you’ve questioned God’s ability to bring healing or a resolution to your difficulty. You know He can. But are you so weakened from the fight that sometimes you fail to believe that will, or that He even can? Sometimes we can get to a point so low where we just don’t know anymore.
The man with the demon possessed son had been living with the pain of watching his son, day after day, in wretched misery. The demon had thrown his son in to the fire and also had tried to drown him by throwing him into the water. The boy was no doubt disfigured and scarred from the burns he incurred from being thrown into the flames. It is doubtless that his little body was racked with pain. This man had likely prayed to God for weeks, months, or maybe years, with no answer. The torment continued. And continued. And continued. This was a father who was in agony over his child’s tragic predicament. He was no doubt exhausted physically and mentally. And when we are exhausted from a seemingly unending impossible circumstance, our faith can become weak. And when we are weak we can begin to doubt our own belief in what we know to be true. But when the man encountered Jesus face to face , he still had the strength to ask for help one more time.
Because here’s the good news, believing ones. As Charles Spurgeon said, if you are aware that your belief is hanging by a thread, it means that you DO have faith. And the more fires we are in, the more He refines and purifies us, removing the part of us that is weak. He continues to give us the faith we need to hang on for another day. Or another month. Or another year. And no matter the outcome of our trial, God will get the glory for seeing us through it. We may or may not get the answer we had prayed for. We may never receive healing or “have the demon cast out”. But if nothing else, our faith means that we belong to Him, and those who belong to Him will never be cast out from Him. He has us. If we don’t receive an end to our suffering here, we will find it there.
David Guzik’s commentary says,
“The poor father in this account was challenged by Jesus’ exhortation for faith. He did believe in Jesus’ power to deliver his boy – after all, why else would he have come to Jesus? But he also recognized his doubts. So, he tearfully plead with Jesus: Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! In this case, the man’s unbelief was not a rebellion against or a rejection of God’s promise. He did not deny God’s promise; he desired it. However, it just seemed too good to be true. Thus he said, “help my unbelief!“
When we come to Christ in our doubts, He is able to handle it. He didn’t chastise this hurting father. Jesus recognized that the man had faith enough to ask for his faith to be increased.
So when you are in the depths of a desperate circumstance, and you recognize that your faith is lacking, pray for Him to increase it! We have no guarantee of rescue from our trial, but He will give us what we need to endure it.
Remember, it takes having faith to recognize when it is weak.