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Before we actually get into knowing the way to overcome unbelief let us look at an instance from the NT. Refer to Mark 9: 14-21 for the full knowledge of the instance.
We clearly see how distressed the man was on seeing his son’s situation. He had first approached the disciples but they had failed and he rushed to Jesus for deliverance. He narrates to Jesus how the evil spirit had taken control over his son and all the terrible problems it had caused. And their conversation is like this.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”. “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “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.”23
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
In this post, we will keep our focus more on the way the man had approached Jesus.
Often when we read about people who had approached Jesus for healing they stand as characters of faith. They have always approached Jesus in faith. But this man is not the same. Let’s see what’s in it for us.
In the passage mentioned above, we see in verse 22 the man says to Jesus ‘IF YOU CAN DO ANYTHING’. Well, this sounds more like doubting Jesus’ divine power. It’s a clear picture that the man’s approach was not based on faith.
If we completely read through the passage we see that Jesus heals the boy and rebukes the evil spirit. But did Jesus work in the man’s unbelief? No, he did not. Jesus made the man first realize his unbelief. We see it in verse 23 ‘EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR THE ONE WHO BELIEVES’. Upon being convicted about his unbelief the man cries out to Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief and the end result of the realization was his faith being built up and healing that came in his son’s body.
This man had seen his son suffer from his childhood, he had estimated the power of the evil spirit to be unbeatable because he had witnessed how badly it had tortured his son, while the disciples also could not rebuke this spirit he became hopeless and assumed there was nothing that could overpower it. No doubt he had quite some genuine reasons for his state of unbelief.
Many times in our lives as well we stand in the place of this man. We approach God with unbelief in our hearts. The complexity of our troubles, the duration for which we have suffered it, the implications it has made on us, and when the answers to our prayers are delayed – all these factors do affect the faith that we need to possess. And we get into the place of unbelief.
It is not getting into a state of unbelief that is a threat but it becomes a threat when we do not act upon overcoming it. Unbelief in a believer’s life often takes to a point of guilt. Rather than overcoming it, we tend to move into a zone of guilt and it makes it difficult for us to face God.
How then do we overcome unbelief? First of all, do not put yourself in the guilt of having unbelief, we all fall short of being perfect and that is why we need Jesus. Take it positively and bring it to God. It is not you who has put yourself in that phase but the situation that you are in. We see in verse 24 the man cries to Jesus ‘HELP ME OVERCOME MY UNBELIEF’. He prayed his short prayer and seeks God’s help to overcome his unbelief. That is all we have to do. Expose it to God and ask for His help to overcome it.
Deep down our hearts know that the God we worship is surely capable of bringing us out of any trouble. All we need to do is to gather our mind and speak to God about our situation and confess our unbelief and ask God to help us overcome it. And just like how the man in this passage received answers to his prayer so shall we receive it too !!
We need God everywhere, we even need Him to help us stay close to Him. Take it to the Lord in prayer 🙂