I’ve always been intrigued and moved by the passionate honesty of the father in Mark 9. It happened just after the wonder of the Transfiguration. Jesus, along with Peter, James and John comes down off the mountain from that amazing event to find a father, a young boy, and the other disciples locked in a heated discussion. The father had brought the boy, who was troubled by an evil spirit, to the disciples for healing. They failed in their attempts at healing.

When the evil spirit in the boy came into Jesus’ presence it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. The troubled father cries to Jesus, “…if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” (v.22) Surprised, Jesus responds, “ ‘If you can’? Everything is possible for him who believes.” (v.23) The exasperated father cries out in one of the most honest human replies in all of Scripture, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (v.24)

So honest! We can truly be “believers” believing that Jesus Christ is our risen Lord and Savior, and yet … and yet, struggle with doubts as to whether Jesus can help with some of our deepest problems. But my dear friends, that is a dangerous place to be!

Charles Spurgeon said it so well, “…by its nature unbelief is so venomous that those who exercise it, and those upon whom it is exercised, are both hurt by it. … Away then with the lying traitor of unbelief, for his only purpose is to cut the bonds of fellowship with our Savior and then cause us to mourn the lack of His visible presence.”

Do you ever lament the conditions of evil in our world, nation and churches? Unbelief, even among professing Christians, puts up a barrier to God’s movement.

In Matthew 13 Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth. Matthew records, “And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matthew 13:58) Be clear, this isn’t because Jesus didn’t have the power! It is because unbelief places a barrier between us and the Lord!

Can your loved one be healed from their illness or addiction? Believe! Can your family financial mess find a solution? Believe! Can that broken relationship be reconciled? Believe! Can the unsaved loved one come to saving faith? Believe! Can your small church grow? Believe! Can the Lord use you in ministry and mission? Believe!

Both Old & New Testaments affirm it repeatedly!

“Oh, Lord GOD! Behold, You Yourself have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.” (Jeremiah 32:17 NASB)

“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27 NIV)

Dear ones, let’s be completely honest with the Lord when huge, seemingly insurmountable problems stand before us. “I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!”


Larry Dentler, CBC Executive Board member