By Pastor Ted R. House
Have you ever struggled between belief and unbelief? Let us look at Mark 9:14-29, "And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him, saluted him. And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him; and he foameth and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away; and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out, and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed, foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."
In Matthew 17:20, Jesus tells the same story with a little more information. When His disciples asked why they could not cast out the spirit, Jesus answered them: "Because of your unbelief..." Unbelief can hinder our prayers. The father struggled with his unbelief, but obviously his belief won out! Jesus saw this and kept His promise. He healed this man's son. Jesus was able to perform this miracle because this man chose to believe. He cried out with tears: "...Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Jesus said: "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." Folks, belief is a choice. God's promises are based on our belief. Throughout the Scriptures, God gives us these kinds of promises. In John 14:14 He said: "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." In Matthew 7:7 He said: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you".
Over and over Jesus tells us that we need to ask and, He will keep His promises. Jesus told this father, “If thou canst believe”! In James 1:6-7 it says: "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." Do we still believe in a miracle working God? There is power in belief! The Bible says: "...Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established...". If we will only trust and believe in the Lord our God, we will not only be established but we will also prosper spiritually. Psalm 27:13 says: "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." God is good! We can pray for the Lord to increase our faith. The father in Mark 9 prayed for increased faith so did the apostles! (Luke 17:5)