Lord, Help Me Overcome Unbelief
We talked about following Jesus as a race in which at times you truly progress; however, sometimes you feel as though you are moving backward. It’s easy to believe when things go well in your life, when you have “mountain top” experiences; when you feel closer to God; however, it is in the valley moments, those times when you are not in control that we tend to doubt God; for some it is during trials, suffering and turmoil that they question God. I think is safe to say that the majority of us at one time or another have struggled with trusting God wholeheartedly; perhaps you are truly wrestling right now with doubts and unbelief. How can you overcome these struggles?
Jesus takes Peter, James and John to a mountain and there Jesus showed them his glory. These three disciples literally had a mountain top experience. Jesus showed them something that the rest of the disciples didn’t get to see. This is called transfiguration (transformation). Jesus appearance changed and shone like the sun. Then Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Jesus. Peter, John and James were speechless. Peter didn’t want to go home. It was an awesome experience these three apostles lived that day. Jesus told them not to tell anyone what they saw until he had risen from the dead.
Meanwhile, when they come down, the other apostles were arguing with the teachers of the law (religious people).(v.14)
Jesus asked what the argument was about. Al arge crowd gathered around Jesus and a desperate father came to Jesus seeking help.
–The father had a son who was tormented by an evil spirit.
-The disciples could not cast out the demon (v18)
-Jesus reprimand the disciples (v.19) And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” ESV
You faithless people (NLT)
How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.
Jesus’ interaction with the father of the boy (21-25)
How long has he been like this?
Jesus if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us. How often we approach God like this, God if you can, have mercy on us. This is obviously a prayer uttered by someone who doesn’t really know Jesus.
We know that Jesus always admired people’s faith and many of the miracles he performed were a reward for their faith. “Your faith has healed you”
Here is the opposite, this man doesn’t have much faith. You can tell in his request “But if you can have pity on us and help us.”
Jesus said “If you can?”(v.23)
Everything thing is possible for him who believes.
The boy’s father said: I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief (NIV). Help my unbelief (my faithlessness, distrust)
Perhaps this is where you are; you struggle with your faith, with truly believing in Jesus.
You do have faith, but you are asking God to help you overcome distrust, unbelief.
Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and gave the boy back to his father.(25)
The disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out the evil spirit. Jesus said that that particular kind comes out only by prayer. (v.29). Some manuscripts say prayer and fasting.
If you can relate to the statement of the father. “Lord I do believe, help my unbelief”
How can you overcome your unbelief?
-Unbelief can keep you from seeing God’s power at work in your life. People forfeited God’s miracles due to their lack of faith.
-unbelief steals peace in times of trouble.
How do you overcome it?
-Get to know Jesus better. This man had trust issues or faithless issues because he didn’t know Jesus very well.
–Get exposed to God’s word, read it, study, memorize it. (Rom.10:17) Faith comes from hearing. Faith is the opposite of unbelief. IF faith comes from hearing God’s word, then faithless attitude, unbelief will birth in you when you stop hearing God’s word. It is in God’s word that we know that our God is able to do more than we can even think or imagine. He is able; he can do it!
The more you know Jesus, the more you will trust him and overcome doubts, distrust in your life.