Today’s Scripture: And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? Mark 4:37‑38
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. Mark 9:23‑25
Here we find two situations where the common denominator was doubt. The disciples were caught in the middle of a fierce storm that threatened their very lives. The father had a son that was possessed by a demon– a demon which the disciples were unable to cast out of the child and which constantly threatened the son’s life. Both situations looked hopeless, and all involved were struggling to believe the promises of God.
But whereas Jesus Christ rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith, no such accusation is brought against the struggling father. Why is that? Mark 9:24 gives us an answer. The father understood that his doubt was an obstacle to be overcome and not a reason to attack God.
The disciples didn’t understand this principle. Their doubt and unbelief prompted them to make a false accusation against the goodness and character of God. This compounded their sin and put them in a very precarious situation.
The father of this demon-possessed son recognized that doubt was his own shortcoming and not God’s. He understood that God could still resolve his situation, and asked God to help him overcome his unbelief and doubt. God then worked through his situation and resolved the difficulty.
God understands that we are human, and as human beings, we will struggle with the Christian life. God is always willing to help us and encourage us. Often times, we neglect His comfort because we refuse to first admit our shortcoming of unbelief. Hiding our doubt doesn’t accomplish anything but instead harms our relationship with God.
We all need to be more honest with God. Rather than bottling up our doubts and fears until they explode into false accusations against God, we should take our concerns to God in prayer with the understanding that God is always good and great. We need to ask God to strengthen and reassure our faith so that the doubt ceases and we can know peace again. God will honor our request and give us exactly what we need to trust Him more.
Devotional by Pastor C.J. Armstrong