Unbelieving Belief

Journal Entry // February 26, 2022

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Mark 9:24 ESV

I really love the sections of the gospels that give us a glimpse at the many varied encounters that people had with Jesus. These little snippets of conversations that provide so much insight into the heart of Jesus and reflect the attitude and tendencies of my own heart. The honest humble response of this man is truly amazing. It comes across in a quick read through as a bit nonsensical and so I tend to just take it in without much questioning. But really this tiny phrase speaks volumes about the state of my heart as I live this life of faith.

I was preparing a lesson last week from the book, Pursuit of Holiness. This quote from chapter 7 has stuck with me, “We somehow feel that consent to the teaching of scripture is equivalent to obedience.” Or as this man in the passage responds to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief.” There seems to be this disconnect between our mind and our heart at times and it can all seem so tragically wrong and concerning.

How often do I know the truth of God’s word as it is revealed to me through his Spirit, yet when it comes time live it out I act as though I don’t believe that truth? There’s belief met with unbelief. I want to believe the truth of God’s word, but my heart keeps leaning back on those old patterns of sin – pride and arrogance. The Bible continually shows me the path is paved in humility, but I still want what I want when I want it. If God doesn’t provide exactly what I pray for or request or desire, then I grumble and complain. Humility does not naturally flow out of my heart and into my words and actions.

So, there’s just a simple plea. The cry of a desperate father wanting to see the God of the universe moved to compassion, “help my unbelief.” There is no blame shifting. There is no grumbling. There are no excuses. There is only gentle humility as he gazes at his now exposed heart. This is what I want and need in my life. Honest, open, humility before God and everyone around me.

Humility, compassion, and gentleness is what is needed from me in this world. I want to bring judgement, harshness, and rebuke when I see wrong. I feel like I have to be the one to bring correction and save the person or the situation. In reality, Jesus wants me to first be filled with humility, compassion, and gentleness. A kind heart that is in tune with the Father. For it is only then that I can rightly see that person or situation as God sees it. It is only then that I can see my heart as it truly is in the eyes of the Lord. It is only then that I will truly understand that God is the one to bring change and healing to my broken life and this broken world.

The key to belief… Moving it from my head to my heart and this is only accomplished through humbleness and gentleness. Seeing my actions more attuned to faith each and every day. Confessing and repenting continually as I honestly review my heart. Seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness above all things. Loving God with all my heart, soul mind, and strength.

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