I know we all believe. How many of us are willing to admit our unbelief? In Mark 9:24, the father of the demon-possessed boy did exactly that. “I believe, help my unbelief.” That seems a paradox, but it accurately describes where most of us are.
Think about it. If, as II Peter 1:5, 8 says, we must increase our faith, then there is still some unbelief in each and every one of us. That doesn’t mean we are lost, it just means we have to grow our faith.
The point is not really about how much we believe in God’s existence. I think that is pretty much a yes or no question. Either we do or we don’t. The issue is more about whether we actually believe Him. Do we believe His way really works? Do we believe He really has our best interests at heart? Do we believe Him so much we are willing to simply do what He says without modifying it with our desires and designs?
The New Testament is filled with teachings against sins, flaws and defects. It says we should get rid of resentment and bitterness (Ephesians 4:31). It says we should not pursue vengeance (Romans 12:18-19). It says we should turn the other cheek when someone slaps us (Matthew 5:39). It says wives should not separate from theirs husbands and husbands should not divorce their wives (I Corinthians 7:10-11). It says we should pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). It says we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25). It says we should seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33). It says we should not let the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4:26). It says we should let no corrupting talk come out of our mouth (Ephesians 4:29). It says so much more.
Do we really believe all this? If so, why do we let corrupt talk come out of our mouths? Why do we hold grudges, resentments and bitterness against our spouses? Why do we miss assemblies or part of the assemblies for recreation and entertainment? Why do we seek to get even? Again, this list could go on.
We need to come to grips that in those moments when we violate these passages, we are essentially saying, “God, I don’t believe you. I know what you have said, but I think I have a better way.” I have done it time and again. I know you have as well. The point is not to compare notes to see which of us is better and who believes more. The point is for each of us to realize we are just like the man in Mark 9:24. Yes, we believe. But we have unbelief. There is only one place to turn to fix that. Turn to the Lord. Can you cry out to God, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief”?