Posts Tagged ‘Help Thou my unbelief’

I was looking for a particular devotional and ran across this one. I don’t happen to be dealing with this and this point – but I do so often that the words always ring true.

I decided to share it because someone may need it today… but I hope not.

Faith and Fear

It has been said that “faith and fear cannot live in the same body…” But I know from first hand experience – they can, and often do.

The first time I was acutely aware of this was in June 2003, when our older son was lying near death in the hospital. (For you parents of adult or near-adult children, he was 21 at the time.)

I cried out to God, “Lord I KNOW you can heal him… but is it Your will?” I cried, “Lord, I believe…” and the well-known conclusion of that verse tumbled out, “help Thou my unbelief…”

I’ve said before that I know lots of scripture – I just don’t always know “chapter and verse.” Well, after Joe was healed and home from the hospital, one day I looked up that verse (Mark 9:24) and found that when it was said, the man was speaking in reference to the healing of his child.

A parent and a child… is there any more helpless feeling than to have your child hurting or ill? No matter how old they are, they are still your child. (I’m sure our parents felt that way… perhaps we just never knew it – as our children don’t know it… yet.)

There may be many times when “faith and fear” both take up residence in our hearts, but in instances concerning our children, they are most difficult.

There is that gut-wrenching fear coupled with a breathless anticipation of God’s deliverance; the “I know He can deliver; I know He will deliver; but how, and how long?”

How can both of these feelings exist at once? I don’t know… I just know that they do.

Lord, I believe… help Thou my unbelief…

One ancient commentary said (to paraphrase the 19th Century English) “Only the man’s faith could have revealed the faithlessness in his heart.”

Only our faith can reveal the unfounded power of our fear. Does that remove the fear? No – well, at least in my case it doesn’t. But what it does do is show me that fear has no authority in my life.

I mentioned to my pastor that during a time like this my heart said, “Faith”, but my stomach still wanted to go outside and throw up. His priceless reply was, “Listen to your heart – your stomach doesn’t know any better!”


As I was praying the other day, I started to end with a “thank You for Your great blessings” when I heard “you can’t thank Him yet… He hasn’t answered this prayer!”

To which I replied, “Father, I thank You for the things I cannot see, the answers I do not hear, and the blessings that are yet to come.”

Verse 13 of Hebrews 11 – that great “Faith” chapter – says (The Message) “Each one of these people of faith (O.T. Saints) died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world.”

And so are we… “Lord I believe… help Thou my unbelief!”

In Jesus’ Name – Amen.


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