A Perspective on Faith
Recently, while reading Beth Moore’s “Portraits of Devotion” I came across a fresh look at the faith (or lack of faith) of a character in the Bible. I was amazed at how she carefully analyzed each key word the person used when speaking to Jesus. It caused me to stop and reflect upon how I word my prayers and, if analyzed, what those words would say about my faith at any given time. I hope by sharing this with you that it will give you a similar insight. Following is a recap of what Beth Moore said.
The story transpires within Mark 9:19-29. She explains Jesus’ “. . . disciples’ unbelief was their willingness to let the temperature of their faith rise and fall according to their surrounding dynamics rather than God’s steadfast Word.” Even though Jesus had empowered them to drive out demons, they could not accomplish it. She continues with the story of a father seeking Jesus’ help for his son who had been suffering tremendously since childhood. The father, after stating the boy’s condition, proceeds to say to Jesus, “But, if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22)
“But” – a way of expressing a tiny seed of faith, yet not as strong as the word “because” would have been.
“. . . if you can” – does not acknowledge that Christ can do all things.
“. . . do anything” – implies a limitation, whereas “everything” would have described Christ’s true ability.
Then the father went on to say “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” (v. 24) What an honest statement the father has made!
So, look at the difference between what the father said that showed a lack of true faith and what he could have said if his faith had been complete:
“But, if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“Because you can do everything, take pity on us and help us.”
As Beth Moore points out, the length and depth of defeat have absolutely no bearing on Christ’s ability to perform a miracle, and if we don’t have bold faith, we can ask boldly for the faith we lack (paraphrased). I think she really hit the nail on the head!
Written by Anne Chapman.