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I have always appreciated the story of the desperate father who brought his son to Jesus. We get the idea from this story that this Dad had tried everything he could think of to help his boy, but nothing had worked.
This father heard about Jesus and he believed that Jesus could help them. We read that he brought his son to Jesus, but when he arrived, he found Jesus still on the mountain where He was transfigured, along with Peter, James, and John. The nine remaining disciples apparently tried to address this problem, but they were unsuccessful.
As Jesus and the three disciples came down the mountain, they found an argument in full boil. The teachers of the law were arguing with the disciples of Jesus. Apparently, each group had its own idea of how to help this demon-possessed boy.
Now, because of the failure of the disciples to bring relief, this father is experiencing creeping doubts about the original faith he had in Jesus. He says, “If You can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
Jesus replied, “‘If you can’? Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Then this man speaks the honest, but faith-filled words that I believe resonate with so many of us: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Read the full story in Mark 9:14-27.)
He was so wise to continue to come to Jesus even when he was plagued with doubt. His prayer was an honest, bold prayer. In essence, he was saying, “Jesus, I had initial faith in You. But the setback I experienced has caused me to doubt. I want to believe again that You can help me, but only You can rejuvenate my faith.”
Jesus loves to pray for our faith to be rejuvenated!
Knowing what Peter was about to encounter, Jesus told him, “I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32). Peter did indeed deny Jesus. But even after that denial, Jesus fully restored him. It would have required incredible faith on Peter’s part to allow Jesus to do that (John 21:15-17). Peter’s humble acceptance of Christ’s restoration demonstrated Peter’s rejuvenated faith to trust in his Savior again.
A good prayer for us may be:
Jesus, even when I doubt, You are faithful. You pray for my faith to be strengthened so that I can come to You again and again. Jesus, I do believe You! Please rejuvenate my faith to drive out these nagging doubts.
Only Jesus is called “the Author and Perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), so only He can rejuvenate our faith. Let’s learn a lesson from this father and continue to come to Jesus—even with our nagging doubts—to have our faith rejuvenated. It’s this faith that moves the hand of God to do miracles on our behalf.
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