Through the years when I’ve heard people talk about faith, I’ve often heard them use language like absolute faith or perfect faith or something along those lines. The idea with this is usually that you have to be absolutely 100% convinced that God is going to answer this prayer without any doubts at all. I don’t know about you, but in all honesty, I rarely have this kind of faith. But I do have, what I call, an honest faith. The best example of this is found in Mark 9:14-27.
Jesus has taken a few disciples up to the mountain to pray. While they were up there Jesus was transfigured before them. Immediately upon coming down, Jesus is met with a multitude and conflict. The conflict surrounded a dad who had a great spiritual need. The dad’s son had seizures that caused him to suffer greatly. The seizures were caused demonic oppression or possession. The kid has had this problem for years and years. The man had a great spiritual need and He knew Jesus could take care of it so he took his son to Jesus’ disciples. This man expected that those who followed Jesus could and would help with this spiritual need, but they were unable. So when Jesus comes down from the mountain the dad meets Him with a question.
“And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Mark 9:22 (NKJV)
“Jesus please help us if you can…” I think even with the way the question is worded, you can see that the guy has some doubts. Jesus answers with a great promise.
“Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23 (NKJV)
How great is that? Since nothing is impossible with God, and Jesus is God, then all things are possible. But this limitless possibility has a condition, faith. We have to believe. The dad then gives what I consider to be one of the best promises in Scripture.
“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 (NKJV)
The dad has an honest faith. He truly believes Jesus can heal his son but there are…concerns. He’s seen his son this way for many years. He’s likely seen others try to help and fail. I mean, he’s just seen Jesus’ disciples try and fail to help. He knows Jesus is different. He believes Jesus is his one great shot at seeing this need met. But he wrestles with some doubts. Can you relate to this dad? I know that I can. I pray every day for God to supernaturally heal my special needs daughter, and I absolutely believe that He is able. But I’ve been praying for her healing for nine years and God still has not chosen to heal her. I believe, but there are concerns…
Here is what I think. I think we would all say that God absolutely can do anything that He wants to do. We would all say that God’s power is such that He could work in us, through us and for us to accomplish anything He wants to do. However, like this dad there are doubts mingled with our faith. I want you to know that’s okay. How do I know that’s okay?
“When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.” Mark 9:25-27 (NKJV)
Jesus responded to that faith and healed the boy. Since Jesus responded to an honest faith then, He’ll do it today. Here is what I’m convinced of regarding faith and doubts. It’s okay to have doubts. However, I’m just as convinced that we must be honest about our doubts. Believers in Jesus Christ have a genuine relationship with God through our faith in Jesus. This genuine relationship allows for us to be honest with God about anything and everything we are dealing with in our lives, even our doubts. Honesty is the only policy when it comes to God because God knows everything about us down to the desires of our hearts and the thoughts in our minds.
This means that if you have doubts, God is already aware of them. Trying to hide your doubts with spiritual sounding phrases or bold confessions of faith is foolish. It is much better to have an honest faith than a fake faith. Honestly confess your doubts to Jesus. Confess your faith with your doubts. Be honest about your doubts because God is greater than our doubts. We learn from Mark 9 that Jesus honors an honest faith. I do not believe that an honest faith will hinder what God will do in us, through us or for us.