Theme of the Week: Trusting God
Bible Verse: Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 ESV
Scripture Reading: Mark 9:14-29
Accurately naming a problem is the first step toward overcoming it. This is why doctors spend time carefully reviewing symptoms before making a diagnosis. An incorrect diagnosis will lead to poor medical care. This is also why support groups have traditionally begun with statements like, “My name is… and I’m a…” Because naming one’s affliction accurately opens the door to real freedom.
The father in Mark 9 didn’t try to hide his lack of faith. He didn’t euphemize his doubts about God in order to make them more palatable. Instead, he named his problem precisely—unbelief.
Christians often struggle to admit that they don’t trust God. It’s embarrassing and it feels sinful. Others at church might look at us sideways. Our friends might not know how to respond. After all, how can someone believe in Jesus, yet struggle to trust God?
But in this story Jesus didn’t balk at the man’s unvarnished honesty. Instead, he responded by acting against the spiritual force that was testing the man’s faith.
When your trust in God is tested, say it out loud. Lean into relationships that allow you to speak authentically. Share with your trusted, Christian friends your fears, prayers, gripes, praises, doubts and misgivings about God or His plan. Trust can endure honest words. Trust is actually strengthened by honest words. When we name our problems before God, we reveal our heart’s greatest needs. This honest revelation is an act of trust. It may be the first step you need to take in order to trust God with your circumstances.
You can say out loud the things you think and feel, knowing that God is listening to your heart with compassion, not anger or disgust. In this story a normal guy looked into Jesus’s eyes and said out loud, “help my unbelief!” We can too.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being a god who listens. I’m struggling to trust you with __________. Help my lack of trust. Thank you for your compassion and love for me.
Reflection: Do you know someone whom you could talk with about trusting God? Who among your Christian friends would listen with compassion and without judgment? Call him or meet with him this week and speak plainly about your struggles. Say what you really mean out loud. Take your unbelief to God in prayer with a Christian brother.
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