Devotional Thoughts for Today
And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
Desperation is usually seen as a bad thing. Whether in an interview, or on a first date, it’s often looked down upon as a repulsive quality. It can cause a person to act outside of their normal character and even take extreme measures. For this reason, the world teaches us to never show our desperation as it can reek of pity and weakness. Yet, here in this passage, we see how the desperate faith of a father leads him to Jesus. And from this account, we are reminded an important aspect about faith.
In our passage, the father has tried everything in his power for his son. He’s even turned to the disciples of Jesus who have done such miracles in the past. Yet, all have failed and it’s now just him and Jesus. In his utter hopelessness and despair, he musters up this desperate cry, “I believe; help my unbelief!” This simple prayer captures the perfect combination of faith and confession: It was faith in that he knew Jesus had the power to heal; yet, it was a confession of his own weakness for the unbelief that still existed in his heart. Though his desperation began in the acceptance of his weakness, it became the assurance of his faith in Christ. When we direct our desperation toward Him, it produces faith—the faith that God seeks and responds to. This in turn leads us to cry out to Him with some of the most raw prayers like that of the father. And to this Jesus responds, “Bring them to me, no matter how impossible the situation may be, bring them to me”.
Spend some time reflecting on this. When was the last time you were desperate for the Lord? Like the heart of this father, may we be honest before Jesus, asking that He would help the areas of unbelief in our lives. When we think about the greatest revivals or even greatest movements in history, all of these were driven by a desperate desire for change.
Prayer: Whatever it takes, Lord, decrease my proneness to wander from You by keeping me desperate for You (adapted from Jon Bloom). I confess of my own apathy and lack of zeal towards you. Revive me once again; may I be desperate for You once again. Amen.
Daily Bible Reading: Ezekiel 16