The response of the father is touching. Mark records that he immediately cried out and said with great emotion, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Before dealing with the boy’s physical condition, Jesus talked to the father about his faith. The man openly declared his faith in Jesus, and at the same time acknowledged his need for greater faith.
I think we can all relate to the father’s plea, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” As sincere Christians we want to grow in faith. We pray with the disciples, “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). We ask the Lord to increase our faith in the sense of capacity and our understanding.
I believe most Christians understand the difference between mental assent and true faith. The passage from James comes to mind, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe - and tremble!” (2:19) James tells us that it is possible to fully acknowledge the integrity of God’s Word and still miss the point.
So when does a person go from mental assent to biblical faith? When they put faith into action! Faith is not a passive thing; it’s active. Biblical belief requires action because, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).
Case in point. In Mark 11:22 Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” He then coupled faith with action, “I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23). Jesus taught us to believe, and then act on that belief.
There are numerous examples in the Bible of people putting belief into action and seeing results. God wants us to do the same. So be strong in faith. Be confident in the Lord. Take God at His Word and act upon it. Believe and speak to the mountain. That is when faith becomes real.
Pastor Todd Weston