My family and I were recently studying the New Testament in the ninth chapter of Mark.
In this chapter we read about a man who brought his son to the Savior to be healed. He had already sought help from Christ’s apostles with no success.
In explaining the situation to the Savior, the father described how his son was possessed of a “dumb spirit” that would cause him to tear at his own skin, foam at the mouth, convulse on the ground uncontrollably, and throw himself into the fire to be burned or into the water to be drowned.
When the Savior Jesus Christ asked the father how long this had been going on, the father responded, “Of a child.” Can you imagine what this would have been like for the father who has been trying to help his son and to keep him safe for so many years?
Like most of us, I am sure the boy’s father was exhausted, overwhelmed, distraught, full of despair and desperate for help.
When pleading with the Savior, the father exclaimed, “Ifthou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.”
Jesus proceeded to tell the father that “all things are possible to him that believeth.” With tears in his eyes, the boy’s father cried out, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
The Savior Jesus Christ showed compassion on the man and healed his son.
The part of this remarkable story that really caught my attention was when the boy’s father cried out, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” I feel that what this man was trying to say is that he believed that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and that He had the ability to perform such miracles, hence the part where he says, “Lord I believe.” Meanwhile, the father may have been having a hard time believing that he was capable of or worthy enough to receive such a great blessing, especially since he had spent so many years trying to get help for his son, even from Christ’s apostles, with no success. Hence the phrase, “help thou mine unbelief.”
It is not hard to imagine this scenario. Even though the Lord has taught us that “all things are possible to him that believeth,” I am confident that we can all think of situations in our own lives where we have been desperate for help, possibly even thinking that we could not overcome an addiction, or make a needed change in our lives or the lives of those we love. Does this mean that we do not believe in Jesus Christ? Many of us believe in Jesus Christ and believe
He is the Savior of all men, but do we believe him? Or in other words, do we truly believe that his promised blessings can come to us, and that such changes or miracles can happen in our own lives? For those of you who may be doubting your ability to receive such great blessings, or even doubting the existence of God or His love for you, start where you are.
Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stated, “If you are not sure you even believe in God, start there. Understand that in the absence of experiences with God, one can doubt the existence of God. So, put yourself in a position to begin having experiences with Him. Humble yourself. Pray to have eyes to see God’s hand in your life and in the world around you. Ask him to tell you if he is really there – if he knows you. Ask him how He feels about you. And then listen.”
I know that as we strive to not only believe in Jesus Christ, but to also believe him, we will be able to know that he is there, that he loves you, and that we can overcome the obstacles we face, make the difficult but needed life changes, and see great miracles in our own lives.