There Are No Ifs
The famous profession of faith by a doubting father is dripping with application, but before getting to that I’d like to take a closer look at Jesus’ response to the man’s plea:
22 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.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
His almost witty response to the father’s request pushes the ball back into his skeptical court. Jesus is pointing out that the current roadblock is not His ability to heal but the man’s disability to believe.
Regarding His response, Matthew Henry’s commentary says this:
“He tacitly checks the weakness of his faith. The sufferer put it upon Christ’s power, If thou canst do any thing, … but Christ turns it upon him, and puts him upon questioning his own faith…”
Upon hearing that anything that he asks with belief can be done, the man exclaims:
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Recently, when I can think to pray, I want to pray bold prayers. Because my God can in fact do anything, I often wonder why I hold back in the smallness of my requests.
Second to boldness is honesty. To be genuine, to say what I mean even when I feel guilt for such feelings. To be gut-wrenchingly real with God to the point that I test my understandings of His grace. Real enough to confess that maybe I don’t even believe the words that are coming out of my mouth. But that I believe He is big enough for my doubts.
Those that complain of unbelief, must look up to Christ for grace to help them against it, and his grace shall be sufficient for them. “Help mine unbelief, help me to a pardon for it, help me with power against it; help out what is wanting in my faith with thy grace, the strength of which is perfected in our weakness.”