“I believe, but help my unbelief.” These are the words spoken to Jesus from a desperate father whose son suffered from a demon possession.
The demon made him mute, threw him around, and violently tortured the young man. The father was a believer and asked Jesus to take pity on them and to heal the boy.
So, if the father believed, why does he ask for Jesus to help his “unbelief?”
We know the answer because whether we realize it or not, we are like the father. We can believe, but our faith is not perfect. In fact, I believe that Jesus knows our struggle and desires to help our unbelief.
Look at verse 23 when the father says, “…if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus says, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” It’s here that the father says, “I believe, but help my unbelief.”
Jesus doesn’t shrug him off or scold him because of his doubt. No, he calls the spirit out of the boy and heals him. I can’t imagine being a witness to this, and how encouraging it would have been to hear a fellow believer confess that they too struggle with unbelief. But because of Jesus’ love for us, He helps our unbelief grow into deeper belief.