January 19, 2018

Lord, Help Me

Matt Recker

Mark 9:14-29

We do well to never minimize the reality of the devil, his demons, and their work in the world at any time. Today the troubled son in our passage might be considered epileptic, Jesus diagnosed this man’s manic manners as a demonic disorder. We can be sure that Satan still seizes young men and women and throws them into self-destructive flames. He still enters homes and drowns fathers or mothers in the ocean of anger, abuse or self-indulgence. The devil’s devastating work then and now, is real. It is vital that we place our desperate situations into the hands of Jesus. Let’s follow this narrative and trace the vital steps to this end.

First, this father comes to Jesus with the right attitude: kneeling down and worshiping Christ, in obedience to His command, “bring him hither to me.” This needy father teaches us all: get to Jesus no matter what.

Next, we need to cry out for help in faith. The father candidly cries out for help, but notice where he thinks the problem lies: with the Lord! The father effectively says: “IF YOU can do anything, have compassion on us and help us! Lord, IF YOU have enough power, and IF YOU really care about us, THEN YOU will help us out of this crisis!” (Mark 9:22). The father engaged in a tug-of-war over “IF” with Jesus. In this request, the father asked for a one-time help with just this one thing. This man is so much like us, for we often get angry at God for allowing singular events in our life and then accuse him, “Lord if You will just deliver me from this situation, all will be well.

Jesus responded with the same phrase, “if thou canst,” but put a definite article before “if.” Jesus puts “THE IF” upon the father: “THE IF is your responsibility; it is if YOU can believe, for all things are possible to him that believeth.” Jesus says, “Let me talk to you about THE ‘IF YOU CAN:’ it lies with your faith not with my power or love!” The big “if” lies on you!

There is never an IF in reference to Christ. There is no IF with His power, compassion or His willingness to help us. Jesus says, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).

The third stage in placing your desperate situation into Jesus’ hands is to honestly confess the condition of our faith. As Jesus’ saying sank into the ears of this earnest man, Mark 9:24 gives his response, “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Now that is honesty on display. He did not have a perfect faith; one can find dents and admitted doubts in it, but he brought it honestly to the Lord.

The final stage in placing our desperate situation into Jesus’ hands is to continually cling to Christ forever. “Help thou mine unbelief!” “Help” is a present-tense command that emphasizes his need for continuous strengthening in the area of dependence. He is saying, “Do not just help my son, help my faith. Assist me not in one part of my life but in every area of my life, and continually deal in love and power with my unbelief! Help me not just one time, but for all time.” When doubt mingles with your faith, cry out to God for His continual help.

Doubt sees the obstacles, faith sees the way.
Doubt sees the darkest night, faith sees the day!

Matt Recker is the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in New York City.

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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