Conversations about faith can quickly become awkward. One camp dwells primarily on God’s sovereignty in matters, thus minimizing the role our faith plays. Another group claims that the release of God’s power depends entirely upon our faith in Him, seemingly allowing little room for God’s sovereignty in daily occurrences.
Perhaps it would be better to describe what exists in scripture as a divine tension between God’s sovereignty and humankind’s faith. More than likely, our finite minds will never be able to adequately explain the relationship that exists between the two. What we do know is this: Faith is important to God. He looks for people of faith. The author of Hebrews declares that without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).
Check out these words of Jesus from today’s One Year Bible reading: “You faithless people!” he rebuked his disciples for their inability to cast a demon out of a boy. “How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you?” To the boy’s father Jesus asks, “What do you mean, ‘if I can’? Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:19,23)
Jesus came to impart faith to his followers, and he looks for faith in us, his disciples. To us he pronounces, “Anything is possible if a person believes.” So how do we arrive at such faith? Jesus recommends through prayer and fasting (v. 29). Why? Because by prayer and fasting we become more intimate with the Father, in touch His heart, and confident of His power to heal and deliver.
Lord, like the boy’s father prayed, I do believe. I want to believe. I want to believe more. Help me overcome my unbelief (Mark 9:24). Forgive me for my unbelief. I put my hope and trust in you (Psalm 43:5). May I speak to the demons, causing them to leave. May I speak to sickness, bringing healing. In you alone I put my confidence. Build faith in me. Amen!
Here’s some pretty good commentary on the passage: CLICK HERE.