This fascinating utterance in Mark 9 comes from a man who is asking Jesus to heal his child. He has faith in Jesus but he also asks Jesus to help him have faith.

Faith is the great opportunity of human existence and the fascination of angels. We exercise this power by trusting in God. Sometimes we think of faith as a one-and-done proposition. You have it or you don’t. In some ways that is correct. But faith also manifests in many ways. And the swirl of our circumstances, our emotions, and the challenges of our discernment make faith a choice we have to make every instance, over and over again.

It is like a son who trusts his dad. He might love his father and think the world of him. He might blindly jump off the couch into his father’s arms and follow him all around town. But if the pair go bungee jumping together and the dad says, “it’ll be alright”, the son is going to struggle with trusting him.

Every opportunity, every instance, every circumstance tests our faith. It puts before us a choice. Do we believe? Do we really and truly believe, no matter what? Even when we do not understand or our life is at stake.

Even if our faith is there, well established, we have to choose it. We have to trust it, to lean on it, to live it out faithfully. And Jesus is the great author and finisher of our faith. Our helper. Our support. Our God. The One in whom we can trust.

“…if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
– Mark 9:22-24