• David Towner

We All Struggle with Unbelief


I have a question for you. Have you ever struggled with unbelief? I know that is NOT a question we Christ followers want to tackle. But it needs to be addressed for us to grow in our faith. I believe the reason most of us don’t want to deal with this question is because we are afraid of our answers.

I know what my answer is. Yes, I sometimes struggle with unbelief.


I wonder if God will heal even though I have experienced healing. I wonder if God will bring success even though He has given me success in the past. I wonder if God will protect me even though He has protected me time and time again.


Here is the fun part. I know you ask those questions, too. So, if you haven’t admitted to your unbelief, you might as well do that now. There is freedom in confessing our junk. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Let’s be honest, we all want healing.


A Father’s Unbelief

In Mark 9:17-25 there is a story of a father who asked Jesus to heal his son. Now, this wasn’t any ordinary healing (like any of them are). No, his son had the trifecta: he could not speak, he experienced seizures, and he was possessed by a spirit. Not a good combination at all.


Jesus was told by the father that Jesus’ disciples tried to heal his son but failed. Jesus told the father to bring the boy to him. Here is the creepy part. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately put the son into a seizure. I don’t know about you, but that would have freaked me out! But not Jesus. Jesus calmly asked how long these seizures had been going on. The man told Jesus the seizures started in childhood. It was a long-standing problem.


The father said, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” I can just imagine Jesus casually turning to the father and, with his best superhero look, saying, “If I can?”

The father struggled believing Jesus could heal. We all go through this struggle, so don’t be too hard on the father. Jesus went on to tell the father “anything was possible to those who believe” (Mark 9:23).


I’m sure the father was dumbfounded. He wanted his son healed. He knew Jesus had healed before. But he struggled in believing Jesus could heal his son. Then the father got real with himself and with Jesus and replied transparently, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”


Can you imagine if the church today was as transparent and honest as this guy? I can imagine it, and I want to see it in my church and in my life. I’m sure you want to see it, too!


Confessing Our Unbelief

Let’s learn from this story. We can overcome our unbelief as we confess. Go ahead and confess your struggle with belief right now. It’s okay to say, “God I’m struggling. I want to believe you can heal my marriage. I want to believe you can draw my children back to you. I want to believe you can overcome my addictions. I want to believe you can heal me. But Lord, I’m struggling. Help me with my unbelief!”


Confession is the first step in seeing God do great things in our lives and in the lives of our family members and friends. Let’s be like this father. Let’s get honest. Let’s believe Jesus will help us overcome our unbelief.


A Son’s Healing

After the father confessed his struggle, Jesus then healed his son. You see, the father expected Jesus to do something. He just didn’t know what it would look like. There is something about surrendering everything to Jesus that opens the door to His miracles in our lives. The father expected Jesus to do something and Jesus did do something. He healed the son. We can follow this father’s example of confessing, expecting, and believing Jesus will do miracles in our lives.


Hey, it’s better than the alternative — a life of unbelief, no expectations, no miracles, and no healing. I think it’s worth taking the next step of faith and confessing our unbelief. God is big enough to handle it and who knows? We just may see a miracle or two.


Home Application

  • Examine your faith today. Ask yourself, “Is there any part of my life where I struggle to believe God can heal, overcome, and bring victory?”

  • After you have found that area of unbelief, share it with Jesus in prayer.

  • Then, confess that area of unbelief with someone you trust. Remember, healing comes through confession.

  • Pray daily with your trusted partner for God to help you overcome your unbelief.

  • Speak out each day: “God, I believe you can and will (put in here your area of unbelief, if it is healing, overcoming, etc), but help me Lord with my unbelief.”

Don’t forget to speak out your expectations of God’s mighty work in your life! Are you excited? I am, too! God, we expect great things from you, but help us with our unbelief!


David Towner is the Pastor of Openwater Church in Odessa, FL. He has three daughters Shana, Kari, and Rebekah and four grandsons Caleb, Cohen, Cade, and

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