Doubt and Saving Faith

“…Help Thou mine unbelief” – Mark 9:24

There are many true believers who at the first are tried with unbelief, because they have now, more than ever they had before, a sense of their past sins. Many a man receives a far deeper sense of sin after he is forgiven than he ever had before. The light of the law is but moonlight compared with the light of the gospel, which is the light of the sun. Love makes sin to become exceeding sinful.

“My Sins, my Sins, my Savior!
How sad on Thee they fall;
Seen through Thy gentle patience,
I tenfold feel them all.

I know they are forgiven,
But still their pain to me
Is all the grief and anguish
They laid, my Lord, on Thee.”

The light of the promise gleaming in the soul reveals the infinite abyss of horror which lies in indwelling sin. In the light of God’s countenance we discover the filthiness, the abomination, the detestable ingratitude of our past conduct…Oh, that we could blot out those evil days! We have said, “Cursed be the sun that it rose on such a day as that in which I so defiled myself with iniquity.” Thus, under a sense of sin, though there is the belief that we are pardoned, there may also arise the unbelief against which we need the Lord to help us…Learn from this that a measure of doubt is consistent with saving faith; that weak faith is true faith, and a trembling faith will save the soul. If thou believest, even though thou be compelled to say, “Help Thou mine unbelief,” yet that faith makes thee whole, and thou art justified before God. ` C.H. Spurgeon


Trust God In Your Sore Trials

And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to Thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. – Mark 9:18

The spirit which possessed this poor child was accustomed to throw him sometimes into the fire, and sometimes into the water. Just our condition; for our spirit has sometimes been thrown into the very fire of presumption, and at another season into the floods of despair. We have alternated between the cold of melancholy and the heat of self-conceit. We have at one time cried, “I love pleasure, and after it I will go;” and at another time we have said, “My soul chooseth strangling rather than life; I would not live always.” At the moment while the father was speaking, the poor boy was on the ground wallowing in dreadful paroxysms of his disorder, foaming at the mouth, and gnashing with his teeth. Satan had great wrath, because he knew that his time was short. When the Savior spoke, and bade the devil come out of him, the fiercest struggle of all took place; for the unclean spirit rent the child, and the most terrible cries were heard. Still the father said, “Lord, I believe.” Now, it may be, dear hearer, you are this morning yourself full of great trouble, vexed and tormented with innumerable fears of wrath to come; a little hell burns within your soul, anguish unutterable has taken hold upon you, your heart is like a battle field torn by contending hosts, which rush hither and thither, destroying on every side. You are yourself an embodied agony; you are like David when he said, “The pains of hell get hold upon me, I found trouble and sorrow.” Can you now believe? Will you now accept the word of the Most High? If thou canst, thou wilt greatly glorify God, and thou wilt bring to thyself much blessedness. Happy is that man who can not only believe when the waves softly ripple to the music of peace, but continues to trust in Him who is almighty to save when the hurricane is let loose in its fury…Surely Christ Jesus is fit to be believed at all times, for, like the pole star, He abides in His faithfulness, let storms rage as they may. He is always divine, always omnipotent to succor, always overflowing with lovingkindness, ready and willing to receive sinners, even the very chief of them. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

In Hope, Believe Against Hope

“Master, I have brought unto Thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to Thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.”…”…bring  him unto Me.” Mark 9:17-19

This man had for a long time considered his son’s case to be hopeless. Well he might. In addition to the fact that the child was subject to attacks of epilepsy and to extreme fits of fury, he was deaf and dumb, so that no intelligent expression of feeling could come from him: if at any time he felt stronger and better, he could not give his father a word of hope, he could not utter his gratitude for the sympathetic care that watched over him, neither could he hear any word of consolation which his father addressed to him.

Peradventure, there is one here, this morning, who has grown hopeless of salvation; he has felt as if his case was one out of the catalogue of mercy; he has written bitter things against himself, and supposed that God has sealed those bitter things and made them true; but you see the father in the presence of Christ believed over the head of his despair, “in hope believing against hope,” and I pray that you may do the same. In the presence of Christ the man’s confidence came back to him. Hast thou, my hearer, a hope that can do the same?…With Him nothing can be impossible. I see His pierced hands and feet, and feel that if He stooped to suffer in the sinner’s stead, the merit of His sacrifice must be beyond conception great. In Jesus the hopeless one hath hope, he who had despaired else now bids his heart be of good cheer. Oh, that is true faith which will not suffer itself to be any longer the slave of doubt and despondency now that it sees Jesus the Lord drawing near. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Faith Which Triumphs Over Difficulties

“Master, I have brought unto Thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit.”…And He asked his father, “How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, “Of a child.” – Mark 9:17,21

This man’s faith was real, because it was faith which triumphed over difficulties, difficulties which typify our own, and hence it was clearly the work of the Spirit of God, for no other will endure the trial. I shall ask thee, dear hearer, whether faith has triumphed over difficulties in thy case. For observe, his child was grievously tormented, and the malady was of long standing. When the Savior said to him, “How long hath this happened unto him?” he said, “Of a child.” Must it not have seemed, now that his son had grown older, a very unlikely thing that he should be recovered…Yet in the teeth of that the man believed that Christ could cast that long-established demon out of his son. Dear friend, thy case of sin is similar. The sins of thy youth rise up before thee now: are they not in thy bones? The sins of thine early manhood, and the sins of thy riper years, and, mayhap, the sins of thy decaying years; all these come up before thee…Crimes so long continued, evil habits so deeply rooted, can all these be overcome? O soul, if thou hast true faith, thou wilt say, “Yes, I believe that since Christ is God He can deliver me from all evil, and forgive me all sin. Even if I had lived as long as Methuselah, and had continued all that while in the vilest of transgression, yet Jesus is so mighty to save that He could deliver me in a moment.” His word is, “All manner of sin and of blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.” Looking to those dear wounds, those founts of love and blood, I do believe, and will believe, that all my years of sin are gone as in a moment, and like thick clouds before a mighty wind are blown away never to return. Oh, this is faith, poor soul. I pray God enable thee to exercise it.~ C.H. Spurgeon

If Thou Canst Believe

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief. – Mark 9:23, 24

It is a great mistake to fancy that to endorse sound doctrine is the same thing as possessing saving faith, for while saving faith accepts the truth of God, it mainly concerns itself with the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and its essence lies in reliance upon Jesus Himself. I am not saved because I believe the Scriptures, or because I believe the doctrines of grace, but I am saved if I believe Christ; or, in other words, trust in Him. Jesus is my creed. He is the truth. In the highest sense the Lord Jesus is the Word of God. To know Him is life eternal. By His knowledge He justifies many. I do not know that the father in the narrative before us had heard many sermons. I am not sure that he had very clear notions about everything that concerned the Savior’s kingdom: it was not essential that he should have in order to obtain a cure for his son. It was a very desirable thing that he should be an instructed disciple, but in the emergency before us the main thing was that he should believe Christ to be both able and willing to cast the devil out of his son. Up to that point he did believe; and, though his faith may have been deficient as well in breadth as in depth, yet it enabled him to realize that the Messiah who stood before him was the Lord, and it led him to place all his reliance upon Him. He did not believe in the disciples; he had once trusted them and failed. He did not believe in himself; he knew his own impotence to drive out the evil spirit from his child. He believed no longer in any medicines or men, for doubtless he had spent much on physicians; but he believed the Man of the shining countenance who had just come down from the mountain. When he heard Him say, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth,” he at once said, “Lord, I believe.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Think on Thee

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.”-Mark 9:24.

When a man first lays hold upon Jesus he is very apt to be in distress, if his joy be not always at its full height (or) he is untrained in spiritual conflict, and easily dismayed (or) the tremor of his former conviction is upon him, and he is prone to relapse into it. The light which he has received fills him with intense delight, but it is not very clear and abiding; he sees men as trees walking, and is ready to conjure up a thousand fears. The weakness of newborn faith, therefore, calls for the compassion of all who love the souls of men.

This man did well in looking for the help against his unbelief to the right quarter. He did not say, “Lord, I believe; and now I will try to overcome my unbelief.” No; but “Lord help,” as if he felt that the Lord alone could do it. No physician can cure unbelief but Christ. He is the physic for it, and He is the physician too. If thou hast any unbelief, take thou the blood of Christ to cure it with. Think of Him, God in the glory of His person, tabernacling among men, working out a perfect righteousness, dying a felon’s death upon the cross in the sinner’s stead; think of Him as rising from the dead, no more to die: think of Him as ascending into heaven amidst the shouts of angels: think of Him as standing at the right hand of God with the keys of death and hell at His girdle: think of Him as always pleading the merit of His blood before the Father’s throne; and, as thou considerest concerning Him, in the power of the Spirit, thine unbelief will die, for thou wilt say, “Lord, the thought of Thee has helped mine unbelief; while I have been studying Thee, and feeding my soul on Thee, and making Thee to be as bread and wine to my soul, my unbelief has gone. ~ C.H. Spurgeon