In Mark 9:24, a man cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Even though this man had doubts, Jesus recognized his faith and healed his son. Jesus consistently displayed compassion to those with doubts (see John 20:29), yet He frequently called out His disciples’ lack of faith (see Matt. 17:14–20; Mark 9:17–19).
Scripture calls us to examine ourselves (see 2 Cor. 13:5). Testing the quality of our faith and seeing if it lines up with what Scripture teaches is not sinful unbelief. But we can often doubt whether we are in right standing before God and can wonder if our faith is real. The good news is that our salvation ultimately rests on Jesus Christ. We do not look to the quality of our faith to erase our doubts. We look to the One whom we are called to trust. A weak faith and a strong faith will both save us because both connect us to the perfect Savior, Jesus Christ. Ultimately, it is not our faith that saves us; it is Jesus. However, we should seek to grow stronger in our faith every day.
It is important to recognize that doubts can lead us to sinful unbelief. The great crowds that surrounded Jesus in His earthly ministry, along with Israel’s religious leaders, ultimately rejected Him. Jesus never tolerated this sort of unbelief (see John 10:25, 26) and warned that rejecting Him would lead to judgment (see John 12:48).
Hebrews 3:12 warns us, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” When you wrestle with doubts about your faith, look to the promises of God in Jesus Christ. Jesus is compassionate and merciful. When you have doubts, go to Him for compassion and mercy. This is His desire for you: “Do not disbelieve, but believe” (see John 20:27).
This article is part of the The Reformation Study Bible collection.