Focal passage: Mark 9:14-27
Missionaries are amazing people. They feel called to go and risk persecution, prison and even death for the sake of the gospel. Well-known author Os Guinness was born in China while his parents were spreading the gospel as medical missionaries.
Two of his brothers passed away in the 1943 Henan Famine when he was a toddler, and his parents were imprisoned throughout his adolescence.
Doubt seems to have settled in during this period of his life due to the amount of suffering he witnessed.
In a biographical profile, Nathan Martin records these words from Guinness, “People often see doubt as the opposite of faith, and that’s not true. The opposite of faith is unbelief. Doubt is a halfway stage.”
He continues, “Like a spinning coin, it’s going to come down one way or the other. Doubt is either going to be resolved and go back to faith or be left unresolved and move on to unbelief.”
The coin for Guinness dropped. It was 1960 when he came to faith.
In Mark 9:14-27, the father’s faith comes to the point of almost failing, but the father is strengthened by Jesus.
The main focus of the passage is a desire for the reader to believe.
There may be uncertainties that come along with belief, but like the father in Mark 9, we should go to Jesus (v. 24), focus on His power (vv. 25-26) and pray (v. 29).
Prayer played a critical role in Guinness’s life. Likewise, the narrative in Mark’s Gospel shifts attention toward Jesus’ power and life of prayer.
These two, power and prayer, help strengthen one’s belief and cultivate a personal relationship with the Savior.
What doubts keep you from a personal relationship with Jesus?