Help My Unbelief: The Link Between Jealousy And Doubt

“I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 ESV).

These were the words of a desperate father, seeking help for his child who was tormented by an unclean spirit. This man had heard stories of the miraculous Jesus. He may have even seen a miracle or two firsthand. He knew that if anyone could help his son, it must be this powerful man who proclaimed to be the Son of God.

But he did not approach Jesus with confidence. “…if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

“If you can?” said Jesus. I imagine him saying it more like, “IF you can? IF? I am the Son of God! There is no IF.”

Jesus continued, “All things are possible for one who believes.”

The man replied, “I believe; help my unbelief.”

I believe; help my unbelief.

In saying this simple phrase, the man was confessing to Jesus that he believed in him and his power, but only to a certain degree – that while there was great belief within him, doubt also filled his heart.

Isn’t that so relatable? I think it especially rings true for a girl with her heart caught in a cycle of comparison – jealousy – bitterness – shame.

She wants to believe God is good. She even confesses His goodness with her mouth. But like the man in this story, her heart is filled with doubts.

When we look to the left and wish we lived a different life, or when we gaze over to the right and resent the gifts of others, we ask questions that give birth to doubt.

Is He really good?

If He is good….then why don’t I have this job?

Why am I single? Why can’t we conceive a child?

Why is my life less exciting and joyful than so-and-so’s?

If He is good, then why am I facing this adversity?

Why is my nose shaped like this? Why can’t I keep the weight off?

Why can’t I please others around me? Why am I lonely?

Why are my thighs so spongy?

If only I had ___________ like _______________.

I believe; help my unbelief. 

What I love about this encounter with Jesus in Mark 9 is that Jesus still answered the man’s request, despite his doubts. Jesus rebuked the impure spirit in the boy, casting it out, and healing him.

Although scripture doesn’t tell us exactly what happened to the man after Jesus cured his son, I like to think that witnessing this life-giving miracle gave the father a lot more faith and a little less doubt.

The Bible teaches us to ask, seek, knock; and we will receive (Luke 11:9) according to God’s good and perfect will. So here’s my challenge to you:

Approach the throne with confidence.

Confess your insecurity.

Pray for a faith that’s unwavering.

And look – not to the left or to the right, but straight forward with eyes that expect to see His glory.

With Love & Freedom,


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