How to Overcome Your Lack of Faith

Valerie Riese
3 min readNov 10, 2020

Anxiety and fear snuffed a little air from every breath I took for years. I’d come a long way by surrendering my daily routine to Jesus when a diagnosis of breast cancer threatened to drag me back. It was a difficult season, and I have faced fear, but I can honestly say that fear did not claim me this time.

If you know the suffocating grip of anxiety, I hope this Devotional Word Study will help you pry yourself free.

Word Study: Belief and Unbelief

I found inspiration from a frantic father in the Book of Mark. The man’s son had a “mute spirit” that caused frightening seizures and tried to kill the boy. The father and his son met Jesus in a crowd near Galilee. After the father explained the boy’s condition to Jesus, he pleaded:

…But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us”. “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”.

It appears the father contradicts himself in the declaration “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”; but a word study revealed a desperate father’s conflicted heart.

The word “ believe” came from a Greek word meaning to “ have confidence in, as in to absolutely trust in Jesus or in God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something “.

The word “ unbelief” came from a Greek word meaning a “ want of faith, as in a weakness of faith, shown in withholding belief in the power and promises of God

The father in this story was confident Jesus was able to help his son, but he lacked faith. So what did he do? He cried out to Jesus to help him overcome his weak faith.

Cry out to Jesus

We are a lot like this father: we know Jesus’ promises are true, but sometimes our faith is weak. Just like him, we also can bring our confusion to Jesus, crying out “Help my weak faith!!”

Jesus is my Defender from anxiety, so I ask Him for the faith I need. I prayed “I trust you, Jesus! Help me trust you more!” as I considered treatment options, drove to treatment, and at 2:00 am next to a pile of tissue.

Jesus’ perfect love always comes through. He gives us the faith we need to feel peace so we can make sound decisions, face discomfort, and rest.

Pray for the faith you lack

Your lack of faith doesn’t have to define your story, either. Ask Jesus to help you overcome your lack today. Here are two examples to get you started and one of my favorite songs to encourage you.

Is impatience leading to frustration? Pray “I am patient, Jesus! Help me wait better!”

Overcomer by Mandisa



Valerie Riese

Co-director of Candidly Christian. After suffering years of debilitating anxiety, I learned that victory over anxiety comes only through surrender to Jesus.