Tough Love

“’You unbelieving generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.’”—Mark 9:19 (NIV)

In yesterday’s Daily Devo, we read that Jesus, Peter, James, and John came to meet the other nine disciples and found them arguing with Jewish scribes. These disciples had tried to cast out a dangerous demon from a young boy, but were unable to despite having successfully casted out demons previously. 

Jesus was definitely grieved by this situation. When reading today’s verse, maybe you are taken aback by Jesus’ words calling people a “unbelieving generation” and asking how long He shall bear with them. But then He says “Bring the boy to me”. Why? Because Jesus is grace, mercy, and love. He stayed because He loved and cared for all people—and He was about to display that. 

Jesus knew the heart of this father that came to Him in desperation with whatever faith he had left. This father brought his child to the One that was sent to heal and give everlasting life to those who put their trust in Him. So yes, even though Jesus spoke the truth when He pointed out the disciples’ lessening faith, as well as the lack of faith from others, He wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to be glorified, even in this despairing situation.

When I read today’s verse, I can’t help but think about how incredibly patient Jesus has been with me. Even at times when I’ve been studying, or even teaching His Word, I have found myself with big doubts and little faith when staring at my own circumstances. I’m so grateful that, by His grace, I have been able to hold on with just my tiny bit of faith “as small as a mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20 NIV), and that years later I’m on the other side of those specific circumstances. 

Being able to see His beauty and feel the love of His faithfulness, even when I was barely holding on, has strengthened my faith in ways that perfect circumstances never could have. I can tell you that it was worth holding on for—He’s worth holding on for.

Jesus stands at the door of our hearts and He doesn’t barge in. He is a gentleman and He knocks (Revelation 3:20). We get to decide daily whether or not to let Him in or keep Him out. But He will transform our faith if we let Him.

Pause: Do I bring the impossibilities of my life to Jesus believing He has power over them?

Practice: Whenever you feel like your faith is waning, look up a different Bible verse that speaks about God’s love each time. His Word is His promise.

Pray: Dear Lord, guide me on how to trust You with the parts of my life that desperately need help. Help me be reminded of Your truth and to hold on to that truth and to Your faithfulness. Amen.

About the Author

Mirely Maldonado

Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.