Listen to this devotional
“ ‘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!”Mark 9:23-24 NIV
Jesus said everything is possible for those who believe. When we are stuck, when we keep running into walls of defeat, or when our internal well has run dry, we need more faith.
This father recognized the deficit that existed in his faith. Difficulty and disappointment had worn him down, and he was physically, emotionally, and spiritually tired. However, he had enough faith to get to Jesus, and he knew what he needed from him, “help me overcome my unbelief!”
Not that long ago, I was facing a situation in my family that left me feeling completely defeated. Desperate for relief, I asked God to change my circumstances, proud of myself that I was at least praying.
However, what I realized is that God will often let me go through difficulty to reveal the condition of my faith (James 1:2-4 MSG). While a change in circumstances might feel good, what I really need is more faith. We, like this father, need to recognize and identify the condition of our faith, and then learn how God can help us believe.
See if any of these 3 faith conditions match yours and learn how God can lead you from tired to inspired.
Table of Contents
From a fatigued faith to an energized faith
 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.  Simon and his companions went to look for him,  and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”  Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”  So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.Mark 1:35-39 NIV
I have often been challenged by Jesus’ discipline to rise early in the morning while it was still dark to go and pray. This is especially challenging when we read the preceding verses (Mark 1:21-34) and we realize that Jesus went deep into the evening helping and healing people.
Jesus became fatigued like all of us do. More than just being disciplined, he got up early to pray because he knew he needed this undistracted time with God to be energized from the inside out. He needed to start his day in a “solitary place” so that he could connect with God and get the kind of internal strength and faith he needed to stay focused on his purpose through the day.
I experience four different types of fatigue:
- Physical fatigue – when my body is worn down
- Mental fatigue – when I am tired of trying to figure things out
- Emotional fatigue – when I don’t want to care anymore
- Spiritual fatigue – when I stop believing God is powerful and that he cares
It is when I am mired in one or more of these that I am the most vulnerable to sin and making poor decisions. I falsely believe that if I can escape, feel good, or avoid all stress, then I will recover and be able to move forward.
However, Jesus shows us by his actions the solution for all of these forms of fatigue is to have our faith renewed by turning to God (Psalm 71:20). When Jesus came out of his time alone with God, he was energized and ready to move forward. In fact, his first words to his disciples following his time with God are, “Let’s go!” (Mark 1:38 MSG).
Because Jesus walked with God, God energized him to live for his purpose. And, this purpose was the inspiration that compelled and sustained Jesus.
Too often, we see our quiet times as simply the time when we read the Bible and pray. Jesus’ time with God was so much more than that. His time spent with God reminded him of his purpose on earth and infused him with super-human energy.
- Which of the four types of fatigue are affecting you the most?
- How do you view your time with God? Is it a time that leaves you inspired about your purpose?
- How can you change your time with God to go from tired to inspired?
From a complacent faith to a compassionate faith
 On one occasion, a leper came and threw himself down in front of Jesus, pleading for his healing, saying, “You have the power to heal me right now if only you really want to!”  Being deeply moved with tender compassion, Jesus reached out and touched the skin of the leper and told him, “Of course I want you to be healed—so now, be cleansed!”Mark 1:40-41 TPT
Jesus was inspired by connecting with people. When he heard and saw someone like this leper who was in need, his heart was deeply moved. His compassion is what made him not just do the job of healing someone, but of going a step beyond and touching him. He wanted to connect and build a relationship more than just do a good deed.
For too long, I tried to be the kind of Christian who did the right thing, followed the rules, and stayed out of trouble. Not only is this impossible and only leads to faking it and being a hypocrite, it is also one of the most uninspiring ways to live. I became complacent with a good religious performance while I lacked the most important and defining qualities of Jesus—his love and compassion.
As I work on having compassion for people daily, I find that God moves my heart and rather than just trying to do the right thing, Christianity has become about building inspiring relationships.
It is impossible to be a Christian and not like people. Jesus loved people and his relationships were one thing that kept him inspired. Never complacent or satisfied with the superficial, he was constantly finding ways to go deeper with the people he met and his friends.
Whether it was touching the leper (Mark 1:41), being interested in the life of the woman who approached him at the well (John 4:1-26), or challenging the Pharisee to think deeper about changing his life (John 3:1-5) Jesus enjoyed having relationships of depth.
To have a faith like Jesus had, we need to be motivated by compassion like he was. Never in a hurry, Jesus always made time to make an emotional and relational connection with those in need that others seemed to ignore and forget.
- Do you like building relationships with people? Or do you prefer to be isolated?
- Do you build superficial relationships or enjoy digging deeper and engaging hearts?
- Do you take the time to make an emotional and relational connection with people?
From a selfish faith to a selfless faith
 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.)  But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum? ”  When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”Mark 2:15-17 NLT
While the Pharisees were focused on their evaluations of themselves and others, Jesus was free to focus on inspiring those around him. He wasn’t interested in people’s morality or lack of morality, he didn’t care about their status or past, instead he was focused on helping people become who they were meant to be.
Jesus had a selfless perspective about people in contrast to the selfish lens the Pharisees used to see others. His selflessness was attractive and inspiring to people as the scripture mentions that “many people of this kind” followed him. In fact, we can determine if we have a selfless faith by seeing if it attracts and inspires others to want to be close to God.
I am an intensely selfish person. My selfishness manifests itself in many ways, like:
- Selfish ambition
I think these self-sins are going to be rewarding, but what I’ve learned is that they are deceiving. They convince me that I will be more comforted, satisfied, or even successful, when, in fact, they produce the opposite effect. They leave me feeling drained, lethargic, and frustrated, like I’m experiencing a selfishness hangover.
Jesus teaches that self-sacrifice is the way to fulfillment and inspiration (John 12:23-26). While the self-focused person views others as a burden and an interruption to their life and schedule, the selfless person is free to enjoy relationships and believe they can make a difference in people’s lives.
Too often as Christians, we have a negative view of evangelism and project that view onto others. Jesus simply loved people and wanted to help them become their best. This selfless focus can make all the difference in our attitude and inspire us to imitate Jesus’ faith.
- Do you see people and relationships as a burden and an interruption to your life and schedule?
- How can you and your family use your home, your interests, and your talents to reach out and connect to others?
To continue studying this topic, check out our feature study “A Holiday of Faith.” Additionally, watch the video below for more scriptures to help you identify the condition of your faith.