Mark 16 Lesson

Three Things We Can Do When Our Faith Is Weak


It would be nice to believe that once we find Jesus, our faithwill never waver, and we will have no more problems. Unfortunately, that is not the case. People struggle with their faith. Even those closest to Jesus struggled at times to believe.

In Mark Chapter 16, Jesus appeared to His disciples, just as He told them He would, and yet they did not believe. In the closing chapter of his Gospel, Mark writes about two occasions where those closest to Jesus did not believe that He had risen:

  1. “Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.  She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping.  When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.”Mark 16:9-11,
  2. “After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country.  They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.”Mark 16:12-13.

How did they not believe?

With all the things they saw Jesus do and heard Him speak, how did they find it so difficult to believe that He had risen, just as He told them that He would?


We may never understand the answer to that question.   We cannot put ourselves in the position of the Apostles that had experienced so much.   What we can understand is that our faith is delicate. It needs to be nurtured and cared for.   If those closest to Jesus fell into unbelief, so can we!


Fortunately for us, the Bible tells us how to increase our faith. Specifically, it mentions three actions that we can take to strengthen our faith when it becomes weak:

  1. We can read the Bible,
  2. We can pray for a stronger faith,
  3. We can act on our faith.

We will look at each of these in more detail, and then the lesson will be yours.


If we want to grow our faith, the first thing that we need to do is study the Bible. After all, how can we keep God’s commandments if we do not know what they are? Regular Bible study is something that we need to incorporate into our daily lives.

The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans:

  • “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17.


The second action that we can take to increase our faith is to pray about it. There is a compelling story found in Mark Chapter 9 where the father of a boy filled with an unclean spirit asked Jesus for help. Jesus asked the father:

  • “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” – Mark 9:21-23.

Notice how the father responded to Jesus:

  • “I do believe; help my unbelief.” - Mark 9:24.

The father’s response contained six words of wisdom that we can all learn from and apply in our own lives. While we believe, sometimes our faith is not as strong as we want it to be. In these situations, we can do exactly as the father did in this example, we can ask Jesus to help us overcome any doubts that Satan puts into our minds.


We can have all the faith in the world, but if we do not act on our faith, it will become stale and ultimately die. James wrote about the importance of acting on our faith in the following passage. It is a beautiful passage worthy of reading and rereading until we fully appreciate the importance of acting on our faith:

  • “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?  Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.  But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God.  You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.  In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?  For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” – James 2:14-26.

Unless we act on our faith, our faith is worthless. However, when we act on our faith, it grows stronger.


Satan is a worthy opponent!   He would love nothing more than for us to turn away from our faith and get caught up in sin.   As Christians, we cannot allow that to happen !

According to the Bible, there are three things that we can do to increase our faith:

  1. We can read the Bible,
  2. We can pray for a stronger faith,
  3. We can act on our faith.

As God’s children we can take comfort in knowing that when our faith gets shaken, God’s love remains steadfast.

When we are weak, He is strong.  

When we struggle with our faith, we must persevere and understand that better days are ahead.  We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture about faith:

  • “And without faith it is impossible to please Him , for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” - Hebrews 11:6.


James A Guillory

A very good question and some very wonderful insights!!


Isaiah 55:8-9 is a powerful scripture. I heard a Christian comedian (apparently that's a thing!) reference that scripture, and say how he didn't want a God that he completely understood. We are so limited. He talked about how he always loses his car keys, and can't remember where the remote control is, etc. Our God is superior to us in every way, as it should be. We don't need to know, "Why" He does things, we just need to submit to His will and follow Him.