Just Believe

While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5:35-43)

Most assuredly, there are times in our lives when we discover it is more difficult to demonstrate faith and trust than others. In our verses for today Jairus is experiencing just this. However, it is precisely at that times that we must remember that our faith is strengthened one difficult circumstance at a time as God proves Himself faithful. We will find Him to be trustworthy over and over again. We rest securely in the will of God no matter how hard the wind may blow. And when we rest in God, we are in the safest place on earth whether we comprehend it or not.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
-Isaiah 26:3

It is an important principle that we learn to trust as we are given the opportunity to trust. While Satan tempts us for evil–to get us to fall, God tests us for good–in an effort to ever increase our faith. Scripture tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God, who rewards those who earnestly seek Him:

“It’s the painful testings that hold the possibility of powerful testimonyand every trial is but steps in your triumphant march.” (Ann Voskamp)

I am reminded of Abraham God called him to offer up his son Isaac as a sacrifice (see Genesis 22). Surely every ounce of his being wanted to run in the other direction–abort the mission and cling steadfastly to his beloved child. Yet in faith he chose to obey God and go forward.

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
(Hebrews 11:17-19)

Sometimes God takes us to a difficult place. However, He as He asks us to trust Him, we believe in His goodness in a deeper, broader, and wider way.

“God is God. Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.” -Elisabeth Elliot

We do not know if Jairus had had the privilege of experiencing much of Jesus and His ways before he came face to face with his trial. We are not made aware if he had been privy to have had as much history of God’s faithfulness in his life as Abraham brought to his test yet he had the enormous benefit of Jesus quite literally walking by his side. Jairus was confident Jesus could heal the sick; certainly that was why he had approached the Healer in the first place. He was not quite as sure, however, that our Lord could or would raise the dead. When the messengers come with the news that his daughter had died and not to bother the Healer any more, Jesus encourages him with the words: “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Jairus had a choice. He could trust Jesus’ Word or he could cave, consider it hopeless and abort his decision to trust Jesus in the first place. When we are given a word from the Lord we have the same options and opportunities to either go further still with the Master or remain in the lowlands.

Calling His inner circle of Peter, James, and John–they proceed to Jairus’ home. There they discover the noisy clamor of many mourners and wailers. Jesus rebukes the commotion proclaiming: “The child is not dead but asleep.” The crowd responds with laughter and mockery mixed with jeers against our Lord. The Healer speaks a word and with His all-powerful hand raises the dead girl up. Immediately she begins walking around to the astonishment of the onlookers.

Take It to Heart

Is anything too hard for the LORD? (Genesis 18:14)

Great faith is built one test at a time.