‘Be not afraid, only be­lieve’

Westside Eagle-Observer - - OPINION - [Devo­tion by Randy Moll. Scrip­ture quo­ta­tions are from the King James Ver­sion of the Bible.]

“While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the syn­a­gogue’s house cer­tain which said, Thy daugh­ter is dead: why trou­blest thou the Mas­ter any fur­ther? As soon as Je­sus heard the word that was spo­ken, he saith unto the ruler of the syn­a­gogue, Be not afraid, only be­lieve.” Mark 5:35-36 (Read v. 21-43)

Do things ever seem be­yond hope? Have you ever prayed for the Lord’s help only to have things go from bad to worse, with no in­ter­ven­tion in sight?

Think how Jairus must have felt when he sought Je­sus to come to his house and heal his 12-year-old daugh­ter who was ill and near to death. While on the way, with crowds press­ing in upon Je­sus, a woman with a flow of blood touches his gar­ment and is healed, and Je­sus stops to speak with her. Jairus had hope — faith, whether strong or weak — that if Je­sus would just get there in time and lay His hands upon his daugh­ter, she would be healed. But then the bad news came. It was too late. His daugh­ter had died! Why bother Je­sus — “the Teacher” — any longer?

But note what Je­sus did as soon as He heard those dis­cour­ag­ing words. He gave Jairus words of hope, words upon which his faith could rest: “Be not afraid, only be­lieve.” Rather than let­ting Jairus give up all hope, Je­sus called upon him not to be afraid but to be­lieve!

The Scrip­ture record tells us what hap­pened next. Je­sus ar­rived and, ac­com­pa­nied by His in­ner cir­cle of dis­ci­ples, He puts out those weep­ing and mourn­ing over the girl’s death, say­ing she’s not dead but sleep­ing. They laugh at Him, know­ing she’s dead. They had no hope.

Then Je­sus takes hold of the child’s hand and speaks to her the words: “Talitha cumi; which is, be­ing in­ter­preted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise” (v. 41). The Scrip­tures tell us: “And straight­way the damsel arose, and walked” (v. 42).

We may see no hope. We may think it is too late for God to in­ter­vene. We may even con­sider our sins too great and think there is no help for us. But Je­sus says, “Be not afraid, only be­lieve.”

Can­not the God who cre­ated and still sus­tains all things help us in ev­ery time of trou­ble? We re­mem­ber the words of the prophet in Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah Lord GOD! be­hold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is noth­ing too hard for thee” (cf. Ps. 50:15.).

And need we give up hope of sal­va­tion? Je­sus died for our sins and rose again (1 Cor. 15:3,4). He suf­fered our just pun­ish­ment and paid the price. Je­sus will be our judge, but He is also the same one who died on the cross and paid in full for our sins and the sins of the world and rose again. The Bible comforts us: “Who is he that con­dem­neth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh in­ter­ces­sion for us” (Rom. 8:34; cf. 1 John 2:1-2). And Je­sus says to us, “Ver­ily, ver­ily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and be­lieveth on him that sent me, hath ev­er­last­ing life, and shall not come into con­dem­na­tion; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

There is still hope, no mat­ter how hope­less all may ap­pear. Rather than giv­ing up in de­s­pair, trust Je­sus. “Be not afraid, only be­lieve.”

O dear­est Je­sus, Son of God and my Sav­ior, grant that I not de­s­pair and be afraid, even when all ap­pears hope­less, but trust in You and in the ev­er­last­ing sal­va­tion You won for me by Your death upon the cross and your glo­ri­ous res­ur­rec­tion. Amen.

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