Made Strong

2 Chronicles 32: 7

Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed.

Here is a very important key in spiritual warfare. Be not afraid. If you want to know the key tenets of the Bible this is certainly one. I have heard it said that there are 365 places in the Bible where we are instructed not to be afraid. I have not counted them myself but if you take notice as you read your Bible, you will probably begin to believe that count is accurate. 

There is an interesting story in Luke 8. A synagogue official named Jairus entreated Jesus to go to his house because his daughter was ill. Before they could get there messengers approached him and Jesus with the news that his daughter had died. Before Jairus could take a breath or utter an exclamation Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid, only believe and she shall be made well” (v. 50). Jesus knew that the outcome of the battle hinged on whether Jairus chose faith or fear.

If you think about it, fear really is faith in the negative outlook. Belief is faith in the positive outcome. You wouldn’t experience fear if you thought there was no merit to the negative report. It is only when we begin to doubt God that fear enters in. The more we yield to that fear the harder it will be for us to move back in faith and faith is what fuels our miracles and even our everyday answers. We must look to God and expect Him to be bigger than every situation of life, even death. Fear contaminates faith so in every situation we must hear the Lord saying to us “Do not be afraid.” This is a spiritual key.

Philosophical Luxury

Mark 5: 22 – 23

And one of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and upon seeing Him, fell at His feet, and entreated Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her that she may get well and live.”

I wonder about old Jairus. You know Jesus and the synagogue rulers were not on the best of terms. That makes me wonder where Jairus stood with Jesus before his daughter became ill. I just imagined this morning as I read this passage that he may well have been one of those people who stood in the synagogue courtyard complaining about and criticizing Jesus. I bet those folks had a big time running down Jesus and saying every sort of mean and critical thing. But when the need arises vain philosophies wane. I like to say, “There are no atheists in the oncology ward at the hospital.” While that is not completely true the point is made. Sometimes our philosophies are a luxury that we can no longer afford. 

Inside every human is the knowledge of the truth. Most people know the truth of God in the depths of their soul but they don’t want to acknowledge that truth. When Jairus’ need grew large enough, he pursued the truth and when he did salvation came to his whole household. 

Where does this leave us? If this is true then I think it leads us to establishing an ethic of patient compassion. Perhaps we cannot know all of the reasons people deny the truth but we can be there when their need overwhelms their philosophy. Compassion led Jairus to salvation. Compassion healed his sick daughter. Compassion must then also be our guiding light.

Sometimes when I hear the foolishness which spills out of people’s mouths I am amazed. They go through so many hoops in order to avoid admitting the truth. We can be available to pray when their need arises though and prayer does work. When you pray and their need is satisfied they will begin to understand that the Lord, our God, loves them and will help them. Answers to prayers are not for the saved only. They are a witness to all of the Jairus’s of the world and their kinfolk. Don’t withhold your prayer from the ungodly because it may be your prayer that leads them to eternal life with the Father.