Only believe – Mark 5:36

These words that Jesus spoke to Jairus regarding his daughter can easily apply in any number of situations that we face.  Here is how they appear in context.

35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 

The context in this case is vital to understanding what Jesus is saying.  

Jairus came to Jesus as his daughter was dying, asking for help.  Before they got home, however, the daughter had died.  When all was lost, Jesus encouraged Jairus with the words, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”  As it happened, Jesus raised her back to life.

Why does God so often wait until all hope is lost?  Perhaps it is so we are more focused upon hoping in him.  There is something spiritually healthy about being brought to the end of ourselves.  Self-sufficiency can be an enormous obstacle to faith.  Hope in anything or anyone but Jesus can redirect us away from trusting him.

When it is obvious that we cannot do anything to fix our situations, and neither can anyone else, God has the opportunity to intervene without interference.  He must like that, because he puts us in that place of helplessness pretty often.

What hopeless situation are you facing right now?  I am facing a few of them, but I won’t clutter this post with their tedious descriptions.  Christ’s message to us might be the same as his message to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; only believe.”

A Prayer Prompted by Matthew 26

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the love that you expressed by sending your Son to save us from our sins.  We are forever grateful that our salvation depends upon your love and Christ’s death and not on anything that we can do for ourselves.  He alone has conquered sin and death by rising from the grave.

Left to ourselves, like Peter, we would deny him.

Left to ourselves, we would sleep rather than pray.

Left to ourselves, we might even betray him.

But because of what Jesus did, we can come to you and call you Father. We can put our trust in you when we know that we cannot trust ourselves.

Help us to always give to you that which is most precious to us.  Thank you for your great love.

In Christ’s name,

Amen.

 

A Confident Prayer Prompted by Matthew 7:7-11

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Heavenly Father,

Teach me to ask for whatever I need from you.  Sometimes I forget; sometimes I just do not bother.  Sometimes I am negligent in prayer.  Make the kind of person who asks, seeks and knocks.  Teach me to be confident as I pray.

I know that you are good, so infinitely, incomparably good compared to me.  Sometimes even I do good things for my children or for others.  Why should I not be confident as I approach you with my needs?

Teach me to pray bold, confident prayers.  In the very word confident I see a root implying “faith” or “trust.”  Help me to have complete confidence in you.

You are good and you give good things.  Make me the kind of person who prays for good things that you would be more than happy to give,

In Christ,

Amen.

 

Palmer St. Podcast: When I Am Afraid

 

 

David and PhilistinesThis psalm begins with David crying out to God in the midst of trouble.  It ends with an expression of confident faith.

Psalm 56.mp3

Psalm 56.pdf

Psalm 56.pptx

Palmer St. Podcast: A Deepening Relationship

 

The greater our difficulties become, the more deeply God asks us to trust him.  Deeper trust grows out of a deepening relationship with God.

Job 9-13.mp3

Job 9-13.pdf

Job 9-13.pptx

Palmer St. Podcast: A Pure Church

A pure church. A healthy church. A church that can overcome unhealthy or corrupting influences. That’s what we want and that’s what we need. More importantly that’s what Christ desires for His bride.

Jude 20-25.mp3

Jude 20-25.pdf