Tagged: Mark 5

Fear constricts the flow of grace while Faith opens its hydrant

I think the tendency of many people, even Christians, is to view God as stingy and holding back the best from us as if God is like a man who is afraid he will run out so he is always thinking about the cost. There is a lot of stinginess to go around in our churches today but God is not the source of this stinginess. In fact, if we will trust Him and walk with Him in faith, he promises to open up heaven itself to us and pour out blessings beyond our wildest dreams. (Cf. Mal. 3:8-11 The Message)

In Mark 5, as Jairus’ faith sinks upon hearing the news of his daughter’s death, the heart of Jesus desires to pour out blessings beyond his wildest dreams so he seeks to impart courage with the words, “Don’t fear,  just believe.” For Jairus to receive the blessing Jesus wants to impart, he must trust in Jesus because fear constricts the flow of grace while faith opens its hydrant. So don’t fear, just believe or else by fear and distrust, we can shut out the grace that Christ desires to impart, a grace that is not hindered by death. Jesus says, “if you simply transfer your trust to Me, you will not lack power. But you must allow my power to flow and not constrict it with your fear.”

You see, our faith can never grow beyond the power of God which resists boundaries. It is never that we have too much confidence in God; it is ALWAYS that we have TOO LITTLE. Our fear ties a noose around His benefits while our faith is the instrument that connects us to His power. Calvin comments, “Our own scanty desires hinder Him from pouring out His gifts upon us in greater abundance….our faith, however large, will never embrace the 100th part (smallest fraction) of divine goodness.” Jesus regularly attributed his healings to the faith of individuals as He did with the two scenes in Mark 5. We shouldn’t attempt to nuance or water  down our role of believing because faith always derives its content and virtue from the object in which it rests. It does matter that we trust, it does matter that we have faith. And He may not do it, if you fail to Just Believe. Faith is not about believing certain propositions but instead is a certain kind of confidence, a Gift of Confidence and strength that the Lord imparts to us so that we can trust Him. When you trust the Person of Jesus Christ, your heart enlarges beyond limits and your courage and confidence in Him grows. Do you want this confidence for yourself? Pray: “Jesus give me the kind of confidence in You that Just Believes!”

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Trusting God when Bad News comes

Have you ever had a friend or spouse approach you with the words, “I have some good news and some bad news, which would you like to hear first?” This is common phraseology in our culture which is sometimes simply employed to communicate an outlook that is mixed with positive and negative elements, but in my experience is most often used to cushion impact of Bad News. Why is there always SOME bad news? Well, our reaction to receiving Bad News says a lot about where our trust rests. Psalm 112:6-8 says: “For the righteous will never be moved…He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.” (ESV)

In Mark 5, while Jesus was still speaking to the woman with the chronic bleeding problem, the desperate dad/ruling church elder named Jairus, who has been waiting on Jesus to come to his home to heal his dying daughter, received some Bad News from the home: “Your daughter is dead.”  This Message produces an even greater level of despair in the Dad. It saps his courage, his faith sinks like a punctured tire and a pit grows in his stomach the size of a basketball. This is perhaps the worst news a parent can ever receive, he has lost his pride and joy! His little girl, whom he loves is gone. Seemingly death places the concern outside of Jesus’ ability to help. But with instant access to the dad’s thoughts, feelings and blood pressure readings, Jesus hears the desperation, gives the deepest empathy and says to him,  “Don’t fear,  just believe.”

Can you imagine Jesus, with His steely eyes looking right into yours then with absolute knowledge of you and your life circumstances, can you hear Him speaking those strong yet tender words to you “Don’t fear, Just Believe”?

“Let nothing trouble you, Let nothing frighten you, Everything passes, God never changes, Patience Obtains all, Whoever has God Wants for nothing, God alone is enough” –Teresa of Avila

Tomorrow: “Fear Constricts the Flow of Grace while Faith Opens its Hydrant”