How to Survive in Despair

Read Mark 5: 21 – 43

Everyone told Jairus it was no use.  “Don’t bother talking to Jesus.  You daughter is dead.”  But Jesus’ only words were “Don’t be afraid; only believe” (Mark 5:36).

These are the same words God speaks to us when we stand in the middle of unspeakable horror, numbing sorrow, and debilitating disease.  When our world is collapsing around us and our minds cannot comprehend the next step, He gives us two seemingly simple tasks –

  • refuse fear
  • choose to trust.

Refuse to see things from the world’s perspective.  Refuse to focus on the problem without considering the resurrection power of Christ.  Refuse fear.

Remember the unwavering devotion of the Father Who loves you. Remember the grace that shines through life’s darkest moments. Remember the omnipotent power of the Creator God. Choose to trust.

After Jairus had found Jesus and Jesus had agreed to come with him to his daughter’s bedside, Jesus stopped along the way to minister to a woman who had been ill for many years.  The Bible doesn’t say, but I can almost feel Jairus’ impatience to get to his daughter.  He may have even been angry with Jesus for not hurrying when they were met by the messengers who relayed that Jairus’ daughter had died.

It was at that moment, however, that Jesus required something of Jairus – refuse fear and choose to trust.  The very second that his world came crushing down – refuse fear and choose to trust.  The time when Satan threw his arsenal of doubt darts – refuse fear and choose to trust.

Today I am thinking of the recovery efforts that are going on in the wake of Hurricane Michael.  People have lost all their possessions.  They have no work, because the work places were destroyed.  They have lost loved ones. They are struggling to meet everyday needs, and I am sure that many are afraid and in despair.  How can they manage each day? We want God just to speak and make it all go away.

But God requires us, just as He required Jairus, to refuse fear and choose to trust.

This doesn’t mean that we stop working and just sit. But it does mean that we allow faith rather than fear to control our thoughts and attitudes.  We refuse to be paralyzed by fear.  We see hope through the lens of faith.  We see blessing in the everyday miracles of love and support.

In His time and in His way, Jesus addressed Jairus’ need.  Others were ministered to and helped along the way.  Jairus experienced trusting God when he didn’t know the outcome.

In our darkest moments, God calls us to trust Him.  Always, in His time and in His way, God overcomes the darkness with His light.

Refuse fear.

Choose to trust.

II Timothy 1:12 for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Father, Today let me not respond from fear or hurt, but from the foundation of Your overwhelming love, which sought me, bought me, and holds me unconditionally in the safe haven of Your care.  Let Your light shine through.

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