Don’t Be Afraid – Only Believe!

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 
Mark 5:36 NKJV

I can identify with this synagogue ruler, because last year, right on Thanksgiving Day we received the last phone call from my wife’s sister. Diane was just hours away from passing on into the presence of Jesus. In the same way that the synagogue ruler begged Jesus to come to his home, where his daughter lay at the point of death, Diane was begging for my wife to fly back out to California. Just at that moment, his friends show up and tell him (and Jesus) that his daughter is dead, so why bother Jesus anymore. Imagine the emotions this man feels. During a crisis we often call our friends or family for help. I’ll wake up my wife or knock on our pastor’s door and I do all this because they are the ones who I trust the most. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. As the song says, “We all need someone to lean on.,” but in today’s verse, God tells us that sometimes even those people can be wrong. But Jesus doesn’t argue or try to convince them. Instead, He turns and talks to the man who had come for help. He more or less says, “Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. Stay focused on Me”. In the same way, no matter what you are going through remember that God has not forgotten you and He wants us to know that no matter what everyone says, we need to keep our focus on Him.”

Then, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid.” I am comforted that Jesus knows when we are afraid, and He isn’t angry about it. Instead of criticizing, He keeps walking with us and offers hope simply by His presence. Last, Jesus says, “Just believe.” That is good news, for me because when I am worn out, beaten down and discouraged, the last thing I need is for someone to give helpful advice. As Pastor Rick Warren says, “God loves you and everyone else has a wonderful plan for your life!” But Jesus doesn’t ask us to try harder, come up with a better attitude or cheer up. All that He asks is for us to believe in Him. He not only knows our problem, but He also knows the solution. He walks with us so we will keep going when we are at our weakest. The good news for all of us this Thanksgiving is that all Jesus asks is to trust Him, “Do not be afraid! Only believe!”

I hope you like this quiet song of thanks by Steffany Gretzinger with Melissa Helser. No matter what you are facing, take time to sit and rest. Then, allow Christ to come and fix things as only He knows how!

Confessions of a Bellyacher

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.           1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV

I complained that I was lonely

Till it forced me to make friends

And I griped how big my church was

Till I saw folks came for Him

I worried over this and

I fussed too much on that

Which I had lost control of

Till I found God had my back

Then in big ways and in small

That I never understood

I found God in every circumstance

Working all things for my good

So if He soon calls me homeward

Or if He gives to me long life

I am choosing to be thankful

For His great love in Jesus Christ!