“As He was speaking, they came from the synagogue ruler saying, Your daughter has died. Why do you still trouble the Teacher? But hearing the word spoken, Jesus said to the synagogue ruler at once, Do not fear, only believe.” Mark 5:35-36 (Read v. 21-43)
Do things ever seem beyond hope? Have you ever prayed for the Lord’s help only to have things go from bad to worse, with no intervention in sight?
Think how Jairus must have felt when he sought Jesus to come to his house and heal his 12-year-old daughter who was ill and near to death. While on the way, with crowds pressing in upon Jesus, a woman with a flow of blood touches his garment and is healed, and Jesus stops to speak with her. Jairus had hope – faith, whether strong or weak – that if Jesus would just get there in time and lay His hands upon his daughter, she would be healed. But then the bad news came. It was too late. His daughter had died! Why bother Jesus – “the teacher” – any longer?
But note what Jesus did as soon as He heard those discouraging words. He gave Jairus words of hope, words upon which his faith could rest: “Do not fear, only believe.” Rather than letting Jairus give up all hope, Jesus called upon him not to fear but to believe!
The Scripture record tells us what happened next. Jesus arrived and, accompanied by His inner circle of disciples, He puts out those weeping and mourning over the girl’s death, saying she’s not dead but sleeping. Then He takes hold of the child’s hand and speaks to her the words: “Talitha koumi; which is, being translated, Little girl, I say to you, Rise up!” (v. 41). The Scriptures tell us: “And immediately the little girl rose up and walked” (v. 42).
We may see no hope. We may think it is too late for God to intervene. We may even consider our sins too great and think there is no help for us. But Jesus says, “Do not fear, only believe.”
Cannot the God who created and still sustains all things help us in every time of trouble? (Cf. Jer. 32:17; Rom. 8:31ff.; Ps. 50:15.) And need we give up hope of salvation? Jesus will be our judge, and He is the one who died on the cross and paid in full for our sins and the sins of the world and rose again. As the Bible says, “Who is he condemning? It is Christ who has died, but rather also is raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Rom. 8:34; cf. 1 John 2:1-2).
There is still hope, no matter how hopeless all may appear. Rather than giving up in despair, trust Jesus. “Do not fear, only believe.”
O dearest Jesus, Son of God and my Savior, grant that I not despair and be afraid, even when all appears hopeless, but trust in You and in the everlasting salvation You won for me by Your death upon the cross and glorious resurrection. Amen.