28 July 2016

Too Much Bad News?

Then wash your eyes out with this...
From Mark 5:21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
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.” 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”
40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41
Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.

There is enough substance in this passage for several sermons, but I want to discuss the situation that many of us may be facing: weariness from a seemingly-unending stream of bad news.

The news from our nation's capital could wear out anyone, these days. It seems to be one bit of unpleasant political hi-jinks after another, with no end in sight. Then they all stand around, applauding each other for having successfully done an "end-run" around yet another Constitutional prohibition.

People say to me, "Reverend Paul, I've called, I've e-mailed, I've written. I've talked to my neighbors, I've attended a town hall meeting, I've been to three political protest rallies. I've prayed, but nothing's working, and I'm tired. What am I supposed to do now?"

Jesus has an answer for that. Didn't you just know He would?

Notice that Jairus came to Jesus in faith, asking for his daughter to be healed. Jesus agreed immediately, and they set out for Jairus' home.

But then something happened: an unexpected interruption. What must Jairus have been thinking? I can almost hear his thoughts. "But ... but ... my daughter! She's sick! And you said you'd come right away. We don't have time for this!" And then, the worst possible news: "Don't bother the Master any longer; it's too late. Your daughter has died."

But that is when Jesus turned to him and said, "Don't be afraid, but only believe." In other words, "You came to Me in faith. You knew I could heal your daughter. Don't stop believing and get into fear, just because the news is bad!"

You can see where I'm going with this, can't you? Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (emphasis added)

Jairus had faith when he sought out Jesus' help, but the bad news threatened to extinguish that spark of faith. Jesus immediately turned to him and said, "Don't let that spark of faith go out: hang on! Trust Me!"

We have trusted Jesus this far ... and He's always come through, hasn't He? The answer is ALWAYS there. It may not be the answer we were expecting; it may not have been the result we imagined; but He has never, ever let us down.

Don't let that spark of faith go out. "...assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matt. 17:20) The mustard plant in the Middle East produces tiny, tiny seeds, and Jesus said that's all the faith you need. But you have to have that much.

Don't start thinking that it's over, or that God has abandoned us. We've been living in a season of amazing grace, and it may be that He is now requiring that we stand on our two feet and exercise our faith. Like any muscle, faith gets stronger when it's exercised.

Don't give up; rest if you need to, but don't give up. God's still on His throne, and He will NEVER abandon us. I don't care how dark the political situation becomes, He's still our Savior!


PeteForester1 said...

Indeed; faith will ultimately save us. Unfortunately, the turbulence we're now experiencing in our once-great nation is due, in large part, to people walking away from God; people full of themselves; people feeling that they can do a better job than God. This happened in Israel several time in the Old Testament, with the same horrifyingly predictable result. Somehow, many in this country feel that this can't happen to us...

God will save our country, but not before we've lost so much altitude that our wingtips are clipping the treetops...

Rev. Paul said...

Pete, I largely agree with you. I don't think God is waiting for us to fall that low; He's willing to save us whenever we truly turn to Him in faith. It's just that I think we're going to allow ourselves to fall that low before we turn back to Him.

DoninSacto1 said...

Charles Martel, the Battle of Laponta, the Gates of Vienna, How many times have we battled the same enemy. We sought God at those times and our enemy was defeated. Now, we are against a greater enemy and we seek God without devotion. We ask Him to help, but do not give ourselves to him. We seek other gods, money, teevee, material items. If we give ourselves totally to our True God He will save us.

Rev. Paul said...

That is an excellent summation of much of that which is wrong with Christian America. Well said, sir.

drjim said...

A great deal has been made over our "Greatest Generation" that basically SAVED THE WORLD during WWII.

I work with many of these fine gentlemen doing my volunteer time on the Iowa.

Every....single....one....of them is what we used to call a "Good, God Fearing Man".

And as my Dad taught me growing up, "There are no atheists in fox holes".

It saddens me deeply that our country produces so many youngsters who don't have any Faith.......

Rev. Paul said...

Jim, your last sentence says it all. They don't believe in anything.

drjim said...

Except themselves, but not in a good, productive way.

Fiona said...

Thank you so much....this was JUST what I needed to hear today. I have been out to the south garden where it is easy to see the hand of God in our world but we had to go shopping in the city and that does make me incredibly weary! The lost souls we see and the incredible lass of morality and conviction.

Again Thank you.

Rev. Paul said...

Fiona, you're welcome - and that's why the Lord moves on me to do it. I'm so glad it helped. :)

ProudHillbilly said...

What I'm finding scary is that you start just getting numb to it. Another 20 people killed in Europe? Bombings, beheadings, cops shot down, blacks killing blacks almost faster than Planned Parenthood can. So what else is new?