Only Believe

Do not be afraid any longer; only believe….” Luke 8:50

This verse has been going through my mind regularly ever since I read it the other day. Any moment I began to fret or grow anxious, the Lord brings this verse to mind. Again and again it has been put before me and encouraged me.

Now, I am not one for naming and claiming verses and certainly don’t want to take anything out of context. So, lets look together at the Scriptures this verse comes from. The story begins back in verse 40. Here we meet a man named Jarius who was an official of the synagogue. Now generally such people didn’t want anything to do with Jesus, most didn’t like Jesus because they were jealous. Yet, here we find Jarius falling at the feet of Jesus. The Scriptures say in verse 41 that he implored Jesus,  which means he begged Jesus urgently. This was a desperate man who desperately wanted Jesus to come to his house because his one and only daughter was sick and dying. Apparently based upon verse 22, Jesus agreed and they began walking together toward the home of Jarius.

However, along the way there is another one who is desperate for the help of Jesus. A woman whose name we don’t know, yet a woman I believe who had great faith. A woman who had heard the stories of all the miracles of Jesus and who too was desperate to be near Him. This woman had been bleeding or hemorrhaging for 12 years. Can you imagine how weak she must have been. How difficult it had to have been for her to press herself through the crowds, yet she was willing to do whatever it took to get to Jesus. As Jesus was walking to Jarius home, the woman came up behind him and touched just the hem or the fringe of Jesus garment. Now if you can picture this, you see a desperate woman willing to go to exceedingly great lengths to get to Jesus. For it says she touched the hem of his garment. Most believe she touched the hem or fringe that hung at the bottom of Jesus clothes. So if you can imagine, she must have not only pressed through the crowds, but as she got closer, she began to crawl toward the feet of Jesus. Once there the faith of this woman is shown as she reaches out and touches not Jesus, but his garment. She not only believed Jesus could heal her, she believed if she could just touch him, she would be healed. Which is exactly what happens. For when Jesus feels the power leave him, He knows one has touched Him and calls out to the crowds. The disciples think He is crazy, but the woman knowing she has been caught comes forward and Jesus says, “Daughter your faith has made you well, go in peace. (v48).” Truly amazing, yet the story isn’t over.

As Jesus is still speaking, someone from Jarius home comes and tells Jarius to no longer bother Jesus for his daughter is dead. I’m sure Jarius just breaks down in tears, but Jesus turns to him and speaks these words. “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe, and she will be made well (v 50).” Now, if I had been Jarius and had just been told my daughter was dead, I think I would be feeling pretty hopeless. What can be done now, He must have thought, yet Jesus says, don’t be afraid, only believe. So they continue on to Jarius house. When they get there Jesus allows only James, Peter and John to enter with Him along with the girls mom and dad and he tells them something I’m sure sounded crazy. He says stop crying, she is not dead, she is only sleeping and then he took her by the hand and says arise. The Bible says at once her spirit returned and she got up.

Both of these are amazing stories, stories where we see Jesus do great miracles, and experience amazing power. Yet, both occurred by the power of God because of the faith of both the woman and Jarius. They occurred to bring glory and honor to Jesus and to exalt Him. Both were desperate for Jesus and in hopeless situations. Both were impossible. The woman had been to countless doctors and no one could heal here. Jarius daughter is dead. Impossible situations, yet the woman is healed and the girl raised to life, because they believe.

Now, I am by no means saying that just because we believe, whatever we believe will happen. Yet, I am saying that the Lord blesses and does the miraculous through the faith of His own. The Bible makes it clear that “without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).” The Lord is pleased with our faith and does not want us to doubt Him or be afraid. All throughout the Gospels you find Jesus healing and doing the miraculous for those who believe. He blesses the faith of countless people.

So, despite what is going on in your life,  despite how impossible life may seem, how hopeless it feels, I implore you “Do not be afraid, only believe.” God is faithful, He cares for you and nothing is impossible for Him. No situation is too bleak or without hope. He’s at work, only believe and know that He too will bless your faith.

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