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Be Encouraged for Today - October 4, 2006

Faith That Overcomes Our Thinking

Faith is a hard thing. Having faith requires us to give up control. It means putting our lives and our "destiny" in the hands of another. We all like to be in control. Let me rephrase that. We like to have the illusion of control. But in reality, we have very little control over our lives. Think about the weather and how much we can make it rain or make it sunny or make it windy or make it calm. Think about driving a car down the road and how much control we possess over the other motorists. For that matter, consider how much control we really wield over the people we interact with on a daily basis. A parent may have a good bit of control over his or her child, but how much control does that same parent have on the cashier at the grocery store? We live under the illusion of control.

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!" ). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. - Mark 5:36-42, NIV

Jairus was a synagogue ruler. He was used to working in this illusion of control. After all, he had some authority, didn't he? But over his little daughter's health he had none. He knew he had none. But he knew someone who might and that someone was Jesus. It took faith for Jairus to come to Jesus in the first place. Then, as they are headed back to Jairus' house, the news comes that his daughter is dead. As a father I can identify with Jairus. With the many health questions surrounding my baby daughter, every bit of bad news was devestating. I can only imagine with Jairus' felt. But Jesus surely understood and immediately provides comfort. He also says, "Just believe." In other words, "Have faith."

Jesus was reminding Jairus who was in control. Jairus followed Jesus' lead and was able to witness the miracle of his daughter being restored. But look what he went through. In spite of Jesus' words, everyone around was crying and mourning this little girl's death. How hard it must have been to maintain faith! And then, after Jesus says the girl is only sleeping and gets laughed at, how much harder still!

Does this all sound familiar? Unfortunately, it does. There have been times when God says, "Have faith!" and I see what the world says. And though God has worked miracles in my life before, I still go with what I see around me rather than standing on God's Word and His previous track record. We all have. We're not supposed to do so, but we do. I don't know how God takes this. If God were human surely at some point He would have lost patience with us and took us to task for our lack of faith. And though sometimes He reminds us in not so nice terms where we've made our mistakes, it never is like what we would do to berate another for his or her foolishness. We serve an amazingly patient and loving God. We serve a God who has control even if we forget that.

Be encouraged, for God is in control. Be encouraged, for God can and will work miracles. Be encouraged, even if you have had a let down in faith. Our God picks us up; He doesn't continue to beat us down. Be encouraged, and allow your faith to trust God and give Him control. You won't be disappointed.

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