Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 24, 2018

“Do not be afraid any longer; only believe” – “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” – “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 8:40-42 and 49-56.  Merry Christmas!  My next devotion, God-willing, will be on Wednesday, December 26, 2018.

“And as Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him.  And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue;  and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house;  for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying.  But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him.

While He was still speaking, someone *came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died;  do not trouble the Teacher anymore.”  But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer;  only believe, and she will be made well.”  When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother.  Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her;  but He said, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.”  And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died.  He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!”  And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately;  and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.  Her parents were amazed;  but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.”  Luke 8:40-42 and 49-56.

——————

Jairus experienced a range of emotions that were expressed in today’s Scripture or can be reasonably inferred from what he was confronted.  We have experienced similar emotions, and we can learn from today’s Scripture on how to handle such emotions.

First, we see Jairus fall at Jesus’ feet and implore Jesus to come to his house to heal his dying daughter.  There have been times in our life when we too have been so desperate with no other solution but God, and we beg God for help.

Second, Jairus had to be in a crowd to approach Jesus, and Jairus likely felt swamped.  Some are better than others at crowds and demands pressing on them, but we all know the emotion of feeling swamped.

Third, Jairus’s need was interrupted by the woman with the need of healing of her hemorrhage (verse 43-48), and Jesus turned his attention to her and healed her.  We can reasonably infer that Jairus was disappointed and irritated.  He may have thought:  “I was first!  My need is much greater and pressing!  My daughter is dying!!”  We too have felt similar emotions of feeling disappointed and irritated due to lack of attention to our need.

Fourth, Jairus was afraid throughout most of today’s Scripture, but his fears reached the height when he heard his daughter had died.  We too have experienced rising fears.

Fifth, Jairus wept.  Who has not experienced tears, and sometimes many tears?

Sixth, Jairus laughed.  Maybe, it was a spontaneous and unintended release or switch of emotions.  Maybe, it was a needed change of focus from himself to Jesus and a laugh at Jesus’ expense.

Seventh, Jairus was amazed at Jesus’ miracle.

Eight, Jairus felt great joy that his daughter came back to life.

Jesus did not scold nor even comment on such emotions by Jairus with the two exceptions that Jesus said:  “Do not be afraid any longer;  only believe, and she will be made well.” and “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.”

As we go through life, we will experience a range of emotions.

“A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.”  Ecclesiastes 3:4.

Emotions will come and go, but most importantly, we should not allow our fears and tears block or hinder us from believing Jesus.  We may not feel like it, but it is important that we continue to pray, read Scripture, and attend church.  We should let go of undependable and fleeting emotions, and instead, focus on, hold on, and believe the rock-solid eternal word of God!

But, there is hope!

Jesus calmed the fierce gale of the storm and the surging waves of the sea only a few verses earlier in this chapter, and this same Jesus will calm our fierce fears and surging tears.  Jesus will best handle all of our ranging and raging emotions. 

“Peace I leave with you;  My peace I give to you;  not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  John 14:27.

Remember that Jesus’ peace (in that fierce gale of the storm and the surging waves of the sea) was such a peace that Jesus was asleep during it and needed to be awaken.  Such peace, Jesus gives to us!

In conclusion, our Lord does not only handle all of our emotions;  our Lord delivers us out of all of our troubles.

“17 The righteous cry, and the LORD hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.”  Psalm 34:17-19.


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