“Don’t Be Afraid” (Jesus)

This week, I will face my fear.

It may seem like it’s too late for God to solve your problem. But Jesus insists that he can!

I want a microwave Savior. A God who solves my problems instantly.

But that’s not the only way Jesus works.

In Luke 8, two people came to him at just about the same moment: a religious official named Jairus, and an anonymous woman who had been hemorrhaging for years. The woman got instant satisfaction: “immediately her bleeding stopped” — even though she came to Jesus timidly. But Jairus — who trashed his pride, risked his entire career, and threw himself on Jesus’ mercy — got the most horrible possible news: his little girl had died.

But how did Jesus follow up? By addressing the most debilitating emotion we can experience … the weapon that Satan most loves to use to keep us from accomplishing what God has called us to accomplish, and to keep us from becoming what God has called us to become: fear.

“Don’t be afraid,” Jesus said to Jairus. When I take my need to God, if he doesn’t see fit to answer my prayer immediately, or answer it the way I expect him to answer it … if God has a purpose for delaying the answer to my prayer … my most natural response is to be afraid. I’m afraid he doesn’t hear me. I’m afraid he doesn’t love me. I’m afraid I’m not good enough to have my prayer answered. Or I’m afraid of what’s going to happen if I don’t get what I asked for. I’m afraid of what alternative God might have planned for me. I’m afraid of what God might consider to be best for me, compared to what “I” consider to be best for me! I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid!

And Satan loves this. When I’m afraid, I’m functioning perfectly according to Satan’s plan. I’m contributing beautifully to his purposes. I’ve played totally into his hand. I am now of limited use to God … I am now growing spiritually in only a very limited way, if at all. Fear has done a number on me. Satan wins.

But Jesus says, Don’t fear! Between the two of them, Jairus and the sick woman demonstrate that Jesus can meet my need even after it looks like it’s too late. How many marriages have demonstrated the fact that Jesus can work a miracle even after it looks like it’s too late? How many parents of teenagers can tell you, It looked like it was too late for my kid, but Jesus worked a miracle. Jesus says, “It looks like it’s too late, but don’t be afraid.” He is still working. He still has a plan for your situation. He still has a way to grow you. He still has a way to provide for your ministry. He still holds the future.

If I truly trust God’s love … my trust can displace my fear!

My Prayer for the Next Seven Days… Lord, help me patiently trust your love — even when it seems like there’s no way you can meet the need I’m facing. Help me hang on to you! Amen.

Psalm 56:3-4
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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