In life, it seems like there are some things that are harder to come back from than others.  But faith in Christ can give us the hope to get up when we feel like giving up.


It’s Not Over

What Happens When Faith Outweighs Fear

It’s hard to find a better story then a great comeback, seeing someone go from rags to riches, or an underdog overcoming impossible odds.  Seeing other conquer adversity gives us hope, especially when our circumstances are not the most ideal.  But let’s be honest.  There are some things that seem harder to comeback from than others.

My first official “job” out of college was being a teacher at a private school.  I was very nervous for my first day of school as a teacher instead of as a student.  I staying up all that night wondering, “Am I going to be able to handle these middle schoolers?”.  So my first class of the day went well, but I wish I could say the same thing for second period.  It was my largest class, made up of 8th graders.  The tardy bell rang and I began my introduction speech about the class and the syllabus.  That’s when I noticed the kids chuckling and trying not to laugh.  One kid breaks the tension and raises her hand.  After caller on her she says, “Sir your zipper is down”.  That is when the room burst into full blown laughter.

A lot of people have nightmares about finding themselves standing in front of a large group of people in their underwear.  That nightmare was pretty much a reality for me that day.  It was extremely hard coming back from that.  We all know that feeling of worry or hopelessness,  wondering how we could bounce back from a poor decision, a broken heart, or even a bad hair cut.  What keeps some people going when many others quit is the hope that they get by believing that things can get better.
That is what Easter is all about in a nutshell.  The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate comeback story, giving us a picture of hope beyond all chance or reason.  But before Jesus was crucified and buried, He took the time to help a man and a woman, who at first didn’t know each other, but whose stories intersected at a divine point, and whose examples can give us hope when we too feel like it’s impossible to make our own comeback.

21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24 And he went with him.  Mark 5:21-43 (ESV)

Here we are introduced to a certain man named Jairus.  What’s interesting to note here is that he risked a lot by coming to Jesus the way that he did because he was a ruler of a synagogue.  Many of his peers and other priests showed interest in Jesus while many more rejected Christ’s claims of being the Messiah.  Jairus’ words show us that there is a part of him that believed that Jesus was who He said He was.  He was desperate to help his dying daughter and he believed Jesus could help.

And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.  28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling 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 disease.”  Mark 5:21-43 (ESV)

Here we see a break in the story as a new face emerges from the crowd.  At first it seems that the Gospel writers seem to be going down a random side trail that seems to interrupt the flow of the story involving Jairus and his daughter.  Though the chain of events seem random, we will later see that there was a reason behind it all and Jesus wanted to make sure Jairus didn’t miss it.

After hearing about Jairus’ sick daughter, who we will later see is a twelve year old girl, we are then introduced to a sick woman who had been sick for twelve years.  She too not only believed that Jesus could help her but she also risked much in trying to find out.  Under her condition, she would’ve been considered “unclean”.  If she would’ve touched anyone, they too would’ve been considered unclean for a time.  She put Jesus and every person in there at risk, but she pressed through the mob to find her healing.  She had been told, “It’s all over.  There is no hope or cure for you.  You don’t even have any more money to keep on trying.  Give up.”  She refused to give up.  Instead she chose to get up and go to Jesus.  As we read, there were people everywhere trying to get to Jesus, and many eventually did get close enough to touch Him.  But what made this woman’s touch different that everyone else’s, causing her to be healed from her condition?  Faith!

Even though she was a little superstitious about touching Jesus’ clothing, we see that she believed that Jesus was more than just a wise man, great teacher, or famous celebrity.  She had faith in Jesus as the Son of God, the promised Messiah and savior.  After approaching the woman, Jesus leans down, in ear shot of Jairus and addresses her as “Daughter”, again confirming that not only was her body healed but so was her soul.  She was now a daughter of the living God through faith!  It was no coincidence also that Jesus addressed this sick woman who had been suffering for twelve years as daughter.  This was meant to give Jairus hope that his twelve year old sick daughter would be healed too!

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But over hearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. Mark 5:21-43 (ESV)

After the brief altercation with the woman, we come back to the original story.  Jairus’ heart must have filled with so much hope and excitement for his sick daughter after seeing Jesus heal this sick woman.  But soon Jairus’ world was crushed by the news that his daughter had died.  If the messenger had arrived at this specific time, that means that it was likely that Jairus’ daughter had been dead for some time, more than likely even before he had even asked Jesus for help.  Jesus, being God would’ve known this.  This is why His healing detour was so important and necessary for Jairus to witness.

After hearing the devastating news, the messenger tells the grieve-stricken father pretty much, “It’s too late now.  It’s over.  Don’t bother Jesus because He can’t do anything about it”.  That’s when Jesus interjects and says “Don’t be afraid, KEEP ON believing”.  Much like the sick woman, Jairus had to make a choice.  Quit or keep going?  Fear the worst or have faith and hope for the best?  What separates the group of people who never end of seeing breakthroughs in their lives and those who do comes down to the first group giving up too soon.  They let their current difficulties distract them from their coming blessing.  It’s sad to know just many people quit without realizing that they are about to win.

Yet against all odds and reason, Jairus follows Jesus back to His house and continues to believe.  Jesus’ statement, “She is asleep” was not a denial of the truth, rather it was to give Jairus hope that it’s not over, even if it seems like it is!  Notice also how Jesus removed everyone from the house who didn’t believe Him.  It’s important to remove the voices of the haters, naysayers, and spectators from our minds whose negative thinking can derail progress and growth.  Jairus was holding on to whatever faith in Jesus as best as he could while staring at his dead daughter, standing in her room.  Her had come too far to give up now.  It’s a good thing too because God ending up blessing his faithfulness.  Seeing Jesus display His power over disease earlier had given Jairus the faith that he needed to eventually witness Jesus display His power of death itself!

Both of these stories offer a lot for us to consider, especially when it comes to the struggle of wrestling with the fear of it being too late for you and me.  Jairus’ was wealthy.  The woman had become poor.  He was somebody in the community.  She was a nobody.  Their wealth, resources, and connections, or lack there of, were irrelevant.  Yet they both had one other thing in common that made all of the difference.  Their faith in Jesus outweighed their fears, opening the door for God to move in their lives and do the impossible!

Their story, and Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead, show us that if Jesus can come back from the dead, there is nothing you can’t come back from or face in life.  With Faith in Christ, it’s not over, even when it’s over.  Nothing is too difficult for Him to resurrect, raise, and restore!

11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”  ROMANS 8:11

When you place your faith in the risen Savior, God Himself fills you with the breath of life, empowering you with the same Spirit of the living God that rose Jesus from the grave.  Paul is telling the Christians in Rome that if God can do that in Jesus, He can do that and more in your life.  This is not just a future expectation that Jesus will resurrect you one day but a present promise that Jesus is currently resurrecting you today.  Resurrecting your hope, purpose, joy, identity, strength, courage, and peace through Himself.

Every time I personally encounter a difficult moment in life and come to the end of myself, I find myself colliding with the never ending love and power of God.  When my wife and I lost our first baby due to a miscarriage, we found the strength to comeback from that through Christ who came back from the dead.  Before surrendering my life to Christ, I found myself lost, hopeless, and empty.  The more I would fill my life with anyone and anything that wasn’t God the bigger the void would get.  That’s when I found a way out through the blood stained cross and empty grave that Jesus had paved Himself with His own life!  If God can do this in me, Jairus, his daughter, this sick woman, and through Jesus, He can do it through you too!

As great as it is that God can raise and restore the most important things in our lives that we’ve lost, there is one that is far greater.  Because Jesus came back from the dead, you and I can come back to God who is the source of unspeakable life!  Never give up on God.  Instead, get up.  Remember, it’s not over, even if it seems over.  Keep on believing and He will not let you down.  God is just getting started.  You’ve come to far to stop now.