Listen to me, my people; listen… for I will see that right prevails. My mercy and justice are coming soon; your salvation is on the way. Isaiah 51:4-5 TLB
One of my favorite Bible stories is about those two guys on their way to Emmaus. Disheartened and discouraged, they were shuffling down that dirt road after the crucifixion thinking, “It’s all over.”
And yet, the whole time, help was on the way.
That same day, Sunday, two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles out of Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking of Jesus’ death, when suddenly Jesus himself came along and joined them and began walking beside them. But they didn’t recognize him, for God kept them from it.
“You seem to be in a deep discussion about something,” he said. “What are you so concerned about?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. And one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about the terrible things that happened there last week.”
“What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the Man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a Prophet who did incredible miracles and was a mighty Teacher, highly regarded by both God and man. But the chief priests and our religious leaders arrested him and handed him over to the Roman government to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had thought he was the glorious Messiah and that he had come to rescue Israel.
“And now, besides all this—which happened three days ago… ” Luke 24:13-21 TLB
Help On The Way
I can relate to these two guys. When everything goes sideways, and the exact opposite of what you expected to happen, happens?
Well, it’s real easy to get focused on the crummy circumstances, isn’t it?
Yet God calls us to walk by faith–not fear.
Remember what Jesus said to Jairus when Jesus was delayed in getting help to him and his daughter?
Another person who had been waiting for deliverance for over a decade stopped him while He was on the way, and He gave her her miracle as well.
Then the servants of Jairus show up to say, “Don’t bother. It’s too late. Your daughter has died.”
And Jesus looks at Jairus and says, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” (Mark 5:36)
My reason to believe…
I am reading a new gift devotional right now called, “Speak Your Name, by Laney Rene.”
Her devotion for today, “My Reason To Believe” is about the story of Jesus and Jairus.
The anchor verse is 2 Timothy 1:7, which says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV)
She closed her devotion with this lovely prayer:
Jesus, You Are My Reason To Believe
Even when I receive news of death, discouragement, or defeat, I know that Your Word is final, and Your Word is life to me. Even though it may look like there’s no reason to believe, I still choose to believe and not fear, for You are with me. You have given me a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind: power to speak life where there seems to be death; love, that dispels all my fears; and a sound mind that trusts and believes in Your name. Thank you, Jesus. I receive from You my reason to believe. In Your name I pray, Amen.
The Last Word
It was that great old Bible teacher Selwyn Hughes who wrote,
Think, man, think
(For reading & meditation: Romans 12:1-8)
“‘ be transformed by the renewing of your mind ‘” (v.2)
The second thing the psalmist learned about himself as he paused in self-examination was this: “I saw myself so stupid and so ignorant” (Psa. 73:22, TLB). There were things he knew which he had foolishly chosen to forget. He forgot that God was in control. He forgot the temporary nature of success and prosperity. He forgot the whole purpose of godly living. He forgot that God always has the last word. If you and I react as the psalmist did to trials, then there is only one thing that can be said about us – we are stupid and ignorant. The third thing the psalmist learned about himself was that he had reacted like an animal – instinctively: “I was a brute beast before you” (Psa. 73:22b). What is the difference between a beast and a human being? A beast lacks the faculty of reason. It is unable to stand outside itself to consider itself and its actions. An animal responds to any stimulus instinctively without any interval for thought. The psalmist had been doing that – he had failed to put an interval of thought between the stimulus and the response. Once he did stop to think, and put the situation in a different context, his negative feelings immediately dissolved. Is not this the value of the Scriptures? As we read them they reason with us. They tell us not to react instinctively to things, but to think them through. They give us a new framework for our understanding, a new context in which to reason. The more we draw our understanding from the Scriptures and learn to think God’s thoughts after Him, the more secure and the more effective our lives become. (March 15, Everyday Light) Available on Amazon.
Amen, and Amen…
Well, I don’t know that I would say someone is stupid and ignorant for being afraid. There are lots of reasons to be afraid in this world. But, if we say we believe the Bible is true, and then take our focus off of that truth and start running scared, well…
We are called believers. We are called to walk by our faith. Jesus is our Rock and His Word is our safe tower in spite of the sudden storms of this life.
But as for me, I will sing each morning about your power and mercy. For you have been my high tower of refuge, a place of safety in the day of my distress. Psalm 59:16 TLB
So, I will simply add my “Amen” to Laney and Selwyn’s “Fear not,” and leave it at that.
Take heart beloved, God always has the last word.
Help is on the way.