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Faith Toward God (8)

In our last broadcast, we articulated what constitutes an antidote to unbelief, as we learnt from the faith of the woman with the issue of blood (which story is to be found in Mark 5:22-34), as follows:
1. You must have a conviction as to the veracity of the word of God, which is the account of God, the Father, about Himself, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, man, sin, the devil, and so on;
2. Deriving from our conviction as to the veracity of the word of God, you must commit to obey, that is, do what the word of God says, without question, except, to seek clarification with a view to doing; and,
3. You are to have no confidence in any man, including yourself; rather, your full confidence is to be in God alone!

We shall now turn our attention to the story of Jairus, the second part of the two-in-one story recorded in Mark 5:22-42, as promised in our last broadcast. The story, which we had told in previous broadcasts, bears repetition: Jairus had approached the Lord Jesus to come and heal his daughter who was ill and at the point of death. The Lord agreed to go with Jairus and began the trip to Jairus home, with a throng of people following Him. But on the way, the woman with the issue of blood, having heard that the Lord could heal her, and being determined to obtain her healing, went in the press of the throng, touched the hem of Jesus garment stealthily, and was instantly healed. Having been healed, and the Lord becoming aware of it, He inquired about who had touched the hem of His garment. The woman eventually came forward, owned up, and the Lord pronounced wholeness upon her. But as a result of the woman touching the Lord, and the Lord enquiring about who had touched Him, and all that attended the incident, there was a delay in the procession to the house of Jairus, as it were. In the meantime, some people came from Jairus home, and informed him that his daughter had just died, and that he need not trouble the Lord any longer. But before Jairus could absorb the news and tell the Lord not to bother coming any longer, the Lord Himself, who had apparently also heard the news, immediately said to Jairus, Be not afraid, only believe. And then, He continued on to Jairus home, but this time with only three of His disciples and Jairus. Upon arriving at Jairus home, he saw that people had gathered to mourn and to commiserate with the Jairus Family. And when the Lord commented that Jairus daughter was only sleeping and not dead, rather than be excited, the mourners laughed Him to scornan obvious sign of their unbelief. Eventually, the Lord sent everyone in the house away, and went into Jairus daughters room along with her parents and the three disciples who had gone with Him, and there, He raised her back to life and handed her over to her parents!

There are many lessons to learn on faith and how to deal with unbelief in our lives from the story of Jairus, including the role of the woman with the issue of blood. For instance, when you consider the fact that the woman with the issue of blood came in the press to touch the hem of the Lord Jesus garment, without an invitation, without seeking or obtaining permission, and without the Lords knowledge, and yet got her healing; we can be confident that Jairus, whose invitation to the Lord Jesus, was honoured, would receive what he desired of the Lord who had followed him to his house. This contrast between the woman with the issue of blood and Jairus, should not be lost on us. If someone was able to receive a healing, without invitation, without permission, and without the Lords knowledge, how much more would someone who deliberately invites Jesus to come and heal his daughter receive the healing he desired for his daughter. All that the woman with the issue of blood had going for her was her faith, borne out of her conviction that if she touched the hem of Jesus garment, she would be healed. In Jairus case, he had a lot more going for himhe had invited the Lord, and the Lord had honoured his invitation, and had followed him. If you have asked the Lord Jesus to come and intervene on your behalf, and He consents to come, then, you can rest assured that He will do more for you, than for the person who sneaked in behind to obtain a healing. You see, there are people who do not know the Lord Jesus, but who, benefit from Gods benevolence to all men; and as a result, they occasionally receive answers to their prayers. But for those who are born againthose who have deliberately invited the Lord Jesus Christ into their lives and affairs, they are guaranteed answers to all their prayers. And even though a person who is not born again, receives an answer to his prayer, it does not mean that such a person has now become a child of God; rather, it shows the goodness and mercy of God to answer an honest prayerwe can only hope that when we pray, it will not be selfish and self-seeking. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-45, Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. What the Lord was saying is that because God is good, kind, and merciful, He makes the sun to shine upon both the evil and the good; and causes the rain to fall on the farm of both the good and bad. Now, someone may say, but is that not because there is no way by which sunshine can discriminate between persons? And the answer to that is, No! When God judged Pharaoh and Egypt, as recorded in the Book of Exodus in the bible, He neatly separated His people who were living in Goshen (another part of Egypt) from the plagues of Egypt, so that while there was disaster all over the rest of Egypt, there was calm in Goshen; when there was pitch darkness in the rest of Egypt, there was light in Goshen; when there was hailstorm all over the rest of Egypt, there was absolutely nothing of the sort in Goshen. So, God can choose to answer the prayers of anyone, but it does not necessarily confer the status of child of God on the person whose prayers have been answered. To become a child of God, you must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that through His death on the cross at Calvary, your sins have been completely removed, making you acceptable by God, and enabling you to live henceforth for God. This is what we mean by being born again. Now, back to our discussion. If God would answer the prayers of someone who does not know Him in a Father-son relationship; how will He not answer the prayers and do more for those who have invited the Lord Jesus into their lives, and are thus, born again? Indeed, God will take care of all that concerns His born again child, for He will do more than that born again child can ask or even think (Ephesians 3:20). The bible says in 1 John 5:14-15, And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. While the person who sneaks in from behind to obtain a healing has to do it stealthily, a person who is born again, asks with confidencethe confidence that as long as his request is in line with the will of God, he will receive his request. Unfortunately, many Christians today, sneak from behind to obtain things from God, rather than go to God boldly and make their requests known to Him. You hear a statement like, I would love to ask such and such, but I dont know if God will answer. This is clearly a statement of someone who has no confidence that whatsoever he asks he will get an answer. Yet, the people who dont know God just go on ahead and ask, and they get answers. The bible says in Hebrews 4:14-16, that since we have the Lord Jesus as our High Priest (that is, representing the interest of the born again child of God before the Most High God), we can boldly (that is, with confidence) approach (or go before) the throne of gracethe throne of God where grace resides abundantlyand obtain mercy, and grace to help us in time of need. This was Jairus confidencehe had invited the Lord, and the Lord had honoured that invitation. Friend, have you invited the Lord Jesus Christ into your life? And has He honoured your invitation? For, if you have invited Him into your life and affairs, rest assured that as the word of God says, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved., so shall it be for you. And thus, you can be confident that God will perfect all that concerns you, in so far as you are not living sinfully and recklessly.

But for all the confidence that Jairus may have had after the Lord arose to follow him to his house to heal his sick daughter, that confidence was about to be rudely shattered; for as they were going to Jairus home, and the woman with the issue of blood, interrupted the trip to Jairus home, the news that Jairus daughter had now died, tore into that confidence. For the uninitiated, the delay by the healing of the woman with the issue of blood, was to blame for the death of Jairus daughter. A statement like If only this and that did not happen, God would have stopped what happened from happening betrays the unbelief of the speaker, because he has inadvertently said that delays or interruptions can impair Gods ability to do what He says He will do. So, when people came from Jairus house to tell him (Jairus) that his daughter had died, he may have thought to himself, If only this woman did not have to come and touch Jesus garment. Friend, let us say specifically here that when God decides to do something for you, nothing can stop Him from accomplishing His task, except your unbelief, and this explains why the Lord Jesus, quickly interjected Jairus thoughts and said to him, Be not afraid, only believe. There is so much to glean from this statement of the Lord, but for now, let it be known that God does not start what He will not finish. If God will not do something, He will not say that He will. God does not have any abandoned projects; it may take some time to complete, but He will see it to its conclusion. In Philippians 1:6, the bible says that, he [that is, God] which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. This is a very crucial thing to note. If God had started something, He will finish it. And since the Lord Jesus had commenced the journey to Jairus home, He was bound to accomplish the task for which He was embarking on that trip, regardless of the news they had brought. In John 4:34, the Lord Jesus said to his disciples, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. And so, when it was done, the same Jesus announced on the cross, as recorded in John 19:30, It is finished! You see, when God sets out to do something in a persons life, nothing can stop Him, except the unbelief of that person. Jairus unbelief would have been a hindrance, so, when the Lord heard the contrary report that had come out of Jairus home, he immediately told Jairus, Be not afraid, only believe. Friend, there are things which the Lord wants to accomplish in the lives of His children, but their unbelief has become a hindrance. In Matthew 13:58, the bible tells us that the Lord Jesus could not do many mighty works in His native town of Nazareth, because of their unbelief. And their unbelief derived from the fact that they saw Jesus as a mere mana carpenters son! In Matthew 13:54-56, the bible narrates the incident thus: And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? The same attitude has permeated the church of God today: the Lord Jesus Christ cannot do many mighty works in His Church, and among His people because of their unbelief! Gods people have come to see the Lord Jesus, as a mere man, not as God! Friend do you believe that Jesus Christ is God? Believing this is a sure cure for unbelief!

Let us pray!