Don’t be Afraid. Only Believe.


PRAY: Humbly ask God to give you wisdom to understand this portion of the Bible and the faith to live out what He reveals to you.

READ: Mark 5:21-43

“Don’t be afraid. Only believe” (Mark 5:36).

Have you ever come up against circumstances that seemed impossible? Maybe it was a financial crisis? Perhaps you were in a relationship that seemed to be doomed from the start? How about having a loved one face a grim health diagnosis? Did you feel like all was lost? Did fear consume your every thought?

This is certainly how the synagogue leader felt about his daughter who was facing death (and actually ended up dying).

Notice that Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter when He was “interrupted” by the woman with the bleeding issue. This woman didn’t know how to make herself well but knew whom to turn to.

She touched the robe of Jesus and because of her incredible faith, she was made whole.

When the temple leader, Jairus, and his family had lost hope and everyone else laughed at what seemed to be a complete misdiagnosis by Jesus, who declared that he was going to wake up Jairus’ daughter. Jesus’ response to them was to not fear but only believe. What a simple phrase that even a toddler could remember. Don’t fear, just believe.

And with that, Jesus raised the little girl to life again, proving once again that He is the powerful Son of God who defies those who tremble at His presence (Mark 5:1 – 20), and here has power over death itself.

I wish this story meant that Jesus intervenes in every circumstance to our liking, but I’m afraid that is not the case. I remember praying for my uncle who was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He was a very good man with lots of influence as a circuit judge and further, he pointed many people to Jesus through his life.

After much prayer, the cancer was contained in a section of his kidney, which was later removed. After much celebration and praise for God’s intervention, a couple of years later, the cancer returned and killed him. This made me very angry at God for years, and I questioned the power of prayer.

What if Jesus had not raised Jarius’ daughter from the dead? Is God obligated to answer our prayers the way we want them answered? No. Would Jarius still believe in Jesus and trust God’s goodness if He chose not to answer that prayer the way he hoped? How about you and I?  

These words of Jesus still haunt me: “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” While there are many times in our lives when Jesus will intervene, there are other times when we have to trust that He is still sovereign and has a plan to “work all things together for good for them who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).

We know that He is the author of life and when we question His love for us, we can look to the cross and have all doubts removed. He cares for us deeply and one day He will remove all sin and death. If we are in Christ, we have no reason to fear, not even death itself. We need only believe. Our time here on earth is short and Jesus’ physical healings point to a deeper truth: He is restoring everything to what He intended it to be before sin corrupted this world.

Reflection Questions:

1.      What cripples you with fear and what stands in the way of your faith?

2.      Do you really trust Jesus, even in difficult circumstances?

3.      What are some situations where fear has been overcome by faith in your life?

Memorize: Romans 8:28

28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

This week's devotional is written by Lance Beauchamp. Lance is a City Church Owner and has been the director of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at FSU since 2010.