I believe that this Bible Study came right out of the heart of God.
God tells us to mourn with those who mourn. I think there are times when God does mourn with us and for us, and I believe that God’s heart goes out when his children are hurting. We’ve been taught in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that we as children of God are to walk by faith and not by sight. But there are times when it feels like the whole bottom drops out! It is really hard at times not to look at circumstances. Sometimes it feels just like we get this hard kick in the stomach that seems to knock the breath out of us, leaving us gasping. At times it feels like we’re going under for the last time. We’ve often tried not to look at circumstances, yet thought, “Lord, I don’t see how the Word can possibly work in this particular situation”.
Practically every one of us has experienced the bottom falling out at least once in our Christian walk and this can come in a variety of ways: physical ailments, depression, financial battles, failing in academics, family members with addictions, bondages, broken relationships…
I’ve watched situations like this over and over in the body of Christ and many times I’ve just prayed and said, “Lord, what is your answer when it seems like the whole world turns black around the person and they just don’t know which way to turn?” I don’t think I was actually expecting an answer, but one day as I was praying, very clearly up out of my spirit I just heard the words “I have given you an example in my Word and that example is an answer no matter what the problem might be, no matter how hopeless it might appear.” And I felt like the Lord gave me the word “Jairus” as the answer when all hope seems to be gone. The same answer that He gave to Jairus that worked two thousand years ago will still work today.
In Mark 5 we see what Jesus had to say to Jairus when the world looked completely bleak around him and when there seemed to be no hope.
Mark 5:22 says one of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up and upon seeing Jesus, fell at His feet and entreated Him earnestly saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death, please come and lay Your hands on her that she may be well and live.” Have you ever gone into your prayer closet so devastated over something that you just fell on your face and said, “God, you’ve got to help me; I’m at the end of my rope.” I know I’m not the only one who has ever done that. You feel you have no answers and all hope is gone.
Jairus was under a lot of pressure. Time was of the utmost importance because his little girl was at the point of death and he had watched her get steadily worse. I’m sure all those pictures were flashing in his mind as he went looking for help. I am sure he had already gone to every physician in the area, but then he remembered people talking about this man called the “miracle worker”. Everyone who went to Him was getting healed. Among the synagogue officials, this miracle worker was controversial; yet, everything he said made sense. Jairus could not help but believe that this man could help his daughter. As he was running to find Jesus, hope began to build in him. He was determined to find the only man he knew who might have the answer. He was taking a professional risk. Jesus wasn’t exactly well thought of among the synagogue officials. In fact, they didn’t like Him at all. Yet, none of these synagogue officials had been able to help, so who is thinking about a professional reputation at a time like this? Jairus was desperate.
When Jairus got there, it wasn’t hard to find Jesus because there was always a crowd surrounding him. He had very few daylight hours that he could call his own because the people were continually thronging him. This particular time Jairus found him at the seashore and he knew he didn’t have any time to waste by going through all the preliminaries. He didn’t have time to voice all of his credentials and convince Him that he was there out of sincerity. Jairus skipped all the formality and simply fell at the feet of Jesus. That gesture said everything that needed to be said as he began earnestly begging him, “My little daughter is at the point of death. I beg You to come and lay Your hands on her.”
You could hear Jairus’ plea gushing out of him when he comes into the presence of Jesus and Jesus immediately got up and followed him to his house. This is probably the first relief he’s had in days when Jesus stood up to follow Him. One thing that Jairus hadn’t counted on was that as Jesus started walking with him a great multitude followed. It looked as though the whole crowd was going home with him. But, at that moment, it didn’t matter. His little daughter was hanging between life and death.
Something strange happened. Jesus stopped the crowd that was following and asked who had touched Him. We see in verse 25, a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years and had endured much at the hands of many physicians but had only grown worse, came up in the crowd behind him and touched his clothes. She thought if she could touch his garment she’d be well. And, immediately she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus had asked who touched him because he had perceived that power had gone forth from His body.
Jairus may have thought that this was a strange thing for Jesus to be concerned about, especially at a pressing time like this. The disciples echoed the same thought. In verse 31, the disciples said, “You see the multitude pressing in on You and You say, “Who touched Me?” He had never complained about people touching him before. He was always touching people everywhere he went, even the lepers.
By now, the whole procession has stopped because they’re shocked at what Christ has done. In verse 32, He looked around to see the woman who had done this, but the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace, be healed of your affliction.” At any other time in life, Jairus probably would have been concerned about this woman who had suffered for so many years. But this time, I’m sure, he just saw her as an interruption. He had the Master going with him and all of a sudden, the whole trip had stopped.
I want to insert a thought here. Often when we have a hopeless situation and it looks like the bottom has fallen out, there usually comes an interruption. We’ve been taught enough to know that if the interruption is coming from the enemy that we stop and take authority over it. But, we’ve seldom been taught what to do with a good interruption. And this was a good interruption. This woman had been healed. When we’re under intense pressure like Jairus was, emotionally we may feel incapable of helping someone else or of even being concerned about what they’re going through.
We can be quite sure that Jairus felt pressure when Jesus stopped to investigate this situation. It was probably ironic to Jairus’ mind that a chronic situation like this would get so much attention. His thoughts might have been—she’s been plagued with this thing for twelve years. Surely, she could have waited a little longer—at least until Jesus had had time to take care of my child who is at the point of death. You know he must have felt some of those feelings while he’s standing there watching and waiting.
Many of us have been at a place where we said, “Lord, what about me? I’m dying, I need help. It seems that You’re giving prophecies to everybody else and, Lord, I’m over here just dying. I need your undivided attention right now.” Yet, we find that Jesus’ attention got off of Jairus and did go over to this other woman.
I used to read the story of this woman with the issue of blood and I would get so involved in the story that I never really even thought about the fact that Jairus had been put on hold. The lady apparently had not meant to interrupt Jesus. She knew that He was following the synagogue official and she simply just reached out to touch the hem of His garment. It was strange that she perceived that touching His garment would stop the issue of blood because for twelve years she had been going to physicians and they hadn’t helped. How did she know that by touching His garment it was going to do what she needed in her body? Notice He felt healing power leave His body and looked around to see who had the faith to draw this kind of power. She, of course, didn’t dare try to escape because she knew that anybody so filled with this kind of divine power would certainly know. She just threw herself at His feet and confessed, telling Him how the power had entered her body and she had been healed.
We find that Jesus gave His blessing and then gave approval of her faith. It was at this exact moment that Jairus is hit with a crushing blow. It had been bad up until now. But, right at this moment is when the bottom literally fell out. Notice that before the words even get out of her mouth, in verse 35 while Jesus was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official saying, your daughter has died, why trouble the teacher anymore? Now, his world that had been bleak had suddenly just turned totally black. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore. She’s dead. It’s not going to do any good. Just come on home. There’s no more that can be done.” I’m sure it was as though his whole world just tumbled in on top of him. Every one of us has been there in one area or another when it felt as though the ground opened up and we fell in.
Many years ago when I had come through eight years of emotional sickness, I can remember thinking, “I can’t stand waking up in the mornings because I dread all the tormenting thoughts.” Then night would come and I would think, “I dread going to bed because of the nightmares.” After crying out to God and His bringing me into a new awareness of His spirit this whole new lease on life brought an ecstatic joy that I cannot even begin to put into words. I felt so much joy that it was like I was in this bubble of peace. I was so happy, probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.
But after that two years of peace, some of those old fears started coming back. Some of those old mind thoughts started rising up and I wasn’t afraid. I was terrified. I was just panicked that this time I was going to end up in a mental institution. While I was standing there just barely hanging on, I can remember that something else happened and it was as though I was completely washed away. I didn’t know about deliverance at that time. I didn’t know how to stand on the Word of God. I didn’t know anything about spiritual warfare, so I panicked. I can remember that I started digging through the medicine cabinet trying to find a bottle of tranquilizers from two years before. I felt desperate and didn’t know what to do. My world turned totally black because all hope was gone.
There are those of you who know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe you’ve received a healing or possibly you’ve received an answer you needed and you rejoiced and were so excited and full of joy. Then suddenly, the enemy came in and tried to steal the healing by making you think all those symptoms were coming back. Maybe even new symptoms and fears had come, and panic engulfed you.
This synagogue official, Jairus, was experiencing that kind of despair. The servants had come and said, “Don’t bother the teacher, come on home. She’s dead!” That was about as bad as it could get. There’s no telling what was going on in his head. He might’ve been desperately thinking, “Jesus, if you just hadn’t stopped to help this woman maybe we would have gotten to my house in time.” Everything he had feared had come crashing down on his head. There was no hope left. But, I want you to see that Jesus knew exactly where Jairus was. He knew that all the hope was gone.
In verse 36, I want you to see what Jesus said in this situation. Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” The answer that Jesus gave to Jairus is exactly the same answer that He’s giving to us today. Anytime we feel like the bottom has fallen out, anytime we feel like there’s no hope, when we think we’re at the end of our rope and we can’t hang on another moment, Jesus is right there saying exactly to us what he said to Jairus. He had overheard the message that had come by the servants, and he went immediately to Jairus’ aid. He was saying, in verse 36, “Don’t listen to the world, don’t listen to what’s being said, don’t go by sight, don’t pay any attention when they’re saying, it’s too late. It’s not over! don’t give in! don’t be afraid! just keep believing and trusting Me.” As simple as that answer may sound, it’s the answer to every one of us in our greatest hour of need—in our greatest hour of despair. God is saying exactly that same thing, “I told you in my Word over and over not to be afraid, just keep believing.”
What I’m wanting us to hear today is that most of the time it’s in that last hour that we lose the victory. So many times we’ve stood fast and believed and then in that last hour, we’re ready to give up. Maybe we’ve stood for days or weeks or sometimes even months, barely hanging on, but at least we’ve been standing. Then, one day something happens and by sight, it’s the final straw and it looks as though there’s no possible way out. So, what do we do? Sometimes at that very moment, we just give over the whole ball of wax to the devil, and that’s exactly what he was believing for—that’s the very thing he was waiting for. He doesn’t have the power to take the victory away from us, but he can harass us until we think that he’s won. Anytime we come to the place where we think that the enemy has won, we have turned over the trophy that had been in our possession all the time.
I want you to keep this in mind, it was after the situation looked hopeless that Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, keep believing.” It wasn’t when Jairus first walked up and fell at His feet that Jesus said, “Hey, don’t be afraid, keep believing” It was after the situation was hopeless.
Jesus’ instructions are very simple. It’s summed up in two steps: 1) He’s saying deal with the negative because you’re going to have those negatives coming. Stop the fear, don’t be afraid, and then 2) He’s saying stick to the positive and hang onto your faith. Keep believing—don’t lay it down. That’s all that matters—just believe My word! It has been mistakenly said, “Don’t quit until they’ve pulled the sheet over your head.” But, with Jesus, we’re going to find that there are times that you don’t even quit then. It was over for Jairus, and yet, Jesus was still saying, “Don’t quit believing”.
Since we’re looking into handling interruptions, there’s a couple of things that we need to take note of before we go on. Many times, what looks like an interruption can be God giving us an extra shot of faith in the arm. That’s often the case. We can be so preoccupied with the problem that God may be wanting to just give us an example. He may be trying to pull us away from our tunnel vision. That may be exactly what God was doing here in Jairus’ case. He may have been giving him this extra boost. Jairus could’ve had a lot of similarities between his situation and this woman’s situation because she, too, had been fighting for a long time. She had gone to all the doctors. She had used all of her money and still got worse, so I’m sure that her situation seemed just as hopeless to her. She, too, had heard of Jesus. She, too, had gone to the Lord much like Jairus’ did because she was desperate. And, when she went to Him, she was healed. Jairus had watched this whole thing. She had cut in on his time so you know he was watching to see what was going on, and God may well have been giving him a faith example to prepare him for the bad news that Jesus knew was coming. God may well have been giving him this scene to hang onto when the bottom dropped out for him.
In life, anytime you’re serving God, there’s going to be a lot of interruptions. There are going to be some bad interruptions and some good interruptions. We’re going to have to learn how to discern the difference. We’re going to have to learn how to take authority over the bad interruptions and then we’re going to have to learn how to use it for our benefit when it’s good. We need to be able to say, “Lord, if it’s a good interruption, how can I use this, how can I benefit from this?”
Years ago, Angie was working with a girl at a juvenile detention center. This girl had been labeled as a psychopath. Angie had worked with her for a long time and finally, she had been released from the center and had gone home. Angie was disappointed because the girl had never come to know the Lord and it looked like she had no more chances to be able to work with her. About a week later, Angie was back in the detention center working with some of the other girls. Surprised, she realized that the girl was there. They had made a clerical error in her papers and so they had called her back. Previously, this girl had not been able to comprehend anything or even try to understand what Angie was telling her. But this time she was a little more responsive. She had asked Angie to stop by her room to talk and pray with her. They had just gotten into her room about 6 o’clock, and all of a sudden, another girl knocked at the door and came in. She was having some kind of family problems that she wanted to be prayed for, so Angie prayed for her, and then immediately another girl on drugs came in and they prayed for her. One after another came in. Angie said it was supernatural how many interruptions they were having. One girl even wanted to pray the prayer of salvation. Angie admitted that every interruption that came was good. She said everything was turning out wonderfully, but she said it still was frustrating her because she wanted to be able to get to “this” girl.
From 6 until 9 o’clock that evening there was a steady stream and then finally at 9 o’clock, the room cleared. Everybody left and suddenly the girl said, “I want to ask Jesus into my heart.” Angie asked what changed her mind? Her response was, “All evening I’ve been watching you pray and I’ve been seeing the change that came on all of these girls and that let me know that it’s real.” That three hours of interruptions had been a tremendous faith-builder and it had brought good results. This was exactly what she needed—not only to convince her that she needed Jesus, but it also convinced her that Jesus was real.
We can handle interruptions in one of two ways. Think about what would have happened if Jairus had become angry when the woman stopped Jesus. What if he felt rejection and thought to himself, “I’ll just go home, He doesn’t care about me.” Sometimes we do that when we get into self-pity. Many people allow interruptions in and then get defeated and leave. What if he had been so consumed with fears that he hadn’t even been able to pay attention to the miracle that had happened in this woman’s life? If we’re so preoccupied and wrapped up with self-pity or fear or rejection or whatever, then we’re going to miss that shot of faith—miss the fact that God is trying to give us hope. What if Jairus had lost hope for his daughter’s miracle? What if he had watched this miracle and admired her faith, but thought, “I don’t have that kind of faith I can’t do what they did.”
If you’ll notice in verse 36 Jairus Jesus was overhearing what was being said to the synagogue official. That means that Jairus was standing so close to Jesus that when these servants came, Jesus was able to hear it. You know they didn’t come and shout, “Your daughter is dead.” They likely whispered as quietly as they could. Jairus had stayed close enough to Jesus for Him to hear. The closer we get to Jesus, the better it’s going to be. These unexpected encounters—what we call interruptions—can often be God giving us exactly what we need. Jesus was there in a flesh with the synagogue official, giving him all the encouragement that he needed, telling him—don’t be afraid, don’t give up your faith. In our minds we think, if Jesus were standing here in the flesh, I could do that too.
Look at Hebrews 2:18 (Amplified Version), this scripture has brought so much comfort to people when they realize that this is being said about Jesus after he’s gone to be with the Father.
For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering].
That’s present tense. Whatever it is that we might be going through; whatever temptation, test, or trial, even when it looks like all the hope is gone, this scripture reminds us that He will immediately run to the cry of anyone who calls out to Him to give the aid that’s needed, to assist and encourage us.
What we decide to do in the darkest hour of any situation is going to determine the outcome. Whether we realize it or not, many times history is being made at the moment based on the choice that we make.
We can choose life or death, blessing or cursing. It’s God’s power that brings it about, but it’s our faith, many times, that releases the power. So often we think—I just can’t work up enough faith, I don’t feel anything. It’s not something that we work up. It’s not a feeling. There have been times when I felt nothing on the inside, but I know that if we take God’s Word, act on it, choose to believe it, refuse to give up, it changes things and brings in the miracle we need! God’s Word works. We can remove mountains in the spiritual realm by our obedience, our believing God, and putting down all the fears. In every situation, God is saying, “Don’t go by sight, don’t be afraid, don’t quit believing.”
-Peggy Joyce Ruth