Archive for October, 2009
How do we rise up and take what appears to be a “risk” of faith? I believe one of the things we have to do is—like Jairus—ignore the negative words of the scoffers and critics in our lives.
Unfortunately, we may find critical people nearby. Jarius had them in his own house. But we don’t have to let someone else discourage us from receiving our miracle. Instead, we can ignore those who say we can’t do something, or we’ll never be healed, or we’ll never be out of debt. There will always be critics hanging around, attempting to discourage us. But as far as I’m aware, no one has ever built a statue to a critic!
At one time or another, we’ve all had someone say to us, “That’s impossible. It just can’t be done.” Well, I’ve got good news. God specializes in the impossible. But it is up to us to set our faith in such a way that we believe Him for the impossible to come to pass in our lives.
Albert Einstein once described insanity as: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results. What he was saying, in essence, is that if we want something that we have never had, then we must do something that we have never done—we must step out in faith.
I believe rising to a new level of effectiveness in our families, our careers, our health, our finances—every area of our lives—often means stepping out onto nothing and believing God will put something there when we step. That’s a good place for us to be…believing that God will keep His promises to us and that He can work miracles in our lives when we take Him at His Word and make the choice, the risk of our faith, to come up higher…so He can meet us there, Ignore the Crtics.
When we look around the world today, there seems to be instability everywhere…so much, in fact, that it’s easy to think you and I may be dealing with situations that no one has ever faced before. But according to the Bible and the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50, that’s just not true. If anyone ever had a reason to become unstable and even bitter, it was Joseph. Just look at what happened in his life.
Joseph’s father, Jacob, had two wives, and he was involved with several other women at the same time. He had children by all of those women which caused jealousy and competition in the home. Joseph’s mother died when he was young. Jacob favored Joseph over his brothers and gave him a special, multi-colored coat, causing great jealousy among his brothers.
In Genesis 37, we read where Joseph began having unusual dreams, including a dream where his brothers all bowed down to him. But rather than loving their brother and listening to his dreams, Joseph’s brothers grew even more jealous and bitter. They rejected his dreams, and hated him so much that they threw him into a pit, sold him into slavery in Egypt, and told their father he’d been killed.
Come Up Higher. Mark 5 tells the story of a man named Jairus a ruler of the synagogue whose daughter was on her deathbed. In spite of what many people around him believed, he sought out Jesus to come and heal his little girl. Jesus agreed to come to his house, but on the way there, Jairus’ got word that his daughter was dead.
As they reached his home, the mourners and scoffers were already there. Jairus had taken a risk of his faith to believe his daughter could be healed, and because he did, now he was facing harsh criticism. And the criticism didn’t come from strangers. It came from neighbors, friends, and family none of whom believed that Jesus had the power to raise this little girl from the dead.
But notice the first thing Jesus did: He removed the scoffers from the house those who didn’t believe. Once the doubters were gone, Jesus went to the little girl, took her by the hand, and said, “Talitha cumi,” which the Bible says is translated, “Little girl, arise. Get up.” Immediately the girl got up and walked.
Joseph had a gift from God to interpret dreams. One day Joseph interpreted a dream for Pharaoh and Pharaoh was so impressed that he made Joseph the number-two man in his government. When Joseph’s family ran out of food during a famine, they wound up at his doorstep on their knees, asking for food. And Joseph’s dreams came to pass! Joseph’s brothers were terrified when he revealed who he was.
But Joseph held no bitterness in his heart. He said, “You planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people…You have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” (Genesis 50:19-21 MSG).
Joseph not only survived the instability surrounding him, he flourished. Believe when you and I stay focused on God, as Joseph did, instead of the circumstances in our lives, we can have what Joseph had…and we can find stability in the unstable world around us.