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Divine Designs of Delay and Desperation ~ Luke 8.40-56

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Divine Designs of Delay & Desperation

Text:   Luke 8.40-56

Introduction:        About twelve years prior to this day, in Galilee, a little girl is born to a joyful mother and a proud father. They are moving up the ranks in Jewish society, which will eventually culminate in him becoming “Ruler of the Synagogue.” It is quite possible that a lot depends upon this birth. Certainly, God has blessed them with the birth of what would be their only child. You can imagine the joy of celebration in the house at the news of the birth of the new child. There was probably a great feast with many family, friends and influential persons of social, political and religious ranks coming over to take part in the parent’s joy.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the same part of Galilee, a woman begins what will become a living hell. She begins to issue blood. Soon she comes to the conclusion it is not going to stop. What could it be? Had she sinned some great sin? She begins to seek professional help. She pays exorbitant amounts to rid her of this plague. It is alarming to her as well as embarrassing. With this, who would ever marry her? She would be an outcast from all of society, her family, friends and worst of all God. “Unclean” would be her life.

There are providential times in each of our lives in which the Lord moves us into desperate situations in order to cause us to trust Him wholly and to trust Him alone. We recognize the situations as completely removed from the help of any man. What do we do? The wisest among us, has no answer. There is no help from the outside. We cannot help ourselves. We find ourselves totally shut up to God. Often we think this to be the worst of conditions, but in actuality this is the best place to be. It will take a divine moving for there to be relief, peace and salvation.

It is significant to note that this man Jairus is a ruler of the synagogue. Most of the religious leaders were certainly not friendly to Christ, which shows us the desperation of his situation. He had probably heard of the healing of the demon-possessed man in the Capernaum synagogue, the healing and the forgiveness of sins of the paralytic and the healing of the servant of the centurion (who was not even present). He may have even reacted to the reports with doubt or indignation. This indicates just how desperate he really is. It would do us good to recognize these types of situations as “Divine Designs of Desperation” intended to leave us shut up to God.

Notice the manner in which Jairus comes to Christ – “fell down … and begged Him…” This is the only way in which any man comes to Christ. This is a ruler of the synagogue, the established religion and social hierarchy, yet in humility, he bows to Christ indicating he recognized the vulnerability of his life at this point. He may have been a ruler of the synagogue, but he is now brought very low. He is shut up to God. He is desperate. There is no help from anywhere else. Interestingly enough, Jairus comes from the Hebrew name Jair meaning “He enlightens.” What can he do now that he has no wisdom, no discernment, no answer, no light? He does what he can and casts himself before Christ and in doing so admits – “I am desperate.”

There is a good response to his actions and request, Christ begins to go with him to his daughter. Mark’s account says the man begged Christ, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” Hope must have filled his soul when Jesus goes with him. What thoughts must have gone through his mind: “I hope we are not too late.” “Certainly, the Lord has blessed me that this man they are calling the Christ is coming to my daughter.” But, how quickly are our hopes dashed? Have you ever been in a desperate way and it looked as though things were going to come around and then the rug be pulled out from under you?

Verse 42 – “But as He went…” the crowds swarmed Him and the other character of our story burst into the midst of things and disrupts Jairus’ hopes for his daughter. Luke leave the ruler to focus on the woman.

Twelve years she has suffered. Certainly, people must have thought evil of her. “You have sinned, that is why you have this plague.” On the same day, these two lives collide and as one’s hell finally comes to an end, the other’s life is turned completely upside down. “Not this! Not Now!” Jairus must have wanted to say, “What does it matter who touched you? She is well! I am happy for you, but my daughter is dying!”

Jairus’ world as he knows it comes crashing down! “While He was still speaking…” Doesn’t it happen just like that? Someone comes and gives a report: “Your daughter is dead.” Suddenly, it is like Mary and Martha, “Lord, if you had only been there, she would not have died.” Aren’t we so weak in faith? Now, Jairus is at rock bottom. “Your daughter is dead, Do not trouble the Teacher.” It is over. She is dead. What a run of emotions! Jesus is coming to your daughter and all will now be okay, but as the events unfold, someone else’s good becomes your miracle. You might think, had it been a storm that came up and prevented Jesus from getting there, well, I might be able to understand that better. But, this is the good of another person that prevents the good for you. What would our reaction be? He proves that He has the ability to heal, but the healing of this woman has been costly to him. It is too late. All hope is gone.

Verse 50 – “But when Jesus heard it…” Here is the beauty in these Devine Designs: Jesus hears those troubling words and immediately speaks to Jairus. “Do not be afraid.” What comforting words. No matter how dismal the situation is; no matter how dismal the message is; Fear not! Many times we run into troubles like this where it appears absolutely hopeless. I want you to understand that it not only appeared hopeless; It was hopeless. However, “with God, nothing shall be impossible.” This is the Living God. Even dead bones can live! Luke began his Gospel with these momentous words to Theophilus, Luke 1.3-4“It seemed good to me…to write to you an orderly account that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”

Now notice, Jesus does not tell Jairus, “Fear not Jairus, everything will work out.” Or “Don’t worry, be happy,” as if there were something comforting in words. It is important to notice that Jesus directs Jairus to Himself. “Only Believe!” What does this mean? “Cast yourself on Me. Trust Me. Listen to the Lord’s promise in Isaiah 41“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 43“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. (Listen to this – this is Great!) When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”

It is very important to see that “Fear not” goes with “Only Believe.” The Lord did not separate the two. It means we rest everything on God. It is a monumental activity. All other places of trust are to be distrusted to the point of everything rides on God. Job said this, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

I.                   Application

A.                  First, Know and Understand that God is sovereignly in control, on the scene and knows all that is happening. He even knows about your emotions.

B.                  Second, Realize that God’s promises and undertakings are as sure as He is. They arise out of His freely determined purposes. Therefore any delays, any moments of desperation are deliberate, purely Divine, and according to His wonderful good purpose. It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “God is too good to do any wrong.”

C.                  Third, When there is any delay or any desperate moment we ought to remind ourselves that even the delay was initiated by God – began and brought about to further His purpose for our lives.

D.                  Lastly, we should remember that God never goes to plan B. He has only one program. The program never changes according to the events. God is doing something that must be done in order to perfectly fulfill His will in our lives.


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