Yet a Little Longer
Real pain, real anguish, real suffering, and disillusionment, are things we all experience to one degree or another throughout our earthly lives. While studying Mark 5:21-43, I was touched when pondering our Lord Jesus Christ and His great compassion, his compassionate heart, his powerful hand to transform people's circumstances and to make them new. In this blog post we're going to see how He is our only hope, not just a hope, but our only hope. This passage has two particular dramas: Jairus who is about to lose his only daughter and a woman suffering for 12 years from a discharge. From these dramas, I want to share with you 5 Realities That I Believe Every Christian Must Embrace. These are five realities for us today that we need to just embrace, accept, and take with us.
1.) Pain and Suffering Are Unavoidable, Now.
Seal that in your heart. Remember that smooth sailing is not a reality yet. Difficulties and challenges will arise. We live in a fallen world. It's cursed. It was good. It was perfect in the beginning. Man chose to disobey God, a curse came upon the land. Now you cut your grass and you sweat like an animal. Now you have heart palpations. Now things don't work out the way you want. Now people get sick. Pandemics happen. Viruses happen. Plagues. All because sin entered the world. It's fallen. This is our reality.
Forget not your present realities. As you're living here to honor the Lord, as you're living and walking by faith, forget not your present reality. Illness is here now. Death is part of this life. Pain, sorrow, despair, regrets, fatigue, anxiety, sweat, separation, isolation, loneliness, emptiness, confusion, worry, sadness, all these are part of our present reality. Embrace it. Understand it. Understand why it is that way. Even this woman here who was healed and Jairus' daughter who was brought back to life, though astonishing things, there is more to the story. What do we know? Because they live in this fallen world, surely, in the time to come, this woman would be sick again. This girl would fall ill again, have difficulties, troubles, and struggles in life. And both of them would eventually also suffer death. They couldn't avoid that. It was coming one way or another. It was only prolonged a little bit for them. And I want us to take into account also this. Those of us who are comfortable in our walks with Christ. Till now persecution has been little. We need to remember, for us even when things are going well, and I pray things are well for you and for your soul and they will be most of the time. But even when things are going well, don't be ignorant of what's happening all around this world today right now. Abortions... 1000s of babies slaughtered and ripped apart every single day. Since Roe v. Wade, I think over 60 million babies have been ripped out of the womb and ripped to pieces. This is happening all over the world. Wars are happening. Illness, cancer, starvation, and on the other end of starvation, in America, we have lots of people eating too much. We're obese. It's a real thing. And then we eat stuff that was not made to be put in our bodies; refined sugars and things like this that actually kill us secretly, and we don't even know about it. All this is part of what we're experiencing. Rape is happening. Abuse, corrupt political agendas, we're seeing that now, aren't we? Persecutions and all kinds of things are still the present reality in this world. When things are going well, don't forget, it's still happening. Many people are in this great sorrow, anguish, and pain today.
2.) Jesus is the hope for the hopeless.
He's the hope of this world. Recall the gospel. Meditate upon the gospel. He lived among us. How did he live among us? The Bible says that he lived as a man of sorrows. He knows the pain of this woman, he knows the pain of Jairus and his family, he knows your pain. He lived among us as a man of sorrows, while fulfilling the law of God on your behalf and on my behalf. And then he endured the cross. He died young, only 30 some years. He died young, in your place and my place to save us from eternal death, eternal punishment, the wrath of God the Father. That's the gospel. He's the hope for the hopeless. He's restoring. He's making all things new. We have the blessed hope. If we're Christians, if we're united Christ, we have the blessed hope. Abide in Him every hour. Every day abide in him. We need him. We need to flock to him as they did in this passage. Let that be your priority this week. Flocking to him. And the truth is, we have him. If we repented of our sins, we've trusted in Christ, we have the Lord of Glory. We have the blessed hope.
3.) To Be Saved, We Must Come to Him Rightly
We need to come to him rightly. And how did these folks come to him? They came humbly. They came with real faith, and they came with fear and trembling. Are you truly saved today? Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ? Have you turned from your sins? Have you repented? Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ? Many presumed to be saved, because of what they do or don't do. They presume this. Many come to Jesus, as I mentioned in those Word of Faith movement places, they come to Jesus, the Jesus of their imagination for a healing, or a physical blessing. They want to get something from him. That's why they love him. That's why they come. They don't want him really. They want what he has to offer. And many I would say as well confess Christ, without actually possessing Christ, and there is a difference. To be saved, you need to understand who God is, He's holy. You need to understand what He requires of us; perfection, righteousness. We don't have it. You also need to understand what we deserve. We deserve condemnation. We need to understand who Jesus is, he's God, he's the Lord. We need to understand what he did for us. He lived perfectly for you. He died in your place. And when you repent, and you believe, you put your trust in Jesus Christ, you receive His righteousness, the great exchange happens.
4.) As We Come Rightly, We Receive Mercy and Grace
Many people came to Jesus Christ, and he says, "I don't know you get away from me." Other people came, "Look how good I am Jesus." "Yeah? That's, that's interesting. Why don't you sell all you have and come to follow me, since you're so good." "Hold on, I gotta go check something at the house. I'll be back later..." He never came back. Many come to Jesus Christ. But when we come rightly, as these folks did, we do receive mercy and grace. And remember that today what you have received. You've been cleansed. You've been made righteous. The righteousness of Christ now covers you. You're justified, sanctified, you've been forgiven of all your sins. Your greatest need has been met. Eternal life you have, abundant life, new life, peace, joy. You have a new family, you've been adopted. You are truly free. Really. And you have the Holy Spirit. Astonishing. Remember that today.
5.) Christians Are Called To Be Compassionate Evangelists
We are to strive, by His grace, to be like Jesus in this. Compassionate evangelists. Most people today are living with false hopes, and they don't see their need for a savior. They have countless idols that render them happy, that 'save' them from despair. Whatever it may be: money, success, power, drugs, all kinds of different things. All false hopes. And people, we need to know this, are made aware of their need to be saved, how? Through the faithful proclamation of the Lord's people. That's us. We need to be in one way or another faithfully proclaiming the word. That's how people realize, "Oh, these things won't save me. I can't save myself. I actually am hopeless. And he's the hope for the hopeless? Okay, now I see that I need Jesus. Thank you for telling me. Thank you for pointing that out to me." Our job is to help people see.
So with our eyes fixed on eternal life with Jesus, I encourage us, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, when we'll be free from pain in the future, free from anguish, despair, and sorrow that blessed hope. Fixed on that, go. As you live on today, go and be compassionate. Point people to the Lord, to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Final words today from the apostle Peter. He wrote this to a group of people suffering in despair, that had to leave everything behind and go to another land. People who were ill-treated. Peter encouraged them, and in 1 Peter 5:10 he said to them,
"After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."
Let's pray. Father, we come to You through Jesus Christ our Lord. We thank You, Jesus, for your word. We thank you for what you have done for us. You lived as a man of sorrows, in this world among us sinners. You endured much. You fulfill the law of God in our place, something we just can't do. You were perfect, you are perfect, you're glorious. And then you went to the cross dying young, like this girl who died young, you died young. You did it out of love for us, to save us from our sin, to save us from the wrath of God the Father. Jesus, you are everything. We thank you for who you are. We thank you for what you've done. Move in our hearts to such an extent that we are overwhelmingly amazed by you today and all this week, and all the days that you have still for us to live in Jesus' name. Amen.
Written by Jesse Schreck
Transcribed from PMc Podcast episode 244: Yet a Little Longer