Obstacles to Opportunities

Posted on January 22, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Find a quiet place to be alone with no distractions. Take some time to pray, asking God to reveal Himself to you.

Review last week’s devotion before you read today’s Scripture. As you continue reading about Jairus’ encounter with Jesus, consider how Jesus used a seemingly hopeless situation to show more of His power. Think of a time when Jesus gave you hope in a situation that seemed impossibly grim. Journal about that experience.

Now, read Matthew 9:23-26.

“When Jesus came to the leader’s house, He saw the flute players and a crowd lamenting loudly. ‘Leave,’ He said, ‘because the girl isn’t dead, but sleeping.’ And they started laughing at Him. But when the crowd had been put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And this news spread throughout that whole area.” —Matthew 9:23-26

Read Mark 5:35-43 in your Bible. Answer these questions:
• In verses 35-36, Jairus received news that His daughter had died. How did Jesus respond? Why is this important?
• Jesus’ words “only believe” (v. 36) were meant to encourage Jairus’ to keep believing that Jesus could still save his daughter. What does this teach you about your own belief when circumstances seem beyond hope? Explain.
• Jesus used the word “sleeping” to describe the girl’s condition and the people in Jairus’ house laughed at Him. Why do you think they responded this way? How would you respond?

RESPOND

We don’t have the benefit of seeing the bigger picture, but God does. We sometimes find ourselves feeling completely hopeless, filled with anxiety and sadness, and wanting to give up the belief that God can change our situation. Today’s passage teaches us nothing and no one is beyond God’s power.
• What circumstances in your life seem hopeless right now? Journal a prayer to God, placing your fears and hope in His hands. Confess your need for His help and thank Him for using difficult circumstances to draw you into a deeper relationship with Him.
• Jesus brings hope even when life is tough. Think of a few people who need encouragement and hope in the midst of a difficult time. List their names in the margin.
• Ask God to show you how you help those people find hope in Jesus this week.

BEHIND THE STORY

The people in Jairus’ house laughed at Jesus when He said the girl was only sleeping. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, Paul explained this concept further. Paul used the word “asleep” (v. 13) to describe the state of believers when they die. Just as people typically wake up from sleep in the morning, believers who have died will one day rise up to eternal life with Christ. When Jesus used the words “sleep” and “sleeping” in this passage, He was talking about a temporary condition.

THE POINT

Jesus brings hope and life, even when we believe our circumstances are beyond help.


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