A key element to handling trouble is the removal of strife.
Mark 5:40 – And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
In the events we have examined around the day referenced in our Text for Today, Jesus’s encounter in the home of Jairus was apparently the final hurdle of trouble He had to face that day. Having arrived at the home of Jairus, Jesus refused to give death precedent over life. His words were words of life. He commented, “Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.” At that point, our Text for Today declares that they “laughed Him to scorn.” This was an atmosphere for breeding strife, raising contention, and stopping the work of faith. Because of their reaction to His words, Jesus put them out of the house. (Once again, I mention here; can you imagine the potential encounter between a crowd that had just seen a miracle with those who laughed at the work and words of Jesus?) But having removed the doubt, unbelief, and potential strife from the house, Jesus raised and healed the child.
Allow me an observation here. Strife is one of the most dangerous conditions that can afflict a believer. It is likewise one of the most poisonous atmospheres in which faith can attempt to work. If a doubleminded man can receive nothing from the Lord, neither shall a doubleminded group, congregation, of gathering of people. Strife is a strangling killer. It must be removed and avoided. To that end, I offer this query. How often, and to what degree, has the desire and work of the Lord been thwarted by an attempt to minister in at atmosphere of strife, and especially where strife has already taken root? I am sure it is one of the primary hindrances to the church seeing God’s Word confirmed in Christian meetings and churches.
Strife was not in the Upper Room, and look what happened there. Strife is not a part of Matthew 18:19-20, and look at the potential there. And PLEASE take time to read 2 Timothy 2:24-26, and see the dangerous potential for a believer who has fallen into strife. Avoid it, my friend. The Scriptures warn us that where envy and strife is, there is also confusion and “every evil work.” This should be something the church knows and practices well – the avoidance of strife – for strife is a carrier of “every evil work,” and all they bring with them. Always remember, “the servant of the Lord must not strive.” Here is a command with urgency. Learn it, observe it, and live by it that the power of God be not thwarted in and through your life.
Manna for Today – Mark 5:22-43; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Matthew 18:19-20; James 3:16