Scripture Reading:

Luke 8:40-56

“Don’t be afraid, just believe. . . .”

Luke 8:50

I was talking to a friend a while back who was dealing with many health concerns. As he was about to undergo ­another major surgery, he said that while he was anxious about his health and didn’t want to die, he wasn’t necessarily afraid of being sick or dying. I asked why—and he said he knew that whatever happened, God was in control.

A trembling woman who had been sick for many years approached Jesus. Then she touched the edge of his cloak and was immediately healed! While she was afraid to speak up about what she had done, Jesus assured her that her faith in him had made her well.

A father whose daughter was dying fell at Jesus’ feet begging for his daughter’s life. He was afraid to lose her—and even more afraid when he heard that she was dead. But Jesus assured him that she would be fine. “Just believe,” he said, “and she will be healed.”

Sickness and death are things that we all fear in one way or another. But as we look at these grim realities, we need to see them through the lens of Jesus’ sacrifice for us and God’s love for us. Sickness and death won’t go away until the Lord’s return, but we don’t need to fear them as we would if we did not know about God’s love for us.

Loving God, we fear sickness and death in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones. Help us to overcome those fears and to rely on your love even when we are afraid. Amen.

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