The Day Helplessness Lost Its Power

by Katy Kauffman

Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark

Her skin grew paler with each passing hour. Jairus laid his daughter’s hand back down on the bed, and stood. He looked into his wife’s pleading eyes, and said, “I’ll find Him.” He kissed her on the forehead and headed for the door. He looked at them over his shoulder as his wife knelt beside the bed. He had to find Jesus.

Jairus traveled up and down the dusty streets until the buzzing of a crowd drew him toward the water. People came from everywhere, also drawn to something, or someone, by the edge of the sea. As he approached the multitude and started weaving his way among the crowd, they noticed him—a ruler of the synagogue—and parted, allowing him to pass.

Cries came from weary souls in the crowd. “Jesus, Jesus! Help me!” The very cry of Jairus’ soul. Then Jairus saw Jesus and fell at His feet.  

“My little girl is dying,” Jairus said with a sorrowful heart. “Please come to my house, so You can lay Your hands on her and she will get better and live.”

He looked up into Jesus’ face, and compassionate eyes looked back. “Let’s go,” the Healer said.

As Jairus led Jesus back home, the multitude followed and thronged them. Jairus’ heart beat faster. They had to hurry. Suddenly Jesus stopped and turned around. “Who touched My clothes?” He asked.

The men closest to Jesus looked astonished. They said, “Everyone is crowding around You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

A trembling woman stumbled forward and started talking to Jesus. As He talked to her, Jairus saw one of his servants coming toward him.

“Your daughter died,” his servant told him. “Why bother the Teacher anymore?” Helplessness gripped his heart. They were too late.

Just then Jesus said to him, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”

Faith Overpowers Helplessness

In the different seasons of life, we can feel helpless to do something—save a marriage, mend a friendship, overcome an illness, find a better job, battle temptation, or serve God without fear. We feel powerless to make the change we so desperately want, much like Jairus must have felt powerless to help his little girl once she died. The death of something or someone we hold dear can send us into a tailspin of sorrow and desperation.

But Jesus whispers soothing words to our hearts—“Do not be afraid; only believe” (Mark 5:36 NKJV). The power of our faith is fueled by the One we have faith in—Jesus Himself, the Healer of relationships, bodies, minds, and hearts. The Restorer of joy, peace, and strength. Even if He doesn’t answer our prayers in the exact way we’re hoping for, He can answer, and from His infinitely wise perspective, His answer is better than anything we could have asked for. We can trust Him to use His wisdom, power, and love in just the right way to act on our behalf.

Faith in Jesus turns helpless into helped.  Jairus experienced an even greater miracle than the one he was originally hoping for—not just the healing of his daughter, but her rising from the dead. When something appears to stall an answer to our prayers or delay the help we need, we can still turn to Jesus for help. He will act at just the right time in just the right way that He knows is best. He can work a miracle that we didn’t expect.

Jesus Specializes in “Renewed”

Renewed faith, renewed life. Jesus knows how to renew our lives, our hopes and dreams, our relationships, 0ur purpose and joy.

When Jesus came to Jairus’ house, He fueled Jairus’ faith all the more when He said to the wailing crowd, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping” (Mark 5:39 NKJV). Although the crowd mocked Jesus, Jairus must have clung to hope that Jesus could raise his daughter from the dead. And He did.

“Little girl, I say to you, arise” (Mark 5:41 NKJV). And she did.

What might Jesus say to us today? He might say:

Cherished one, I say to you, arise.
Arise out of helplessness, and trust Me. I can do great things.
Arise out of hopelessness, and dream again. My dreams for you are bigger than you can imagine.
Arise out of fear, and walk in courage. There are too many adventures to live.
Arise out of loneliness, and draw close to Me. I am here, close to you.
Arise out of sorrow, and walk in My joy. I will do a new work and revive your soul.

When we feel like we’re dead on the inside, Jesus can give life in ways we weren’t expecting. In Mark Chapter 4, we have seen that He gives freedom where there was hard bondage (see last week’s post) and life where there was death. Faith in Him and what He can do overcomes helplessness and ignites hope in our souls.

What do you need Jesus to do today? Remedy your helplessness by directing your faith to Jesus and His exceedingly great power. The next time helplessness threatens to control your life and steal your joy, look at what Jesus did in the Gospels and how He worked the impossible for so many people. Then make a list of the ways He has worked in your own life.

In the comments below, tell us about some of the ways you have seen Jesus work in your circumstances and your heart. What obstacles has He helped you overcome, and how did He do it?

Don’t let faith die even when a situation seems hopeless. Rob helplessness of its power to control your life, and have faith in Jesus’ amazing power and loving heart. He can do the impossible, and He does it for me and for you.


© Copyright 2018 by Katy Kauffman


This post is a part of our series called “Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life.” If you missed the first three posts, click the links below to check them out:


Subscribers, comment here.

helplessness, obstacles, challenges, faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, The Day Helplessness Lost Its Power, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (7)

  • anon

    I love your paraphrase of this story. Filled with tender emotion. And I love your call to ARISE from the things that seem lost to us. Very encouraging!

    Oct 06, 2018
  • anon

    Thank you so much, Dianne, for your comment. I'm grateful that Jesus calls us to arise and when we stand up, we can walk with Him.

    Oct 06, 2018
  • anon

    Whenever I’m caught in fear and hopeless, taking a moment to recount God’s faithfulness in the past definitely helps me move forward in faith. Thanks for sharing!

    Oct 06, 2018
  • anon

    "Arise out of fear and walk in courage." This phrase touched me deeply. Jesus has helped me rise out of the need to be in control and given me the courage to surrender my fears to my Lord. Thanks for your inspiring message, Katy.

    Oct 06, 2018
  • anon

    Wow - I love reading the possible 'arise' statements Jesus might speak into my life. Interestingly, it seemed that almost all of them could apply to something in my life! And, I enjoyed your thoughts on the actual words that might have been exchanged that day between Jesus and Jairus. That makes me wonder some of the future conversations Jairus' daughter might have had with others. Surely she spent every day, the rest of her life, telling others just what Jesus did for her! Just like we should.....!

    Oct 06, 2018
  • anon

    Thank you for reminding us there is no hopeless situation with the Lord! I enjoyed reading your post.
    Megan Vance

    Oct 06, 2018
  • anon

    Reading this part of Scripture will never be the same now that you’ve helped me apply it, Katy. The arise statements are powerful! God has helped me overcome perfectionism and judging myself too critically. Praying with the arise statements will help me turn more of my challenges over to Him.

    Oct 06, 2018

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Winning the Victory: A Blog by Katy Kauffman

Award-Winning Author, Editor, Bible Teacher

As co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy is a Bible study author and editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine. Follow Katy's blog to receive posts sharing practical strategies for winning life's spiritual battles. 


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