While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
You may recognize this story. It is the story of Jairus, whose daughter was near death. Jairus was a leader in the local synagogue. He was a man of power and position. But he comes to Jesus needing a miracle. Jesus is delayed by an encounter with a woman with an issue of blood, and by the time he turns his attention to Jairus, members of Jairus’ household come and tell him, it is too late, his daughter is dead. However, Jesus says, do not fear, only believe.
It seems to me, in this story, belief is an antidote to fear. If fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the sense that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat, then the “belief” about which Jesus speaks —– a belief that the Divine Spirit is stronger and indeed more able than that which is the source of fear — conquers the fear. Jesus invites Jairus, and you and me, to believe that no thing can overcome the power or plan of God. Only believe that, ultimately, all things work together for good to them that love the Lord (Romans 8:28). A belief in God and God’s love for us is indeed an antidote to fear. May we be filled with a deep and abiding belief in God, and may we overcome any fear.