“Only Believe”

“Only Believe”

Only believe.
—Mark 5:36

Precious and significant are the words of Jesus, the very same words that He spoke when on earth. Did those lips, glowing with more than a seraph’s hallowed touch, into which grace without measure was poured, ever breathe a sentence more touching, more simple, or more significant than this: “Only believe”? Originally addressed to an afflicted parent who sought His compassion and His help on behalf of a little daughter lying at the point of death, they seem to be especially appropriate to every case of anxiety, of trial, and of need. Alas! How many such will scan this page, how many a sigh will breathe over it, how many a tear will moisten it, how many a mournful glance will light on it! Be it so; there comes back a voice of sympathy responding to each sad heart. Not man, but Jesus speaks, “Only believe.”

In other words, “Only trust.” What is faith, but trust? What is believing in Jesus, but trusting in Jesus? When Jesus says, “Only believe Me,” He literally says, “Only trust Me.” And what a natural, beautiful, soothing definition of the word “faith” is this! Many a volume has been written to explain the nature and illustrate the operation of faith, with the subject and the reader remaining as much mystified and perplexed as ever. But who can fail to comprehend the meaning of the good old word “trust”? Everyone can understand what this means. When, therefore, Jesus says, as He does to every individual who reads these words, “Only believe Me,” He literally says, “Only trust Me.” Thus He spoke to the anxious father who besought Him to come and heal his child: “Only believe. Only trust My power; only trust My compassion; only trust My word. Be not afraid; only trust Me.” And thus He speaks to you, believer. Oh, for a heart to respond, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant hears”!

Trust implies, on our part, mystery and ignorance, danger and helplessness. How wrapped in inscrutability, how shadowy and unreal is all the future! As we attempt to penetrate the dark clouds, what strange forebodings steal over our spirits. Just at this juncture, Jesus approaches and with address most winning and in accents most gentle speaks these words: “Only believe; only trust Me! Trust Me, who knows the end from the beginning. Trust Me, who has all resources at My command. Trust Me, whose love never changes, whose wisdom never misleads, whose word never fails, whose eye never slumbers nor sleeps—only trust Me!”

“Enough, my blessed Lord,” my soul replies. “I will sit me down a loving child, a lowly disciple at Thy feet and, indistinct and dreary as my future path may be, will learn from Thee how and where I may trust Thee all my journey through.”

—OCTAVIUS WINSLOW