One season of pain for twelve dying souls

God is so amazing! He is so wise in everything that He does. We don’t always understand why things happen the way they do, but once everything settles we can…if we are paying attention.

This morning, as I read through John 11, I find one of the most amazing passages of Scripture. It is profoundly a right-now message to us all.

So, in this account, Jesus gets a message from Mary and Martha in Bethany that Lazarus is sick. I am confident that they believed that Jesus would come to his aid and heal him from the illness. But then I read verse 4,

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.

But then later, verse 14 tells us,

So then he [Jesus] told them [the disciples] plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.

I have to admit that the “glory of God” has been a mystery to me, as I am sure that most of us have been there before. How can anyone describe the glory of God? It reminds me of when Moses asked God to show him his glory.

Exodus 33:18-20 (NIV) tells us,

Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But, ” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

It is a question that we sometimes ask God, “Why did you let this happen? I did everything right. I repented. I have been reading your Word. I have been doing everything you have asked me. I have begged you, Lord, for healing in this area, but nothing has happened. Why have you forsaken me?”

Do the words “forsaken me” remind you of something? Isn’t this what Jesus said while He was hanging on the cross? It is.

So why did Jesus make Lazarus wait, especially since he had others praying for him?

Lazarus had to suffer with his illness for the same reason Jesus had to suffer on the cross. Why? So that God’s glory could be revealed. What is God’s glory? Seeing God’s glory is like seeing his true nature. God’s true nature is mercy and compassion.

Lazarus suffered with his illness and died so that the disciples would witness Jesus raising him from the dead. Is was so that they would believe. Jesus died on the cross, not only so that we could receive forgiveness and have a way to God, but also so that we all could believe. Jesus is an extension of God’s mercy and compassion for us.

It is God’s glory that helps us to believe. God’s glory is his mercy and his compassion. It is everything that makes him awesome in wonder. Jesus is the manifested presence of God’s glory. With Jesus, and all of his compassion and forgiveness, we have access to our merciful and compassionate heavenly Father.

You may be Lazarus right now, needing a healing, but keep the faith and keep praying, because God is aware. Our prayer helps us to keep the faith; it is an act of surrender to God’s love. God is so compassionate and merciful that it is his will that he uses suffering for others to believe in him. You may think you are asking for a miracle for yourself, but with God, when you ask for yourself, you are also asking for another who needs him. What an awesome God!

And when you feel weak, remember that Jesus was weak too. He suffered on that cross, and He even died. BUT three days later He arose from the grave.

Go forth and be blessed my friend.

Feature Image by Dirk Wouters from Pixabay

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Are you really safe?

This morning I’m reading John 10:22-30 (NIV):

Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ [Christ meaning “the Messiah”], tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

In this passage, Jesus tells us that his sheep listen to his voice; as a result, He knows them, and they follow him.

Who do you really follow? It is a continuous and daily journey for me to ask myself, “Is this the will of God or is it the will of man?” It is in my prayer time that I ask Jesus to help me stay within the will of God. I know that my flesh is weak; I live in a world full of evil deeds. It is because of this that we should lean on the Lord and not on our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) says,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

This passage tells us to not rely on our own understanding. It also tells us to shun evil. What does shun mean? It means “to keep away from” (dictionary. com).

Simply, if you do not trust the Lord, you may not know him or the Lord know you. Why do I bring up such things? I think that it is important for us to KNOW where we stand with the Lord. How can we say we trust the Lord if we do not listen to his voice and follow him?

So, how do you know that the Lord knows you? I mean, God knows who you are, but if you know someone, you have a relationship with that person. They know you. They don’t just know of you; you have spent time with them, and you know their voice. Do you know the Lord’s voice? Would you know it was him if He spoke to you?

1 John 4:1-3 (NIV) tells us,

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges the Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Can you honestly say that you are safe in the Father’s loving arms? Have you ever run to the heavenly Father that Jesus is speaking of and leaned into his arms in complete trust? Do you spend time with Jesus getting to know him? Tomorrow is not the time. As the passage says above, the spirit of the antichrist is coming and is already in the world. If you lean into Jesus, you will be safe. Nobody will be able to snatch you away from him.

Friends, take a moment and go to the How to Know Jesus page on this website. If you haven’t done so already, test the spirits you are involved with and be sure to make things right with God whether you have followed him or not. Each day is a new day, but we never know that today may be our last chance to run into the Father’s arms.

Go forth and be blessed my friends.

Featured Image by Ian Lindsay from Pixabay.