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 https://pixabay.com/photos/dandelion-frame-background-white-3212292/


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You are enough

Today, I’m gonna let my Texan out. I’ve learned to communicate through the written word, but I’m going to be blunt with you today. No holding back. So, here it goes.

Let me get just one thing straight with you. You are enough!

Not everybody is going to understand you and why you do the things you do. Your past is a huge part of what makes you who you are.

You may not speak the same language as others, or even the same dialect. You may not speak with an educated thought. You may look different than others; it should be expected. We are all created uniquely in the image of God.

You may have a stutter, have autism, or even down syndrome, but you are enough.

You may have grown up in China, Russia, or even that city at the tip of South America close to Antartica. Your language and your culture, and maybe even poverty, is what makes you different. But you are enough!

You may have been abused as a child that causes you to be downcast and afraid. You may live in fear. But you are enough!

You may have been part of a gang at some point, or even now. You may have committed many crimes. But you are enough!

You may have been through war that prompted you to do things that you never thought you could do, but you are enough!

You are enough, because Jesus says that you are. You are enough that He died for all the things in your life that would be taking you to Hell. You are enough to accept Jesus as your personal Savior. You are enough to be born again.

Once you have been born again, God is the One that does the work in you to change your character. But, still, you must remain willing to let God make those changes. Trust me, the changes that God will make are changes to be thankful for. God will make changes you never felt you could make happen for yourself. Jesus is such an awesome Savior!

Jesus accepts you just as you are, but He requires a willing heart. A willing heart is what makes all the difference. How could Jesus make you clean when you aren’t willing to let him?

How to Know Jesus

I have realized that what others consider a weakness is where my strengths really lie. You see, in whatever ways I am weak, God is strong. This means that the Holy Spirt of God performs in me what is needed. I may not make sense to you, but when God shows up, awesome things happen.

Wherever I think that I am strong is where I am doing things all on my own, instead of God. Its easier to trust God where I am weak rather than where I feel that I am strong.

What alot of us may not realize is that as a follower of Jesus Christ, where we think we are strong is the greatest weakness of all. The parts of us that we believe are strong are the very parts that are the hardest to surrender to Jesus. This mean that God is only partially active in our lives, because we haven’t fully surrendered. We must deny ourselves and surrender fully to God.

Go forth and be blessed my friends.