LET’S GO CRAZY • Keep the Faith – 10/22/23

The Cubs experienced a World Series win after 108 years of waiting. Loyal fans lived and died during those years believing it would happen. Now I’m not saying God was involved in the Cubs long drought or in their win in 2016, but to the point, God’s timing is difficult to understand. Often, we simply don’t get it. Occasionally we get to see why something didn’t happen in the timing we prayed and hoped for. However, the truth is, there are many things we just won’t understand until we get to heaven. Not the answer we want. As we hope, pray, and wait it’s easy for doubts and discouragement to overtake us and kill our hopes, our dreams, even our faith. But, if Cubs fans could hold out for all those years waiting on a human solution, why do we struggle so much with the divine solution which rests in the hands of the Creator of time, the Creator of the universe?

Scriptures – Mark 9:23; Proverbs 19:21; John 11:1-4, 6; 1 Timothy 5:6; John 11:11, 16-17, 20-22, 33-35, John 10:10; John 11:43-44, 25-26

Verses – “All things are possible for the one who has faith.” (Mk 9:23) Many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Pr 19:21) But a woman who spends her time in pleasing herself is really dead, even while she still lives. (1 Ti:5-6) 

Thought –As we read the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11, we get to see the humanity of those involved. Jesus decides to go to Bethany, where Lazarus has died, though Jesus says he’s sleeping. The disciples are not on board with this plan. Local religious leaders there want to kill Jesus, and besides Lazarus is dead! Thomas makes the comment, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Even after witnessing all the miracles of Jesus, his outlook is bleak, and he’s plagued with doubt. When they arrive, Martha (sister of Lazarus) goes out to meet Jesus, but is frustrated by his delay. She had sent word of Lazarus’ illness days before, yet Jesus didn’t come. It’s been 4 days. Martha tells Jesus that Lazarus would still be alive if he’d only come when he received the message. Martha lost hope in the delay. Then there’s Mary, (another sister), who doesn’t even bother to leave the house when she hears Jesus has arrived. After all, Lazarus is dead. What’s the use? She’s so discouraged by what has happened, she doesn’t want to go and greet Jesus, seek his comfort, welcome their friend. We can become like dead people walking when we allow doubt, delays, and discouragement to kill our hope, steal our faith, and rob us of our peace. In times of delay, we must remember that God has a divine strategy; one we don’t understand, however, it is his perfect plan that we must rest in as we wait and hope and pray. Although overwhelmed with great sorrow, Martha says something profound, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Even now, after Lazarus has been in the tomb for 4 days, even now, Lord, you can make a way, and he did. Jesus brought Lazarus back to life and all for God’s glory! Keep the faith!

Questions – What are you waiting for God to do? Have doubt, delay, or discouragement affected your faith? Have doubt, delay, or discouragement ever caused something inside you to die? Have you seen God’s delays bring about good? If so, share. Why will people hope and believe for something like a World Series win for over a century, but grow weary of waiting on God if they don’t see quick results? Share an answered prayer.

Response – Make a list of answered prayers. Take time to thank God. Make a list of prayers for which the outcome hasn’t been realized. Thank God for what He’s doing and going to do.

Prayer – Lord God, you created time and hold it in your hands. Help me to trust your timing and your divine strategy. I want to truly live my life. Allow my faith in you to destroy doubt and discouragement during the delays as I wait. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

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