1) Silence, Stillness, and Centering Before God (2 min)
2) Scripture Reading: John 11:38-43
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Here we see Martha question Jesus’ actions despite her saying she believed who he is. She believed that Jesus could have prevented Lazarus from dying, but still had doubts. She didn’t believe that she would see a miracle at this point.
Jesus had to remind her that if she believed, she would see the glory of God – he seeks to stretch her faith.
I know that in my own life, Jesus stretches my faith. There is no question in who Jesus is. But more than often I question what He’s doing. That I question his ways and timing. Dr. Frank put it best in his sermon from last Sunday, that “God’s delays are not God’s denials.” There have been many times in my life where God shows up at the right time – not necessarily when I want him to, but in his time. We may question that if God does something outside of our desires, it’s surely going to “stink”, that it won’t turn out in our favor. Let’s not forget that Jesus represents life and wants us to experience the glory of God. Let’s put to death our own desires or perspective and allow Jesus to stretch our faith in Him and what He is and will be doing.
4) Questions to Consider
In what areas of my life do I see my faith stretched? Where do I see God’s delays and how can I put more trust in his timing?
Dear Lord, forgive me for not trusting in you. Help my disbelief. Protect me from the enemy that wants to put my desires over yours. Increase my faith, strengthen it and stretch it in Jesus’ name. Amen.