Who is your Jesus {Part 3}

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The last two days, we have been looking at this passage from John 11 and seen that Jesus has care and love and knowledge and power. Today, we’ll conclude this short three part series and look at timing and purpose.

 

3

 

Do we always go to Jesus with our problems? How often have we wept at his feet because we have needed the one we love and believe in to intervene on our behalf? To swoop in and help, to have an answer, or a word, or a solution or an outcome that is favourable for us?

The longer we are Christians the more we start to realise that God’s timing often operates outside what we want or expect.

In a world that is quick to bring solutions and slow to offer patience, God’s timing can be the curve ball we didn’t expect or want. In the midst of crying out to him, even desperately believing that he will intervene, make a way, answer us, we are often surprised by the answers that come.

What have you asked for lately? What prayers and petitions have you laid at the feet of Jesus, hoping that he will deliver like Amazon Prime in a way that is timely, effective and swift?

But he doesn’t. Circumstances don’t change. We are no better off. We can’t see an answer. We don’t even know where he is.

Look with me at John 11: 6.  Lazarus was sick and this is what Jesus did, “so when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days”.

How many of us have found ourselves in that two day hiatus?

We asked for something. We asked in earnest, with our pain and anguish riddled cries and then we find ourselves in these metaphorical two days.

Jesus deliberately chose to stay away.

Not because he had better things to do.

Not because he didn’t care.

Not because he was too busy, or uncertain of how to proceed.

But intentionally and deliberately he waited two days before going to Lazarus.

We must never make the mistake of thinking that God does not have a plan.

God is never left reeling from our life’s circumstances without any idea how to move forward.

God does not need time to think on making a decision.

He already knows.

We have already seen that he has great love and care for us, infinite knowledge and power, and so in the middle of our lives when they seem set ablaze with circumstances that overwhelm us, God has a plan.

A perfect plan.

In verse 11 Jesus says “our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going to wake him up.”

And Lazarus has died. Jesus allowed him to die. He was away for two days.

And on the face of it, we are left aghast, saying “what? What are you doing? Did you not hear them beseech you for help? Were you not aware of the urgency of this situation?”

But friends, God has a plan. His timing has purpose and intention. Jesus said “I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe”.

We have the limitation of not being omnipotent. We cannot see how things will work out, we cannot see any bigger pictures. You will probably know from your own experiences that sometimes the work and timing of God is more perceptible with the benefit of hindsight.  We can look back and see his divine faithfulness at work in our lives. Maybe not in ways we wanted or imagined, but when we can vouch for his faithfulness in my past we can be confident of it in our future.

We live on an earth that groans. War, famine, natural disasters, crime, ISIS, the selling of aborted foetal parts for money, the trafficking of young children and the exploitation of the same. An earth that some days seems weighted down with endless stories of strife and sadness.

But God says “I’ve got this”.

When Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life” he was saying, “I’ve got this”.

God is not without a plan.

From the opening of Genesis, to the close of Revelation, we see God’s plan unfolding. Jesus knew that whatever Mary and Martha and Lazarus went through, there was timing and there was purpose.

Jesus said to Martha “did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

And what happens next? Lazarus is raised from the dead. With just Jesus’ words, Lazarus comes out from the tomb.

Everything that happens in our life, comes our way, throws us off kilter…all of it has purpose.

We may not see the miracle in this lifetime. There is not always a raising from the dead, or a recovery from illness. There will still be natural disaster and crime, an earth that will continue to groan…

When prayers seem unanswered, when solutions lack expediency or are slow to come, we can be sure of this: Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die”.

We are sojourners passing through. This is only our temporary home.

And until the Lord Jesus returns again in glory, as he has promised, we may well find ourselves still in situations that are raw and painful.

But we can be sure of this: Jesus loves and cares for us. Personally and intimately. His knowledge and power mean that we may not see the answers we hope for on this earth. CH Spurgeon said “had any condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there”. God’s plans have timing and purpose. For our good and for his glory.

So who is your Jesus today?

Grace and Love

Helen x

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