HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Sunday, April 8, 2018
- Question: What do you do when there’s nothing you can do?
- Some problems can’t be solved and some tensions can’t be resolved
- So, we start looking for options, and many of those options just create more problems.
When life feels frayed, when it feels like you are down to the last strand and all it’s going to take is one more tug and you’re going to snap, you can begin to draw some bad conclusions:
- I’ll never be happy again (Long for the good old days)
- Nothing good can come from this (Don’t tell me a Bible story…)
- There’s no point in continuing (This marriage, this effort, even this life)
- Question we ask: “Does God know? Is God concerned? Does He hear my prayers?”
- God is not absent, apathetic, or angry.
- God’s silence does not equate to His absence.
All of us have had moments when the presence of God was the furthest thing from our mind. We knew where we were going and what we were planning, and we weren’t thinking, “Where is God?”
- When we don’t want to sense the presence of God, we know how to shut Him out. In spite of that, your Heavenly Father loves you.
- “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (811)
- He gave His Son as our sacrifice. The reason I know God’s not mad at you is because He poured out His anger on Jesus.
Even when you didn’t want Him there – He was present. When you are in the darkness, He is present.
- John the Baptist / Matthew 11:2-6 (741)
- John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen – the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me. – Matthew 11:2-6 (741)
- John’s question: Are you the One or should we look for someone else?
- When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee,… – Matthew 4:12-13 (735)
- After 1.5 years in the dungeon, JTB has his doubts so he asks the question.
When you are in Macherus Jesus can know you and care. He can love you.
- “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist.” – Matthew 11:11 (742)
- Don’t interpret God’s silence as His absence.
- Lazarus / John 11:3-7 (820)
- What would you expect Jesus to do for someone He loves?
- So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” – John 11:3-7 (820)
- Jesus waited and Lazarus died – Jesus knew his name and loved him – and he died
- Don’t confuse God’s apparent absence for apathy.
- Moved / John 11:35
Your unanswered prayer does not mean God doesn’t care. It’s not absence or apathy. If we don’t understand this we draw our own conclusions…
- I’ll never be happy again (We quickly lose out JOY)
- Nothing good can come from this (We lose our HOPE)
- There’s no point in continuing (We lose our PURPOSE)
- You can regain these things
- New conclusions:
- I can be happy again
- Something good can come from this
- There’s a purpose to this pain