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Do You Believe?

“Do you believe this?”

Jesus said this to Martha in response to her grief.

Rewind the script back to the beginning. Lazarus was dying. Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus informing him about their brother’s illness. They were expecting Jesus to arrive and heal Lazarus.

Imagine their wait. Did they know he would not arrive, or did they expect him at any moment?

Then Lazarus died. Suddenly it all went out of control. Questions flooded their minds. Who can replace their beloved brother? Can anybody turn this situation around? Is there anyway to fix things now?

Lazarus was burried for four days by the time Jesus arrived. Imagine Martha’s exasperation and frustration at the Rabbi’s tardiness. Especially since his healing power was common knowledge within the community.

People came from all over to pay their respect to the departed and console the sisters. When the people saw Jesus they too questioned, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

(John 11.21-26)

Life has its good and bad points

Christmas has just passed. For me, Christmastime is the most wonderful time of the year. The spirit of the season is filled with generosity, cheerfulness, and everything that is good in humanity. It is also a busy hectic period. People are occupied decorating their house, buying presents, and enjoying the company of family and friends. There are certainly a lot of positives about Christmastime, but there are also negatives. Lost loved ones tend to make their presence more keenly felt amongst the festivities. Lonely hearts are lonelier. Yet, there is always that hope somewhere, in even the most disappointed heart, that 2017 will be better than 2016.

Your story may not be as tragic as Mary and Martha’s. But if you have experienced a little or a lot of disappointment recently then this short message is for you.

Jesus tells us what we need to hear and shows us what we need to see

Jesus told Martha exactly what she needed to hear. “I am the resurrection and the life…” 

She needed to hear this because her brother died. In the face of death it is not uncommon for even the most faithful believer to face a feeling of vacuum and a certain sense of finality. In the face of this Martha needed to know that death is not the end and that Jesus’ contained within him the resurrection power to bring all who believe back to life.  

Jesus also shows us what we need to see. In the midst of this distressing situation Martha doubted. In response to her doubt Jesus did not only tell her what she needed to hear, he demonstrated what she needed to see. He called Lazarus out of the tomb. “Lazarus, come forth!”

Jesus does the same for us. Amongst the disappointment and hopelessness, he speaks to us and tells us what we need to hear. And given time, he will demonstrate what we need to see.

My experience

I have had instances in my life where I needed the Lord to rescue me. In the midst of my troubles I had nowhere else to go to.  Despite the troubles and disappointments the Holy Spirit strengthened my heart in faith. He helped me hear what Jesus was saying to me and he also helped me respond, “Lord, I believe.”

Through time God showed me what I needed to see. He delivered me from the confines of the tomb and the grave clothes that were holding me back. He rescued me out of the situation I could not save myself from and gave me breakthrough.

Amongst your stress, disappointment, or hopelessness, what do you need to hear from Jesus? If the same question Jesus asked Martha was aked to you would your answer be, “Yes, I believe.”

You are not alone in this journey. Jesus is with you every step of the way. The one who has called you is faithful. Believe in the face of doubt.