“And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
Have you ever had something due in at a specific deadline? Although you have it firmly under control and scheduled to be delivered on time, others that on-look my not have that confidence in you. Why? Because they don’t know your plans and sometimes because you are doing things differently than they would do it. They may even approach you and rebuke you for doing things differently than they would. In a nutshell, they are pressuring you to conform to their standards even though you have your own way of doing things and have everything under control. This constant hassle creates stress and tension in your life and creates fear in their lives. Today we will talk about stress and how to handle it and how God keeps us from dealing with it when we don’t have to deal with it.
II. Life Stress
As we look at the text mentioned earlier we see that Jesus kept the disciples and others from the stress of knowing that this event would occur. How? Jesus knew that Lazarus would get sick and die yet while he was well. He kept this back from the people so that they could handle it. Additionally, He gave them the assurance that He would intervene. How did he do this?
A. He Didn’t Let Them Know Too Much – Jesus said that Lazarus was dead but He didn’t say that He knew that these chain of events would happen before they happened. Can you imagine knowing what is going to occur but not being able to tell the very people that it is going to happen to and not being able to stop it? Jesus assured them that things were going to be handled by Him but He didn’t tell them how. Sometimes we want to know HOW God is going to answer a prayer or deal with a situation. Why? We see clearly that the disciples didn’t agree with the way that He handled it! What makes us believe that we mere mortals in the 21st century can do any better? If God wanted us to know His plans, He would reveal it to us by His word!
B. He Didn’t Let Them Alter His Plan – Jesus’ actions glorified God by raising Lazarus when everyone believed that it was impossible. His plan was to provide hope when there was no hope. However, Jesus said clearly that His will was to do the Father’s business. That was to save the house of Israel and then the gentiles. His mission was not to originally raise Lazarus from the dead but to seek and save that which was lost. Once He performed His mission, He then made Lazarus a priority. All too often we will drop the Will of God for something that isn’t in His will. We will ignore the Will of God to seek after personal desires and business. Let’s keep the Father’s business a priority!
C. He Didn’t Let Their Tone Discourage Him – The tone and the mood of the day was one of sadness, grief and depression. He had to keep His eyes on the Father and focus on the mission but still stay in touch with humanity. How often do we “forget” the things of God when we get into an environment that isn’t focused on God. Sometimes it may seem like you don’t want to “rock the boat” but in that situation you could be the difference. At that solemn moment, Jesus is just what they needed! Don’t be afraid to share Jesus with a lost world.
God sees what we don’t when it comes to stress. Sometimes He will put people in your life that can handle the stress that you cannot because He knows our frame. God is compassionate enough to know what would overwhelm us and keep it from us, if we stay close to Him. It may not always make sense to us but it is perfect! In our next devotional we will deal with selfishness. He will not protect us when we have decided to fight against Him. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.