WEEK 4: MARCH 20-26
Raised for Hope
Jesus seems to have arrived too late to help his friend Lazarus and the despair of the witnesses is palpable in this story from the Gospel of John. In a state of hopelessness, Jesus brings the hope of Resurrection, the hope of eternal life, of that which can never be taken away. How does the hope of Resurrection encourage you? This week hear from some of our members who have found hope that surpasses illness, difficult circumstances, and hope that drastically changes who we are as Christians.
Responding in Faith
By Emily McLeod
Have you ever been disappointed? I know I have! Matt and I have been disappointed with life decisions that we’ve made. Sometimes things just don’t turn out the way we hope. We’ve been disappointed with doctor’s diagnoses. When I was diagnosed with MS 7 years ago, we were facing a big blow. Disappointment is a part of life. Whether we face discouragement or we’re confronted with intense pain and loss, we have two choices. We can respond in bitterness or in faith. In John 11, Mary and Martha are dealing with death, one of the biggest disappointments for us to face.
When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had been dead for four days. Martha ran out to meet him. She told him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now, I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” When Jesus pressed Martha and asked her if she believed that those who had faith in Him would have eternal life, Martha responded “Yes, Lord, I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” John 11: 17-20, 27
When we’re facing pain and loss, we have two choices. Our first option is to respond to our circumstances with bitterness. I think we see a hint of this in Martha’s statement, “if you had been here.” But Martha doesn’t leave it at that. There’s more to her heart and more to her faith. Our second choice is to respond in faith. Martha goes on to say “But even now…” When Jesus shows up in our lives and in our circumstances, He always offers us life, resurrection, and hope. But it’s up to us to believe Him! We can continue in our own anger, helplessness and bitterness, or we can look to the One who can redeem and rescue us! We can look to the one who can save us!
When we chose to look at Jesus in faith 7 years ago with a scary diagnosis, and even when we go to God with the daily discouragements in our lives, He redeems our situations! It doesn’t mean that life will be easy or perfect, but we serve a BIG God! He can always do more with our faith than with our bitterness.
I pray that today, no matter how “dead” your circumstances may look or feel, that you will turn away from your disappointment and look to the one who comes with hope, and His hope will never disappoint. In Him we are given eternal life!
What disappointments do you face? Or disappointments from the past?
Where did you find courage in those circumstances?
How can you choose hope today?