So I just got done reading “Chasing Daylight (Formerly Seizing Your Divine Moment)” by Erwin McManus. It is pretty good although the book probably could have got the same point across in like 3 chapters. (Soul Cravings was much better)
ANYway, he finishes the book with a passage:
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 which ends with “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
When I read that word toil, it was like all at once all of the history of the word flashed through my mind. All of the saints, all of those following the Lord, all those volunteering and serving and leading and pushing on in the name of the Lord; they struggled so hard and faced the darkness that tried to tell them there was no God and all their work was for nothing.
This of course includes Martha, in John 11. This is when Jesus and Martha’s good friend and Mary’s brother Lazarus just died. When they first tell Jesus he was sick, Jesus says that this sickness will not end in death and stayed where he was (several miles away). Then Lazarus died and Jesus finally goes over there (this was all His plan) after 4 days. Martha’s kind of like “Why didn’t you come right away? You could have saved him!” Then Jesus explains to her that He is the Resurrection and the Life & whoever believes in him will never die and then He asks “Do you believe this?” And right here, Martha’s faith just kind of floored me – mainly because in her simple response she wrapped up all of who Jesus was/is and in that believed in His power. Then Mary comes out with some others and they are were still mad at Him even though He deeply cared for Lazarus too – we see this because He too wept. So they go to the tomb and Jesus tells them to move stone across the entrance. Now all the sudden Martha doesn’t seem so full of faith, she’s worried about the stench of a dude that has been dead all week. Then Jesus is like “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the power of God?” and then He goes “LAZARUS, COME OUT!” and Lazarus comes out of there lookin’ like a mummy for Halloween. I just got kind of excited about what happens when we place faith in the Lord.
Recently Pastor Kirk (at Canyon View Vineyard Church) gave a message on healing with a testimony from a guy named Steve Sanford who was healed of cancer. Right after that message a woman went up for prayer who just found out a lump in her breast had spread to a full blown cancer mass reaching up to her lymph-nodes. That week she went back to the doctor and it was gone!
I got to thinking about healings, and why God sometimes heals and sometimes doesn’t. I think for us, we want that person to stay alive, to stay in our lives, but in God’s perspective we should know (if they are saved) that leaving here is much better. So why would He keep someone who has believed in His atonement here on earth? I think God performs miracles for the purpose of bringing people to believe in Him. Right before Jesus called Lazarus out He thanked God for hearing Him although He knew God would hear Him, He said that so that those around would hear and believe. I think we need to stop seeking things for our personal benefit or because it makes us feel good, but to see it in relation to the big picture, the big story. I was just reading The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis and he says [talking about the universe] “…where irreversible entropy gives time a real direction and the cosmos, no longer static or cyclic, moves like a drama from a real beginning to a real end.” OK, let that statement sink in for a while, it’s really deep.