Friday, July 24, 2015

Four Days Late

Wayne, an Army veteran, was pretty much on his own at this point in life. With his ended marriage and kids grown, we treated him as family. Uncle Wayne as we called him. 

You could talk to him about almost anything; people just liked this sweet, soft spoken guy. He was a great friend and even worked with my father on specific jobs.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen more intricate work when it came to special details he brought to installing carpet, especially when he did logos for companies. 

Sadly, Wayne had taken a turn for the worse and it didn’t look like he would have much longer to live.  By now he was living out his days in the soldier’s home for veterans in Southern Jersey.  It was time we visited; maybe even our last.

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBHo Chi Minh City & Hanoi, Ha Noi, Vietnam; Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Valley, Philippines; Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands; Sanquelim, Goa, India; My Tho, Tien Giang Province, Vietnam; Osijek, Osijek-Baranja County, Croatia; Belgrade, Serbia; Ivrea, Piedmont, Italy; Ludlow, England, United Kingdom; Maria Ellend, Lower Austria, Austria; Benalmadena, Andalucia, Spain.
USA Erial, Verona & Livingston, NJ; Chester, MD; Statesville & Waxhaw, NC; Las Vegas, NV; Grand Rapids, MI; Highland, Lancaster, CA;  McBee, SC; Boise, ID; Jamestown, NY; Camano Island, WA; Chattanooga, Memphis  & White Pine, TN; Kabetogama, MN; Eucha, OK; Fairmont, WV; Columbia, MD; Fairmont, MN; Benton & Lousiville, KY; Booneville, AR; East Berlin, PA; Hoisington, KS; Chestnut Hill, MA.
Thank you for your continued support and sharing Believing Our Belief on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) Living my life before God and man, by sharing experiences as I walk out my faith.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Read Messages, updates on Hubby’s Heart and visit the Q & A or other sections.

Don’t Pray for Me 

It’s raining as I write this … actually a thunder storm.  The weather is not what causes gloom in my spirit though, but the events in our country that have transpired over the past few months. 

With the changes that have been taking place in America lately and the five fallen soldiers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it caused me to think back on our family friend and our last visit with him. 

My husband and I felt we needed to visit with Wayne again, but this time we were going with a message of hope.  Much had changed since our last engagement with him.  He could no longer do normal activity and had a strap fastened to his arm to help him eat or function on a regular basis. 

It was hard to watch him as he tried to work his way around the room. Even so, Wayne was great company and our time spent with him was rewarding.  We could see he was getting tired so we decided to end our visitation.  As we were about to leave my husband asked him if we could close out our time together in prayer, something Wayne was familiar with in our family. 

“I prefer you didn’t.” Wayne said.  He wasn’t nasty about it, but went on to tell us that he lost hope and didn’t believe.  No matter what we said, he refused to let God work in his life and was willing to die in his unbelief.   

We were heartbroken our loved one didn’t want us to pray with and for him, knowing where he would live for eternity.  Tears flowed gently down our faces as we left with what would be our last time seeing Wayne.  His response is something that we’ve never forgotten, and what drives us to sharing hope in Jesus. 

I’m Coming Soon 

An urgency flows through my spirit about the Lord coming to collect His children.  How much longer will He let sin abound and not act?  I would venture to say, that we are about to see some Heavenly changes soon.   

My husband hit the nail on the head when he called it right regarding the future of America if she persists to follow the path she’s on when it comes to believing in God.  He said,
“America is rotting from the inside out.” 

I bought an avocado thinking I’d add it to some recipes.  Well, I forgot I purchased it and left it in the refrigerator for months.  We noticed that the outside appeared to be alright, but the inside had rotted.  It was like a metaphor of what my husband said.  A country can have subtle changes over time that people don’t notice, than bam – the country is no longer there. 

No matter what country you’re from, has it become a nation that doesn’t believe that God is real or true to His Word?  If Jesus were to come today, would you be part of His favored … the ones He refers to as “Believers?” 

A Memory Lapse 

In preparing for this week’s post the message of hope and sorrow tried to meld in my prayer time and devotions.  If you have spent any time here only Daily Favor you would realize that I don’t dwell on negative things, and always look for a promise of God to see me through difficult times. 

My thoughts led me to the passage in John chapter 11 and the account of Lazarus.  You may not think of the Lord as having a sense of humor, but I think the conversation that took place here is one of the most comical ones in the Bible. 

Do you remember what was happening?  Jesus was preaching His message of salvation from coast to coast and not all had gone well. In fact, there were some places He wasn’t welcome.  Judea was one of those places where the people (Jewish leaders) tried to stone Him, because they felt He spoke against their beliefs in Jehovah the God of Abraham. 

While in travel Jesus received a message that His friend Lazarus was near death and would He please come right away to heal him.  Jesus didn’t disregard the message, but only stated that He knew it wasn’t a sickness that would kill him when He said this in verse four:  

“Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death.  No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God (referring to Himself) will receive glory from this.”  
For two more days Jesus kept on doing the Father’s business before He told the disciples that it was time to go see Lazarus.  We often picture this to be a sad time with the disciples falling all over Jesus in trying to find words of comfort.  I don’t think that’s how it happened. 

When Jesus told the disciples they were going back to Judea it sounds like they panicked and thought the Lord had a memory lapse concerning their last visit. They were so NOT wanting to make this trip again that they boldly reminded Jesus of what happened last time. Could they reason with Him?

He’s Dead, and I’m Glad 

Two more days passed since Jesus first heard of His friend becoming deathly ill.  He wasn’t in a hurry, nor did He worry about the fate of a loved one. By now Lazarus had died. 

Wait a minute, don't you remember what
 happened last time we went there?
The conversation went like this with Jesus making it as plain as He could to the disciples.  (Writer’s license of course!) 

Jesus: “We’re going back to Judea.” 

Disciples: “Rabbi, we can’t go back there. It’s not safe.” 

Jesus: “The people there live in spiritual darkness and keep making mistakes. They don’t understand what I can do for them if they believe in Me as God told them to. 
So, come on, we’re going to see Lazarus.  He’s asleep, but I’m going to wake him up.” 

Disciples: “Well, that’s good. If he sleeps he’ll be better soon.” 

I doubt Jesus rolled His eyes thinking that these guys aren’t with the program, but why else would He have to be so blunt with His answer? 

Jesus: No …. Lazarus isn’t sleeping as in needing a rest, he’s dead! For your sakes I’m glad I wasn’t there to heal him, so you will finally believe me. Let’s go.” 

Now we remember Thomas as the doubter, but I think his statement to Jesus just about shocked the others when he tried to lump them in on what he said. 

Thomas: “You’re glad he died?  Well then, let’s all go together and die also!” 

I wonder how many more times young Tom got into trouble with his mouth? 

Four Days Late 

By the time Jesus reached Bethany which was near Jerusalem, Lazarus had already been in the grave four days.  Martha heard that Jesus was on His way and went out to meet him.  As soon as she saw the Master she began to complain and blame Him for not being on time.  (Something we can all relate to I’m sure.) 

Martha said, “If You had been here my brother wouldn’t have died. I know God will do whatever You ask, so what are You going to do.”  This proves that she believed Jesus could heal and that God answered His prayers. 

Jesus told her that Lazarus was going to rise, but she didn’t get what He meant.  He even asked her “Do you believe this?”  It’s almost like there was a smugness in Martha’s voice when she answered, “I know, I know, he will rise like everyone else who believes in You.” 

Once again He tried to get her to understand that He is the One who gives life, but she didn’t comprehend.  Returning home she told her sister Mary that Jesus was outside of town, but on His way there.   

Mary went out to meet Him.  The mourners saw Mary leaving in a hurry and they presumed she was going to the grave to cry, so they followed her.  She sang the same hopeless song, “Lord if You had only been here, my brother would not have died.” 

Four days; just four little days.  Why didn’t Jesus move as soon as He first heard about Lazarus being sick? 

The Darkness and Smell of Unbelief 

This time Jesus was getting angry and upset from all the unbelief, not only from the sisters, but from the bystanders. 
Something had to be done. It was then Jesus began to cry.   

Can you hear the murmuring and gossip flowing through the crowd as they mocked the abilities of Jesus when they saw Him crying?
“See how much He loved him? Isn’t it pitiful how He could heal a blind person, but not the sickness in Lazarus?” 

Jesus wasn’t crying because of Lazarus. He had long before prayed over that situation and already knew the outcome.  Don’t you remember?  Jesus told His disciples that Lazarus wasn’t going to die several days before when they first got the message. 

In a strong voice He asked Mary where they put Lazarus and to remove the stone at the entrance of the tomb.  Again showing her unbelief, I can see Mary standing in front of Jesus trying to stop Him from going forward. 

“…but Lord, he’s been in there four days and really stinks!  Seriously, You don’t want to go in there!” 

Jesus told Mary the same thing He spoke to His disciples days ago, that in this they would see God’s glory so that they would believe in Him.  Something that gets overlooked is that Jesus didn’t go in the dark stinky grave, but by name called Lazarus out of it!  

That miracle was only one glimpse of hope that we are to see if we would believe all Jesus proclaimed. Oh, if my friend Wayne would have believed and not lost all hope! 

As believer’s we don’t have to live with the “stink” of sin that causes spiritual death, but are called out of the darkness into the Light of Jesus. He calls us by name, and as children of Light we can overcome anything satan tries to put on us.  As Jesus said, “Unwrap him from those death clothes and let him go, and live!” 

When Late is on Time 

There was a reason why Jesus didn’t answer the message as soon as He received it concerning Lazarus.  In John 11:4 we learn the purpose for the delay. 

“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”  This would reveal who Jesus really was so that they would come to believe Him. 

The Lord couldn’t have showed up on time (or in the time they felt He should have arrived at Lazarus’ bedside).  In Jesus’ day it was believed by some that the spirit of a person would hang around the grave for three days trying to get back into the body. So Jesus had to stay away four days to destroy those beliefs. 

Waiting on the Lord for the best outcome is a process that involves hope and belief.  When God doesn’t show up when we think He should, you can be sure there is another reason.  It will always include your believing in Him and it will bring Him glory.   

Would you weep? 

Jesus cried not over Lazarus, who He knew was going to live, but over the city – the people – the nation that would not believe in Him and perish. (vs. 15) 

That’s where we are right now. Jesus is looking at nations that have turned their backs on Him.  When was the last time you cried over a lost nation or even a single soul that “prefers you don’t” pray for them?  Have you too lost hope?  

This Week’s Challenge:
Take Me to the Place: Days of Hope  

The lesson Jesus wants us to come away with, from sharing the account of Lazarus, is that we don’t have to live in the darkness of sin.  We have the hope of salvation now and for eternity.  Both are lavished with His never ending favor. 

When Jesus told Mary to show Him where her brother was buried, He was really asking, 

 “Take Me to the place where you lost hope. Where did you get blindsided by false religion and fall back into bondage?”

Our challenge this week will have us looking back on where we missed God in our losing hope in a situation.  Although we face trials, as true believers in the covenant promises of God we can walk in the power of Christ’s resurrection today. 

It may look like Jesus is late in coming on the scene, but He’s not.  All hope is not lost for you, your family or nation.  Time may be short, but there’s still some time.  We need to pray and believe God will do as we requested as Jesus did. 

You don’t have to understand why things aren’t working the way you thought, but remember this … Jesus is the same, yesterday (as in the days of Lazarus), today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) 

He was on time then and He always will be.  There is hope Jesus! Just wait, He’ll roll back your “stone” and call out your name for the miracle to unfold.

Until next time, favor comes with believing! 

Check Messages throughout the week.  

“I provide resurrection life favor.”
Jesus Christ

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

What’s New This Week: Click on book or link. 
by Erik Lawson 


Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior. 

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Veterans Home in New Jersey  American Flag Half Staff  Jesus Walking with Disciples  Jesus Talking with Disciples  I Am the Resurrection John 11:25-26  Tears  God's Timing
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate your visit very much. If this article was a blessing and helpful please share it.