pouring into your life,
and it will, you may not know the reason why,
but you can be sure the reason is not that God doesn’t love you.
Only Christianity has a God who entered into our suffering,
who went all the way to the cross for us, and
who weeps when we weep.
Beginning in John 11, a chapter filled with such sorrow and joy,
Jesus makes a deliberate turn toward the cross,
knowing that raising Lazarus from the dead will surely lead to His own death.
This is such a familiar passage, but I saw new things this time, truths I need to speak to my soul, and I believe you will be so strengthened too.
is shown in how we approach suffering.
|When circumstances in my life go wrong,||When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle,|
|I am angry at God or myself, since||but I know all my punishment fell on Jesus and that|
|I believe that anyone who is good||while God may allow this for my training, he will|
|deserves a comfortable life.||exercise His Fatherly love within my trial.|
This understanding is key to a gospel-transformed life and is so beautifully illustrated for us in this chapter. This understanding rescued me and my children when my husband died.
When the enemy crawled up to my window and whispered:
You deserve this Dee, you are such an idiot.
I was able to slam that window down on his slimy fingers with
the gospel truth, which I knew, but needed to tell my soul again:
“When a Christian suffers, it is never because God is punishing him because Jesus paid for his sin IN FULL at the cross
and it is FINISHED!”
IN THE STORY WE WILL READ, SUFFERING CAME INTO THE LIFE OF THREE WHOM WE ARE TOLD “JESUS LOVED.”
IT COULDN’T BE STATED MORE CLEARLY:
NOW JESUS LOVED MARTHA AND HER SISTER AND LAZARUS.
DO YOU ALSO BELIEVE HE LOVES YOU?
AND DO YOU BELIEVE HE IS IN CONTROL OF EVERYTHING?
A WOMAN I HAVE COME TO GREATLY ADMIRE IS
AS A TEEN SHE BECAME BLIND.
IT IS HER CONFIDENCE IN THESE TWO THINGS
(GOD’S LOVE AND GOD’S CONTROL)
THAT HAS TRANSFORMED HER INTO THE WOMEN SHE IS.
WATCH THIS AND THEN SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS.
1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
2. Think about suffering you are facing or have faced. Do you believe Jesus loves you and never lost control? If you do, why do you believe that? Or you may want to say, “Lord, I believe — but help my unbelief.” That is a prayer He hears.
Monday-Wednesday Bible Study
Prepare your heart with this:
HE LOVES (WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE HE DOESN’T)
Read slowly John 11:1-16
3. What suffering has come into the lives of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary? And what rock solid truth are we told in verse 5?
In the ESV, we see a startling “so”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
4. What does this So, teach you?
5. Why don’t his disciples want him to go to Judea? And why do you think He has set His face like flint to go anyhow?
6. What does Jesus say in verses 9-10?
While Jesus’ words in verses 9 and 10 seem cryptic, David Jeremiah explains that we must walk by a different light source than natural light. What seems to make no sense by human wisdom, makes sense in God’s wisdom.
7. What in your life right now may not make sense, but which you are willing to lay at Jesus feet?
8. What does Jesus tell his disciples in verses 14-15? Comment.
Read John 11:17-27
9. What question does Jesus ask Martha when she comes to Him in her grief? (verses 25-26) And how does she respond?
10. How does this apply to you in any suffering you are facing?
I personally believe that this is when Martha’s control idol cracked. She could not control her brother’s illness. She had to submit to the Lord and she did it before she saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead. By faith, she believed He loved her and that He was in control — for He was the GREAT I AM.
HE WEEPS (WHEN IT SEEMS HE DOESN’T CARE)
11. Read John 11:28-37
A. What do you see in Jesus in verses 33-35?
B. What contrasting responses did those watching have?
C. Which response was walking by natural light, and which by the light of God?
12. How might you thank Him for all things now, by faith, before He overcomes?
HE OVERCOMES (WHEN YOU THINK ALL HOPE IS GONE)
13. Read John 11:30-44
A. What evidence can you find that Martha is really going to be astounded?
B. How do you think you would have felt if you witnessed this?
C. Share a time when God astounded you (be brief so we can read!)
D. What pain or illness in yourself or someone you love do you know one day will be overcome?
14. What, according to John 11:57, did this miracle lead to?
Listen to Matthew Smith sing ‘O Lord, Comfort Me” and comment on how Christ’s agony can comfort you. http://matthewsmith.us/videos
Thursday-Friday: Free Tim Keller Sermon “The Furious Love of Jesus”
15. Share your thoughts on the above sermon.
16. What is your take-a-way and why?