John 11:45-12:11

John 11:45-12:11

John 11:50Vintage message from December 2, 2001.

Sometimes, the most effective way for God to use us before a lost and dying world is for us to experience some pain; for us to experience the hardships that this flesh brings, so that when the world sees how we respond to those things, then they become convinced of the strength and the power of God. But yet, we don’t think that way. So often we think that, “You know what, I’ll impress the world by driving around in my Cadillac. I’ll impress the world by having my million and a half dollar mansion. I’ll impress the world by dripping with gold and looking wealthy and saying, ‘God has blessed me, world! God has blessed me,’ and that will attract them somehow.” Well, I hate to say it. They’re not attracted to God. They’re attracted to gold and Cadillacs and mansions. And so often, I think, that that’s really what we’re attracted to as well. Those of us who say, “Yes, I’m a believer,” but yet seek after those things in the world and reject any form of suffering… We’ve come to an age where the church, for the most part, prays, “Bless me, Lord. Bless me, Lord. Bless me, Lord,” not, “Use me, Lord, however You will,” and that’s how we should be praying…

God can’t do wrong. God is perfect and in Him there is no injustice. He doesn’t do things wrong, but yet, when we find ourselves facing hardship and suffering…we accuse God because we don’t understand. We know He’s perfect. We know He’s powerful. We know He’s able to do miracles. “Well, then, why didn’t You do the miracle for me, God?” And, you know, I’ve heard many, many Christians say these very words, “Well, where was He when I needed Him?” Well, He was there, and He knew that you were going to suffer, and He knew that you were going to hurt, and He knew that you were going to have a hard time… He allows for wicked men to make decisions, He allows for life to happen around us, He allows for bad to happen, and He does it for the purpose of testing our heart; of showing His strength through us. If we are truly believing that He is the God of power, He will allow for us to show that to a lost and dying world that has already rejected Him…

Do we believe that God can deal with these things in our life? Do we believe it? Do we believe that He is the resurrection and the life? And that’s all He’s asking of us, is to show the world around us that, in fact, we believe that He is that resurrection; that He is our life even in the midst of hard times… And understand something, God knows when our faith is weak. He knows when we are really struggling, and He doesn’t leave us abandoned. He doesn’t leave us alone. He does bring us encouragement… He never leaves us alone when we are discouraged. And if we would open our eyes to what’s going on around us, we would see that we’re not alone when we’re discouraged, but God always is true to His Word when He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So, if He’s true to His Word, then we need to open our eyes and look and simply see where He’s at, right?… He can take what hurts us, He can take what we fear, He can take the problems and the struggles of our lives, and He can heal them, even if, in our minds, they’re already dead…

You know what? It’s not about us. It’s not about you. It’s about God and how many people can we point to Him. It’s about Jesus Christ and how many people can we bring to His throne for salvation. It’s not whether or not I look good in the end, and will I get credit if I do it. It’s not about me and the pat on the back I might get, or whether or not I might be recognized…

Let me tell you something. When Jesus truly begins to start working in your life, when miracles start happening in your life, when you start displaying the power of God’s Holy Spirit, that becomes attractive to many who are lost and dying in this world, and don’t be afraid to stand up and tell people, “It’s not me. This is Jesus working in me.” But guess what? There will be, probably, just as many who will hate you because you are proving their philosophy of life wrong. And guess what? There will be people who were your friends who will abandon you because God begins to do a work…

We are called to allow Jesus to work in our life to become the proof [that] He is a God of love, that He exists not only out there, but He exists in here. He cares for us on a personal level, and He deals with us just as personally. He does the miracle, and He brings us from death to life, and He walks with us, and He cares for us, and He provides for our needs, even when we don’t understand what He’s doing and He allows us to suffer. We need to lose this whole thing of accusing Him when we suffer, but rejoice in the suffering, that He has counted us worthy to endure a little bit of pain, a little bit of inconvenience… And even in what little bit of suffering we have in our lives today, we need to let God use it and rejoice in it, and allow God to be God, not accusing Him, not railing against Him, but praising Him, that He is here in me to bring me through, to bring you through whatever it is you’re facing, in order that He might save a world of men that are also lost as we once were.

Pastor Dave Elkins

Previous
John 11:1-44