Don’t go to mourn, go to the Lord

John 11:28-33 (NIV)

After she (Martha) had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Mary knew what she had to do. When she was in her deepest time of need she went straight to Jesus as quickly as she could. Those around her assumed she was going to the tomb to mourn. But amidst her doubt and sorrow, Mary went to Jesus, the source of comfort and hope.

Isn’t it interesting that whenever we are in a crisis situation, those around us decide that we must need to mourn.
They almost write us off as having to visit the tomb, visit the place of death, the place where our loss is buried. They assume that it’s normal to revisit your troubles over and over.

If things haven’t turned out the way you had planned, God has a better plan! The enemy wants us to stay in a place of mourning. But instead of heading toward death, we need to go after Life, the ultimate Light Source, Jesus Christ. He is available to meet us at our point of need and raise all our promises and desires from the dead.

Come out to meet Him

John 11:17-20 (NLT)

When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house.

Here we see Martha’s response during what was considered a ‘tragic’ situation. Instead of hanging around the grievers, she comes out to meet Jesus, her Saviour! The only One who can possibly help in this circumstance.

It seems like all hope is lost when her brother Lazarus has been dead for so long, but as she comes to Him she finds rest for her aching soul and ultimately the answer she requires.

Look in the next chapter at the response of the crowd:

John 12:17-18 (NIV)
Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him.

The crowd also come out to meet Him but notice how they come out to meet Him AFTER He has performed the miraculous sign of raising Lazarus from the dead. Most will come out to meet Him once they have seen a miracle.

We need to be like Martha and be the ones who will come out and meet Him before He has answered our prayer. If we don’t come to Him first, then there will neither be a prayer or a miracle following that prayer.

Martha was the One with boldness that set up the miracle by coming to Jesus. There is nothing that Jesus can’t fix. The key is that we must come forth and meet with Him in prayer. Don’t wait around grieving that your situation is dead, come forth and pray like Martha:

‘But I know that even now God will give You whatever you ask.’ John 11:22 (NIV)

New grounds for believing

John 11:14-15 MSG

Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”

Jesus had a plan that was even much more profound and glorious than a miraculous healing. This is why He says He was glad He didn’t come earlier to heal Lazarus.

Everyone had seen Jesus healing before, but if that wasn’t enough, here we see that He wanted to do something new. Jesus desired to give them completely new grounds for believing in Him!

Although it’s better to believe without having seen, God actually wants to do something in your life that is more amazing than what He has already done!

This is very exciting because you have already experienced His goodness and faithfulness, giving confidence to your faith up until this point. Now however, you can expect new grounds on which to believe in Him. He wants to do something different, leaving you astounded and bewildered.

Expect your faith to be lifted as you see a whole new reason to believe in Him! If you ever doubted God’s love and goodness then His next move will melt you!

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