Pastor Shane Ham : Why We Get So Disappointed

Why God · 44:53 · Recorded August 6, 2017

Why We Get So Disappointed

John 11:1-6, 31-40(NCV) 1A man naed Lazarus was sick. He lived in the town of Bethany, where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2Mary was the woman who later put perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. Mary’s brother was Lazarus, the man who was now sick. 3So Mary and Martha sent someone to tell Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not end in death. It is for the glory of God, to bring glory to the Son of God.” 5Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6But when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days…31The Jews were with Mary in the house, comforting her. When they saw her stand and leave quickly, they followed her, thinking she was going to the tomb to cry there. 32But Mary went to the place where Jesus was. When she saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw Mary crying and the Jews who came with her also crying, he was upset and was deeply troubled. 34He asked, “Where did you bury him?” “Come and see, Lord,” they said. 35Jesus cried. 36So the Jews said, “See how much he loved him.” 37But some of them said, “If Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man, why couldn’t he keep Lazarus from dying?” 38Again feeling very upset, Jesus came to the tomb. It was a cave with a large stone covering the entrance. 39Jesus said, “Move the stone away.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said, “But, Lord, it has been four days since he died. There will be a bad smell.” 40Then Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

1. Our reality doesn’t match our expectations.

Job 30:26 (NJB) I hoped for happiness, but sorrow came; I looked for light, but there was darkness.

Questions that it raises:

Is God in control?

John 1:22-23,29-30 (NJB) So they said to him, “Who are you? What have you to say about yourself?” So he said, “I am, as Isaiah prophesied: a voice of one that cries in the desert: prepare a way for the Lord. Make his paths straight!”…The next day, he saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. It was of him that I said, ‘Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.’”

Is God really there?

Matthew 11:3-6 (NLT) “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And you tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’”

Is God unfair?

Psalm 13:1-2 (NLT) O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Why is God silent?

Psalm 89:46-47 (NLT) O LORD, how long will this go on? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your anger burn like fire? Remember how short my life is…

2. Our limits to understand God’s ways!

John 9:2-3 (NIV) His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NJB) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not my ways,” declares Yahweh. “For the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.”

3. Our difficulty with accepting mystery.

Proverbs 25:2 (NASB) It is the glory of God to conceal a matter…

4. Our challenge to totally trust God.

Hosea 11:8 (NCV) “Israel, how can I give you up? How can I give you away, Israel? …My heart beats for you, and my love for you stirs up my pity.”

Psalm 56:8 (NLT) You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

Read John 11:6. Why does Jesus deliberately delay? How does the way in which Jesus postponed his response to the sisters’ request help you in understanding God’s work in your own life?

According to Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter…” What things do you think God has concealed from you? What is your attitude toward the “mystery” mentioned in point 3? Is finding the answer an obtainable goal, a worthy pursuit, a matter of trust, or like eating from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil”? (Ge 2:17)

What is your biggest takeaway from the message today? Share with your small group this week.

How long had Lazarus been dead by the time Jesus arrived? How would you feel if you were Martha or Mary and you heard that Jesus had finally come?

Review John 9:2-3. In Jesus’ day, most people would have answered that suffering is the direct result of a sinful life. How do you answer the question “Why?” concerning pain and suffering in our lives? In this Bible story, Jesus gives us a different answer as he heals a man who had been blind from birth. Share with your small group.

Hi Parents. Today your elementary children were given a very timely reminder as they head back to school. God promises to always be with us. When we know that, we can have confidence to face whatever comes our way. Our bottom line was: God will help you stand strong.  Ask your child about our memory verse for the month. They should have a bookmark with it that they decorated in class. Consider memorizing this verse as a family this month.

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