Life Happens Pt 4

Life Happens Pt 4

John 11:1-44 NIV
1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus ) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 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. 32 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.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

1.Even in loss, God can be glorified 
3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”


V6 says, “So when he heard 
that Lazarus was sick, he stayed 
where he was two more days,”

Therefore, count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2–4)

2.During a season of loss, 
Isolation should be avoided. 
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

3.Going through Loss DOESN’T 
mean God has left you.

V21 & V32

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

32 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.”

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NIV
7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

4.When you experience loss, 
Christ expresses love.


33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

If it has brought tears to your eyes, be sure it has brought tears to His eyes as well!


Life Happens pt 3

Life Happens pt 3

Jesus maintained a perfect attitude in every situation. He prayed
about everything and worried about nothing. His attitude was
never to become defensive or discouraged. His goal was to
please the Father rather than to achieve His own agenda.

In the midst of trials, He was patient.
In the midst of suffering, He was hopeful.
In the midst of blessings, He was humble.
In the midst of ridicule, abuse, and hostility, He made no threats
and did not retaliate.

PSALMS 30:11-12 AMP
11 You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Romans 8:28 NKJV
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Acts 16:25 NKJV
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Suddenly, a violent earthquake hit the foundations of the prison.
Immediately, all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains
were loosed.

As a result of their praise and worship, they saw a whole family
believe on Jesus Christ as Lord.

People are watching our worship and praise in the midst of
horrible circumstances.

Matthew 9:20-22 NKJV
20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” 22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

This woman had a sudden miracle. But notice: she knew Jesus
was the answer to her physical problem. She voiced it with her
mouth and she believed that, if she could just touch Him, she
would be made well, so she made an effort to touch Him.

When life happens, we Americans can be very impatient. We
tend to immediately want our miracle. If we are in pain, we want
it gone now. If we’re dealing with heartache, we want it fixed

God’s sudden intervention is not always going to operate on our

There may be some things that God needs to take out of us and
put into us during times of struggle.

When the fullness of preparation meets the fullness of time, it
results in the atmosphere where “suddenlies” come to pass.

Today, we are surrounded by people who have endured
hardships beyond imagination to serve God and to experience
their own “suddenly” as the fullness of their preparation meet
the fullness of time.

When “suddenly” comes, it erases the weariness of the previous

Matthew 8:2-3 NKJV
2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Let’s worship Jesus and seek His face.
Let’s tell Him that we know He’s able… that suddenly we can
be healed…
That suddenly, we can find a wife or husband…
That suddenly, we can find a job…
That suddenly, that friend or family member will give their heart
to Christ…

Make sure that, if we have not received our “suddenly” miracle,
it’s not because of you talking yourself out of a miracle,
complaining, having a bad attitude, refusing to worship, refusing
to speak in agreement with God’s word, or refusing to forgive

If our focus, our attention, or our prayers are always about our
need, we will lose our focus on Jesus.

Revelation 22:12 NKJV
12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Revelation 22:20 NKJV
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

A Mother’s Day Blessing Prayer

A Prayer of Hope and Blessing for Mother’s Day

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” Proverbs 31:25

A message of hope for moms, for those who still wait to be moms, and for the many dear women who nurture and lead…

Sunday is a special day to honor and celebrate moms everywhere.

Yet sometimes this day reminds us of other thoughts too, hard struggles, grief, longing, and loss. It carries more than just joy-filled thoughts.

If you find yourself somewhere there today, still wrestling through a struggling relationship, grieving deep loss, walking through a season of waiting, battling loneliness or fear, praying for healing to come, or for a loved one to return home…don’t ever doubt that He’s working on your behalf. He knows all. He understands and cares. He can see clearly what we cannot see. He holds all the pieces and fits them perfectly together one by one. And maybe His work and timing is not all about you, and me, but also about another soul and the importance of the journey they’re walking through. Often, He does His greatest, most powerful work, during our seasons of waiting and loss; and what we have prayed for through so much struggle and pain, becomes the greatest blessings of this life. In whatever we face, we can be confident, God will not waste our pain. Not ever.

Praying for God to cover and be close to so many who need to hear a message of hope for this day. May He help us to lovingly encourage one another in all of our unique stories and journeys.

Be assured, He has good in store, great blessings still await, on the other side of the struggle.


A prayer for moms, for those who wait to be moms, and for all dear women who nurture and lead:

Dear God,

Thank you for the gift of motherhood. Thank you for the blessing it is to be called “Mom.” Thank you for the good plans you have in store for those who still wait to be a Mom. Thank you for the numerous spiritual children you have given to so many “spiritual moms” and mentors. We pray that you would fill this day with favor and grace as we honor Moms all around our nation.

We ask for comfort for those who are grieving loss and heartache, especially on this day. We ask for strength for those who wait for children to come back home. We ask for healing for those who have been hurt by relationships that were intended to be loving and nurturing. We ask for faith for those who will someday be Moms, who find themselves on a journey that seems so hard. We ask for great encouragement and grace to cover those who have made a brave and loving choice for adoption. We ask for incredible provision and care over every single parent mom who works so hard on behalf of her children. We ask that you would remind many of those who, though they do not have “physical” children, have the gift of being amazing hope-bringers to many spiritual children they’ve been blessed to nurture through these years.

God, thank you, for the gift of life. Thank you that your heart is for us, and that you are with us, in all our unique journeys and pathways. Thank you that you are Sovereign over every part of our lives. Thank you that your ways are perfect and you make our footsteps secure.

Today we pray for refreshing, for joy, for grace, for wisdom, for great peace…for all moms, for moms to be, and for women who nurture and lead.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Mothers Show Up

Mothers Show Up

With Mothers Day 4 days out. My thoughts and prayers go out to the mothers. Mothers play a important role in there children’s life.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27

Mothers show up. They show up at the birth of their child. They show up when the baby wakes up, cries, is hungry or needs changing. Moms show up at the bus stop, in the carpool line, at teacher conferences, as homeroom moms, and at ball games. They show up to wash their child’s clothes, clean their rooms, help with homework, and feed their bellies.

The Lord put relentless and forgiving love in the hearts of mothers. Moms cannot not care for their children, because this is how Christ made them. Why does a godly mom show up in quiet supplication for the soul of their son or daughter? Why does a woman of God go to church faithfully with her child in tow, so that child can hear the truth about Jesus’s love?

These women of faith keep showing up on behalf of their Savior because, like the mother of Jesus, they love Jesus. The love of Christian moms flows out of the love for their Lord. Their Heavenly Father first loves them, so they in turn can deeply love their loved ones with the Lord’s everlasting love. Indeed, you show up to be loved by Jesus, so you can show up to love for Jesus. Mothers who love their children best are first loved by Christ.

“I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5).

Loving moms show up during the darkest days of sorrow. They keep coming back to the bedside of their little one languishing with illness. The stamina of a mom over her sick child sometimes seems supernatural. And it is—because the Holy Spirit is their supply. He is there to give you the support you need to be the mom Christ has called you to be. Stay true to showing up with your Savior each day. He will equip and empower you to be the mom for your children. Show up for Jesus and He will show up for you.

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there” (1 Samuel 1:27-28).


Dear Lord, give me stamina from your Holy Spirit to love and serve my child, in Jesus’ name, amen.


Do I reflect the Lord’s love for me, so that I can better love my child?

Related Reading

1 Samuel 2:1-11; 2 Kings 4:29-30; Mark 3:31; 1 Thessalonians 2:7

Life Happens pt 2

Life Happens pt2

“I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.”

John 16:33 CEB

This Scripture says that in this world we will have distress. Distress can be caused by unexpected crisis, adversity, or the daily pressures that we encounter in life. We can’t always control the distress that comes into our lives, but we can control how we choose to respond to it. When you face distress, do you choose to be closer to God or choose to ignore him and handle your feelings yourself? Jesus tells the disciples in this Scripture that the only way to find peace is by choosing to be close to God.

One of the most important reasons we need to choose to turn to God in the midst of distress is to protect and strengthen our faith. The presence of faith is everything when it comes to moving God’s heart:

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Matthew 13:58 NIV

How much faith do you have in the midst of distress and unexpected challenges? Rather than losing our faith in the midst of distress, we can strengthen our faith in the face of it by choosing to be close to God.

Choosing God begins with turning to God’s Word to develop an understanding of how God wants us to handle and respond to what each day brings us, rather than relying on humanism and instinct.

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

Matthew 19:26 NLT

God moves powerfully in our lives when we choose to pursue him and embrace his perspective and outlook for our lives rather than embracing the world’s. To help with some of this perspective, here are five ways God moves for our good when we are going through unexpected distress:

God deepens our attachment to him through testing

Keep and live out the entire commandment that I’m commanding you today so that you’ll live and prosper and enter and own the land that GOD promised to your ancestors. Remember every road that GOD led you on for those forty years in the wilderness, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that he would know what you were made of, whether you would keep his commandments or not. He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry. Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about, so you would learn that men and women don’t live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from GOD’s mouth. Your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t blister those forty years. You learned deep in your heart that GOD disciplines you in the same ways a father disciplines his child.

Deuteronomy 8:1-5 MSG

Do you blame God or pursue God when the unexpected happens? Life is full of ups and downs, and yet we too often expect an easier life. God wants us to use this time to deepen our attachment to him, to examine our faith, to teach us to rely on him in ways we previously haven’t, and to deepen our convictions in the Bible.

God has used hard times in my life to help me change my view of him. I used to view God as someone who would always take care of me physically but not emotionally. My view of God was that he would always provide but not really care about how I feel. But that’s actually not true in the Bible, God does care about every detail of our life.

We have a choice to get deeper with God when we go through trouble or to quit. How do you think God could be deepening your attachment to him through the troubles you are going through now?

God comforts us with limitless strength

GOD’s the one who rebuilds Jerusalem, who regathers Israel’s scattered exiles. He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and assigns each a name. Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what he knows and does. God puts the fallen on their feet again and pushes the wicked into the ditch.

Psalm 147:2-6 MSG

15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.
1 Samuel 23:15-16 NIV

Adversity and the unexpected are actually opportunities to find strength from God. Like these Scriptures say, we can experience God’s unlimited strength through prayer, Scriptures, and the spiritual friendships he surrounds us with to help us continue to find greater strength from him. However if we choose to be isolated and not connect with our friends and God, we will miss out on the the opportunity not only to get strength in our faith, but to come to understand how loving, faithful, and concerned God is with us.

Do you isolate when the unexpected happens? Or do you see these times as opportunities to deepen your connection with God and friends?

God provides the way to overcome

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 MSG

We often can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel when we go through crisis or the unexpected. However this Scripture teaches us that God always provides a way out to overcome the temptations and trials in our lives. The “way out” can be having spiritual friendships. Our circumstances may not change, but God will put people in our life to comfort us.

In order to have these relationships, we must be willing to have the humility and vulnerability to God to ask for help, to discover and embrace God’s plans and purpose. When I go through hard times, I usually want to a solution to fix my problems quickly, but God’s way is that we grow and don’t have to go through it alone. We get to experience truth and spiritual friendship along the journey. I think comfort from God comes through connecting with spiritual friends, at times crying together, and especially finding strength through praying together. We don’t need to go through the unexpected alone, but God will use people to encourage us if we open our hearts.

God reveals opportunities in the midst of pressures

Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4 MSG

2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:2-4 NLT

How do you respond to pressure? Do you resent it, avoid it, or choose to be grateful for how it is an opportunity to grow stronger in your faith? Finding purpose in our pain can actually help us to be grateful, joyful, and see how God is still moving despite our circumstances. A lot of times when I feel pain or pressure I can compare myself to others and get envious and jealous of how their lives seem better. But this only makes me feel worse; what helps is being grateful for how much God has protected me, and focusing on what is going well.

God turns our physical limitations into spiritual launching points

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 MSG

Every person has a form of physical limitation, whether it be in talent, ability, or circumstance. These limits are what also makes us unique from everyone else, and are the pathway to discovering a strength far beyond our human abilities. These limits are necessary to show us where our human strength ends, and where God’s strength and power in our lives are essential and real. Too often I view prayer as a “last resort” rather than my primary source of strength. Prayer is how God gives us the courage to take risks, turns our weakness to strength, helps us to love the unlovable and forgive the unforgettable.

What personal limits do you resist asking God and others to help you overcome?

Do you desire comfort more than change? How does this affect your attitude about growing spiritually and pursuing God?

Do you believe more in your physical limits and weaknesses than in God’s power to help you overcome and change?

The only thing we have control over in life is our decision to choose God. It’s the choice to build our faith rather than abandon it when we run up against our own limits and weakness, and it’s the choice to be influenced by spiritual friendships rather than go it alone. Each time we choose God, we will become internally, spiritually and emotionally stronger by deepening our reliance on God and embracing his perspective rather than our own.