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The God Of The Past Is God Of The Present




“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. Therefore the sisters sent to him, saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick.’” John 11:1, 3 Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were personal friends of Jesus. But when Jesus was notified that Lazarus was sick, instead of going to heal him he delayed a few more days. When he finally went, Lazarus had been dead for four days. When Jesus arrived, both Martha and Mary were in mourning and cried to him that IF ONLY he had come earlier, Lazarus wouldn’t have died. Timing is everything. We know that Jesus lingered before going because he knew he was not sent to heal in this case, but to raise Lazarus from the dead. When we do not see answers to our prayers right away, it can be very frustrating and can even damage our faith. But we need to realize that to answer our prayers God needs to set up circumstances in order to bring about the answer. He sets up stories. He’s working behind the scenes. Unseen by you. Have you noticed from past stories in your life, what lengths the Father went to to create those stories? “If I hadn’t been in that store at that exact time, and if I hadn’t been in that exact aisle at that exact time, if I had been ten minutes later or earlier it would not have happened…" Think back on the times in your life when incidents took place that you know were God-ordained. Then look at those stories one by one and see the details of what God had to do to bring that story to pass. “If I hadn’t…” “If he hadn’t…” “If…” Each story brings us to understand that “this was a God thing,” and they make us realize how personal God is, how intimately involved he is in every detail of our lives. The stories of our lives touch us so deeply that they create a foundation of trust, and that’s the point. God is at work bringing us to understand his ways and to work with him. They lay a foundation of faith so strong that later when we find ourselves in circumstances that are hard, we can remind ourselves of what we’ve seen the Lord do in our stories in the past, which assures us that he has this one under his control also. And then we trust, even when we cannot see the forest for the trees. If you are in a hard place right now, bring to mind the stories God has created in your life. Perhaps even write them down and encourage yourself in them, knowing that the same God whom you have seen SO marvelously work before is right now watching over the story you’re presently in. The stories from your past will establish your faith for the present, reminding you that God IS present with you in this as surely as he was in stories past, and that you can trust him because God is FAITHFUL. “…casting all your care upon him, for he CARES for you.” 1 Peter 5:7