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Your Honesty is Welcome

I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”

Psalm 142:5

Watch Session Two: Jesus Enables the Faithful

There are few people we can be truly honest with in our lives. They are the ones with whom we can let down our entire guard, allow our emotions to run their course, and offer our disappointments and doubts. We cannot do it with everyone, but there are a few that are safe, a few that will receive us as we are no matter what.

Two sisters and a brother were those people for Jesus, and Jesus was that for them. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus had a deep friendship with Jesus. It was Mary who fell at Jesus’s feet and anointed his feet with her hair and oil (John 11:2; John 12:1–8). It was Martha whom we can find being completely honest with Jesus when her sister leaves her in the kitchen with all the work (Luke 10:38–42). It was Lazarus who was described as being loved by Jesus (John 11:3, 36). Jesus loved this family, and with this depth of love came the freedom to be themselves, to be honest in their disappointment, to be vulnerable with their tears, and to offer Jesus their whole selves, stopping short of nothing (John 11:5).

unmoved

Knowing Jesus well, the sisters sent Jesus a message, “Lord, the one whom you love is ill” (John 11:3). You would expect Jesus to respond with, “Okay, I’m coming right away.” But he didn’t. He said some cryptic words about his illness not leading to death and being for God’s glory (John 11:4). Then he stayed two days longer where he was. He seemed to be unfazed by the sisters’ news, and then said plainly, “He is dead” (John 11:14). He followed this with another cryptic statement: “I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe” (John 11:15). What was Jesus up to? Did he not see their pain? Did he not feel it either?

honesty welcome

Jesus then began moving toward Bethany, the sisters’ hometown. Martha heard he was coming and went to meet him, being honest about her disappointment and her expectation of Jesus. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21).

Later in the story, Mary came to Jesus and said the exact same thing, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32).

The community responded with, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:37). Another fair question. And Jesus welcomed it all.

himself

Jesus eventually raised Lazarus from the dead. He had his purposes in waiting as well as his welcome of grief, confusion, and questions. Jesus did not rush to resurrection, and he met Mary, Martha, and the people with his own humanity as well. Yes, he will resurrect, but there is something in the waiting that he has for each person. He has himself. Waiting for resurrection gave Martha, Mary, and the people more of him. And that is what he gives us as well.

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What the Women Saw

Daily Question

As you begin this week and dive deep into this story, is there an area of your life, or a story from your life that Jesus is welcoming you to tell? Is there a disappointment, a grief, or a question you have?

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Comments (58)

I want to help people who are experiencing loss of a loved one. We lost our son to muscular dystrophy 12/1/01. Even though you think you are prepared, it’s still very hard. I never blamed God and our church family was so supportive through the grief. We take comfort in knowing that we will see him again one day. He was saved before he passed.

I believe I’m made to tell my story of truth hurting and healing. I have example after example. It’s been an awakening. Particularly in my 20’s coming out of codependency and then again in my first years of marriage. I have so many disappointments, griefs and questions. Will America tear itself apart? How can Christians believe in Jesus and Donald Trump at the same time? Are we all reading the same bible?

Sometimes I feel weak and hopeless when I think of the uncertainty of the future lives of the ill/sick , especially when it is in the family . I pray God will give me more understanding, faith and strength to get through this week and beyond and give me the ability to be more of help for others in need.

I feel like God is leading me into a new career. My heart grieves so badly for each person who is battling or had lost someone to addiction. I want to dive into a career of counseling!

I’m wondering where God is leading me in this next season of my life. I developed my strongest connection to God since being saved by being connected to an amazing ministry. A few serious, unexpected things happened recently that led to me finally having to disconnect from the ministry, which hurts because they are like family. I truly feel like a fish outside of water in this situation, but I have faith that he will lead and guide me exactly where I need to be!

I graduated with my bachelors then Masters, I just knew that I would get my teaching license well I was disappointed I have takes number this test 5 times or more. But then God showed me favor! This year I got my temporary teaching license! Then I thought ok now my own classroom is coming this year and the lord said no not yet! But I am so thankful to be in this season
Let your disappointments turn into blessings.

I have seen Jesus take my hurt, disappointment and turn it into joy. Watching him move in my life to humble me, to get me to depend entirely on him has been the scariest adventure and the greatest joy of my life. I trusted him when I knew he was calling me to quit my job to be more intentional in my kids lives. Going from two incomes to one and make the financial sacrifices to make it work in order to be who God was calling me to be wasn’t easy. Shortly after quitting my job my husband lost his and now we went to zero income. This is what happened after following his leading. I got to experience total dependency on Him. Taking what was once the need for control has led me to the knowledge of God’s sovereignty. God took that time of job searching for my husband and me staying faithful to his call on my life to build our character. He showed us his provision each and every time we had a need but never before. Every month when bills were due and we didn’t know how to make the payments a temporary project would pop up and be exactly the amount needed and this wasn’t a one time thing. For an entire year this is how he provided. We felt like the Israelites and their daily manna. He taught us to say, "give us this day our daily bread." I am no where near perfect but I can see where he has brought me from. The resurrected King is resurrecting me.

I have waited for almost 10 years for a promise of God to be fulfilled, and I am still waiting. (Or am I?)

If Jesus is in the WAITING, then why have I so often felt alone? What if He never fulfills what He has promised? Am I okay with that? Will I still love Him?

I was devastating and disbelieving when my youngest brother sudden death in a choking accident at 2016. He was 36 years old and followed after my father’s footstep to heaven in less than 2 years apart. I have question for God at that time–WHY there were so many tragedies happenned in my family ? My mother didn’t cry and she was calm but later we found out she has kept things inside her and depressed. I have to put my trust in God in this difficult circumstances. I couldn’t depend on my own understanding, it is far beyond my knowledge to handle this situation.
Here I am –
I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Psalm 142:5

I have to be completely honest to God and He himself would heal my pains. I will meet my father and brother again in heaven someday for sure. There would be no more tears….

I am so moved by your story and empathize with your pain, I cry out with you to the Lord who is your portion and refuge in the land of the living. He hears you. His Holy Spirit is with you and will give you comfort. I am praying for you, Liwen, to receive His love and for Him to show you all the abundance He has for you as you put your trust in Him.
– Kate

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