Wednesday, January 09, 2013

January 9, 2013 … So, Lord, … Why So Long?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 9

Passage of the Day: John 11: 6 in the context of verses 5-7 [NLT] …  
5 Although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 He stayed where he was for the next two days and did not go to them. 7 Finally after two days, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go to Judea again.” 

Contextual Reference Passage: … To study today’s highlight passage in context, go to John, Chapter 11 … by using this link … 

Reference Passage: John 12: 17-19 : [NLT] … {In this chapter/verse, we see the main impact of Jesus taking two days and allowing Lazarus to die. It was all part of God’s master plan to send His Son to the cross as the Lamb of God, … to save all of us from our sins. }  
17 Those in the crowd who had seen Jesus call Lazarus back to life were telling others all about it. 18 That was the main reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this mighty miracle. 19 Then the Pharisees said to each other, “We’ve lost. Look, the whole world has gone after him!” 
Reference Passage #2: Isaiah 55: 8-9 and Romans 8: 28 : [NLT] … {Sometimes God’s delays don’t come with a built in explanation as with John, Chapters 11-12. Sometimes, we simply have to realize that Isaiah 55: 8-9 and Romans 8: 28 are true and simply trust God. } … Isaiah 55: 8-9 linked here: ...    Romans 8: 28 linked here:...

My Journal for Today: As a Christian, … have you ever wondered about God’s timing when it comes to answering your prayers? With most all of us we’d have to be honest and say that “we’ve been there – felt that – and have that T-shirt of experience!!”

Common … be honest!!

Sometimes our trust in God, maybe our faith in the truth of Romans 8:28 [linked above in case you don’t know it by heart] has been tested by God’s delays or His timing in certain instances, … maybe when we’ve prayed for something to transpire. It’s hard to hold on to our faith, isn’t it [?], … especially when we’re praying for something that would seem so like God, and it just doesn’t happen in the time period which we think is reasonable?

How many, like the sisters Mary and Martha in John, Chapter 11 have prayed for healing of a loved one – or ourselves; … and the healing just wasn’t forthcoming? How many have prayed for employment or relief from financial stresses; and no matter how hard we pray and how hard we work to make things happen, no relief seems in sight? … What’s with these delays, God?

Well, if you’ve read through and studied the passages above, I’d wager that you have your answer to those questions. Yes, as Isaiah 55: 8-9 tells us, … sometimes God’s ways – i.e., God’s timing – is simply WAY BEYOND our ability to reason about them. And His timing – i.e., His delays – are often set in motion so that His ways will get much more glory through the delay than if things were to happen in our estimation of what time span is REASONABLE?

Was it REASONABLE for Jesus to delay two days so that He had to take another two days of journey time (four days in all) for Him to come to Lazarus’ family? Not according to Martha, who actually rebuked Jesus for the delay. But now that we know the final result of the scenario, was it “reasonable?” Of course, it was; because now we can see from John 12: 17-19, copied above, that this historical scenario was part of God’s Master planning to bring about Jesus’ following as well as to engineer the tension with the Sanhedrin which led to them hating Jesus and plotting His death on the cross.

Oh how hard it is for us to remember … God is GOD; and we are not!! But so often, we think God is unfair or unreasonable in not doing things the way WE think is fair or reasonable. … Yeah, I’ll bet you’ve got that T-shirt of experience. … I certainly do.

God sent me through a sin-wilderness desert experience for 22 years of my life; and even after I confessed all my bad stuff and searched diligently for spiritual strength to cover my fleshly weaknesses, He sent me through another six years of searching before I was broken enough and surrendered enough to be able to see that I needed Christ as my Redeemer, … finally understanding that I was not going to be able to find the strength I needed through far-eastern mysticism or in new age self-help gurus. And from all of those 28 years of delays, God was glorified; … and I became justified by coming to Him in faith and receiving His saving grace. Yes, for Bill Berry – though it seemed unfair – God’s timing was perfect!

Could all of this have happened quickly by having me saved at the age of 12, instead at the age of 40? Maybe; but apparently not, according to Isaiah 55: 8-9 and Romans 8: 28 it happened exactly the way it should … in the time it should … Because it happened the way it happened … in God’s timing … and for His glory. And whatever delays you’ve experienced in your life which seemed unreasonable or unfair, … perhaps it’s time to see them in the light of God being in control and desiring for us to trust Him and follow Him … no matter how long it is taking for Him to intervene.

My Prayer for Today Lord, it’s Your timing; … and I await Your glory! … Amen

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