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Why are So Many Adventists Getting Sick?

Gabriel Arruda

Description

Why are Seventh-Day Adventists getting sick? Is there something God wants us to learn through this unfortunate situation? In this message you’ll find out why God may have allowed your sickness, and what He wants you to do about it.

Presenter

Gabriel Arruda

Speaker/Director for Freedom Health Ministries

Recorded

  • April 15, 2017
    11:30 AM
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Title of this message is: why are so many Adventist are getting sick? Interesting title.

 

In 2013, my mother was having an all-out battle for her life. She was struggling with auto immune liver cirrhosis. And she had had a liver transplant back in the year 2000 that saved her life and bought her twelve more years. And at the end of 2012, her liver cirrhosis symptoms started to come back. And sadly to say, in April, actually just about a week from today, she will have been dead four years. She passed in April 2013. Five months after that, after some testing, I found out that I had the very same disease - auto immune liver cirrhosis. You know my mom passed away from auto immune liver cirrhosis. My mom's mom passed away from autoimmune liver cirrhosis. And the genes were telling me that I had them as well. I have also had many symptoms, just a quick rundown of a bunch of symptoms I had: my liver enzymes were fluctuating wish for healthy thirty-yearold should not have been happening. I was having some slight symptoms of jaundice. And for those of you who understand what liver failure is all about, that's common with liver failure. Some slight symptoms of jaundice. All of a sudden out of nowhere I got a really bad body odor that's usually hasn't been my struggle. I have other struggles but that wasn't one of them and all of a sudden just out of nowhere really bad body odor. I broke out in a really terrible skin rash, skin fungus,that at one point covered a third of my body and just was taking over. And also I would get headaches at times depending on what kind of foods I ate and certain foods which trigger terrible headaches; sometimes migraines; terrible head-exploding headaches.

 

And so I had several symptoms and by divine appointments, the Lord introduced us to a protocol that within nine months was able to completely reverse my auto immune disorder. I did lot of work done and I was in full remission. All the markers were coming up negative. And my wife and I were just praising and thanking God for that. And it took several more years but the skin issue also cleared up. That was very difficult to deal with; however, even more difficult than auto immune disease actually.

 

And so I preached a sermon on this topic sharing this testimony and it went on a really popular website called Audioverse and it made its rounds. It was shared quite a bit and had several people contacting my wife and I; and everywhere we would go we would meet people with who are struggling with an auto immune disease. And so it was just really hard in a short conversation to tell them what we did and so we put together a little two-page PDF that we would give people just with the outline of what we did and after a lot more learning and research we just recently took that little two-page PDF and we upgraded it to a 100-page e-book detailing everything that we did and it's already helping several people. So, we're praising God for that. And we've actually made that available on our website – revelationrevealedtoday.com.

 

So, but in the whole process of this, I was asking, I found myself asking myself the question why are so many Seventh Day Adventists getting sick? To answer that question - it's actually worked out perfect because this weekend as Craig reference to is a weekend that the Christian world is recognizing what biblical event? That's right - the death and resurrection of Jesus. And so to answer this question why are so many getting sick in the church we're actually going to look at one of the most popular resurrections and all of Scripture second to Jesus. Who would you say? What resurrection would you say, probably the most popular the most astounding resurrection aside from Christ's?(Lazarus) Lazarus, bingo! Please turn in your Bibles. Open your Bibles to John Chapter 11. We're going to look at the story of Lazarus on the resurrection weekend and we want to also answer the question - why are so many in the church getting sick?

 

John chapter 1, I’m sorry. John chapter 11 and we're going to start in verse 1. John 11 starting in verse 1. I trust that you're there. It says, “Now a certain man was sick named Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.“ Now, was Lazarus someone who was known to Jesus or someone who was unknown to Jesus? Yeah. Jesus knew of Lazarus and his family. They were very good friends. And could you even say that Lazarus was a dedicated disciple of Jesus? Yes or no? Yes, absolutely. Lazarus, Mary and Martha were very strong supporters of the ministry of Jesus - Very strong disciples of Christ. So question, do very dedicated disciples of Jesus get sick sometimes? Yeah, it happens. Lazarus is an example of that.

 

And I found this is another message, but I found there are really four reasons why people get sick.

 

Reason no. 1 is due to general sin. It's nobody's fault. It's a result of being in a sinful world or world that has fallen; a world that has broken. Reason no. 1 why people get sick - general sin or living in a dysfunctional broken world.

 

Reason no. 2 because of your sins. Perhaps you're not following the laws of health. You've done something and it's simply cause and effect coming into play. That's reason no. 2 - due to your sins.

 

Reason no. 3 - due to your guardian’s sins. You know that we can inherit what the Spirit of Prophecy calls a weak constitution. We can inherit bad genes. We can inherit some things that we have to struggle with for the rest of our lives. So, reason no. 3 might be due to our guardian’s sins.

 

And reason no. 4 why some people get sick because of God's glory - due to God's glory. Now this is the one that we're going to focus on for this message. Reason no. 4 - for God's glory and I'd like to say that no matter what category you might fall into whether it's because of sin in general, whether it's because of your sin, whether it's because of your guardian’s sins, God wants to move all of those categories in the category number 4 and have it result somehow, some way in God's glory.

 

Now let's read verse 2. John chapter 11 verse 2. It says, “It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.”So the Bible is going out of the way to let us know that this is not just any family. This is the Mary, that famous Mary who came and anointed the feet of Jesus. Was this a well-known biblical figure? Absolutely, a well-known biblical figure - Someone who had showered an act of love and devotion on Jesus that we people have been teaching and knowing for over 2000 years. A famous story.

 

And so – question: Because Mary has done this act of love and devotion; does that mean that her household was free from tragedy? No, it's not. And this is significance because sometimes when we have been faithful to God; sometimes when we have given our lives and service to Jesus; when we've given our money to the church; when we give in our energy and our efforts to the Cause of God; we, somewhere, in the midst of that kind of get the feeling that we have been entitled to special benefits, that because of that, that somehow we should be exempt from some of the other tragedies that happens in the world. Somewhere in the back of our heads, that gets put in there.

 

And now, are there benefits of being a Christian, yes or no? Amen, there are benefits. You are free from a lot of the things that the world deals with. You are free from a lot of the sufferings that is out there. You are protected because you put yourself within the hedge of God's commandments. And by virtue of simply doing the right thing, you're protected. And by virtue of God's protection, you're protected. However, these are benefits - the ones that we feel entitled to. These are benefits that God has not necessarily promised.

 

And somehow when we give our lives and service to God, we kind of feel that we're entitled to these certain benefits but these are not ones that God has promised us. And Mary, Lazarus, and Martha are an example that tragedy does at times strike at homes, at families that have been very dedicated to the Cause, very dedicated to Jesus. Now, this is important because I've seen people; perhaps you've seen people who've been very faithful their whole lives, something happens and it really shakes their faith in God. And thought, why are you doing this?So what was that all about - giving my life to the church and supporting it financially, supporting it with energies and my time and just to get sick? It’s biblical that sometimes this happens and we're going to see why it happens.

 

Let's look at verse 3. “Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” Notice they didn't say, “Lord, Lazarus a sick.”How do they call him?“He whom thou lovest.” It's kind of like –“This isn't anybody here, Lord. This is, you know, that guy that you love a lot, he's sick.” So this isn't just any person praying here and essentially this is a prayer. This is two sisters crying out to Jesus to heal their family member. Have you ever done that before? You ever prayed, I mean really prayed for someonesome healing to take place - emotional healing, spiritual healing, physical healing, or you know what Mary and Martha are going through right now. They're crying out to Jesus, “Lord, heal our brother and just by the way, this isn't anybody, this is Lazarus, this is the one who you love and hint.”And so, this isn't just anybody praying here.

And notice what Jesus does - strange things of all strange things.Verse 4. “When Jesus heard that, he said, this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Question: was the point, what was the point of this sickness? Was it so that Lazarus was eventually going to die a final death? The point of the sickness (is to glorify God). Absolutely, thank you. It was to glorify God of Christ's own mouth. Amen. According to his own words, the point of the sickness, isn't to, isn't for him to fall asleep in Jesus. The point is for God's glory, so that the Son might be glorified.

 

We're going to skip verse 5. We'll come back to see why verse 6 says. Let’s read verse 6 together. “When He had heard therefore that he was sick, (He immediately went and healed him?) He abode (how long friends?) two days still in the same place where He was.” Strange. Strange behavior.

 

Imagine this: you have a doctor, your physicians, that has been your family's doctor for a long time and he is an excellent physician and a family member of yours maybe your husband or wife your son or daughter gets all of a sudden fatally ill - very, very sick. And you send a message to the doctor. “Dr., Dr., my husband, my brother, my son, he is fatally ill, if he doesn't get treatment A.S.A.P. it looks like he's not going to make it, looks like he's going to die.” You don't hear anything, but somehow you see that the doctor has received that message; that maybe his nurse told, “Oh, yeah, he got the message,” nothing for 48 hours. In the meantime,the family member dies. The third day, the doctor shows up, “ok folks, what can I do for you?” How do you feel about that doctor? Why did you do that? Why did you do that? - might be tempted to feel cold-hearted and that he's a cold hearted doctor. You might be tempted to feel that he's uninterested in your family members after all,you might be tempted to feel that he's just, I don't know, out to lunch or something, confused but the strange thing, is you know this doctor to be the most loving person you have ever met down here on Earth. And so you have this conflict in your head. You know this doctor’s everything he's ever done for you and in your lifetime has been nothing but love and care and devotion but then these last two days just are confusing. And they seem to conflict with everything you know to be true about that doctor. This is what Mary and Martha were going through. They knew Jesus to be the most loving individual that they had ever met, but why he would just sit for two days when they knew he got the message. They cannot understand it. And we see the struggle come out, when Jesus finally does come and see them. Martha falls at his feet; I believe it's actually Mary that falls at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here. If you had been here, he would have been healed.” There is a hint. Did you catch that? There's a hint - a twinge of blame in the voice.” if you had been here.Why weren’t you here? That's kind of what you really wanted to say. Why weren't you here? But He delayed. And apparently, Jesus knew something else.

 

And now let's read verse 5. “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” Interesting. Friends, we don't find many verses like this in the Bible where it spells out, Jesus loved and it's an individual's name. Now we find a lot of verses in the Bible where God is declaring His love for the world, right? “For God so loved the world” and, you know, just many, many places in Scripture, God is speaking to such a huge audience that often those passages and that declare God's love it's referring to the world. Just a broad, you know, all of us together. He loves us all equally. Amen. Rarely do you find a verse were God saysI love and it's an individual's name but we have it right here. Why do you think that might be based on what we just read? What is Mary and Martha tempted to think? He doesn't love me after all. He doesn't care. I guess we’re lower on his priority list than we realized.

 

Verse 5 is there for people who are sick, who are going through challenges, and are experiencing the delay of God. You've been in that situation? You're sick, you're suffering, maybe, you know, someone who's suffering or maybe you have some other challenge, maybe it's a financial challenge, maybe it's a relationship challenge, maybe it's your kids, maybe it's a marriage situation, and you've been praying and praying and praying, “God, please, God, please this is just terrible. This is almost unbearable.” And what you get response? Silence. Silence. Verse 5 is there for you. And Jesus loved- put your name there. Put your name there. That's what Mary and Martha were going through. They could not understand. Verse 5 was there for them. Jesus loved Mary and Martha. And what you need to understand. What Mary and Martha needed to understand, what you and I need to understand, is that Jesus understands. Jesus is there and what we need to know is that we need to cling.We don't understand, we just need to cling to the fact that Jesus does love me. He loves me. I don't understand all this, the silence. I don't get it. Mary and Martha didn't get it. He loves me. We need to cling to that.

 

“Can a woman forget her suckling child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?” You know what the Bible says? “Yeah, they may forget. They might forget.” You know, that's happened in history. It's unthinkable, right, for a woman to forget her baby? It happened. It happened, friends. “Yeah, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”

 

“Behold I have engraved thee on the palms of my hands and thy walls are continually before me.” So that he who toucheth thee, toucheth of the apple of my eye. What we need to cling to in those times of silence, in those times of delay where you don't understand, where everything that Jesus is doing goes completely opposite everything that you know about Him. Jesus loved (put your name there). Jesus loved (put your name there). Hang on. Hang on.

 

Now why did Jesus intentionally delay? The Bible tells us. The Bible is full of answers. Amen. Don't you love that? Life has lots of questions. God has lots of answers.

 

Turn your Bible now in verse 42. We're going to read John 11 versus 42 to 45 and we're going to find out why the delay? Why did God delay? Verse 42 and will read through verse 45. And it says -Jesus is in the middle of a prayer here. “And I knew that thou hearest me always: (He’s speaking to His Father) but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then (notice friends, how many?) many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.”

 

You know why Jesus sends delay? Do you know why Jesus delayed with Mary and Martha and Lazarus? Do you know why Jesus is delaying with you? Friends, do not miss this - this is the point of the whole message - Jesus delays because Jesus is doing something better. Jesus is delaying because He's going to do something better than what you're praying for. Is not the case with this situation right here?

 

Mary and Martha- they said, “Jesus, we would if you would come in to us raise our brother from his sick bed.” And Jesus said, “How about raising your brother from the dead?” Not just raising the sick from the bed, raising the sick from the dead. Jesus wants to do something better. We're crying to God, “God I want my health back.” Jesus is saying, “How about heaven back.”“Lord, please end my suffering” and Jesus says, “How about ending your sinning as well.”“Lord, I would have you kill my sick body” and Jesus says, “I'll heal your sick body but I also want to heal your sick soul as well.”

 

Why does God delay? Because God wants to do something better than what you're praying for. Jesus is planning to do something better. We've often called Jesus the Great Physician, right? And He is. Amen. The Great Physician.

 

Have you heard of a style of healthcare called whole-person care? Have you heard that term before, that phrase? It's a beautiful, it's a beautiful thing. And essentially, what whole-person care is - a form of health care that recognizes that you are more than a physical being. You're more than a physical being, aren't you? You're a physical being but you're also a spiritual being as well which includes intellectual and emotional powers. Whole-person care does not only exclusively attend to the physical but it also attends to the spiritual. And it will address the emotional, spiritual, mental needs of the individual. That’s whole-person care. If you've gone to a place and if you receive care and they focused only on your body, you have not received whole-person care. You've got half-person care – only the physical aspect.

 

Jesus believed in the whole-person care. You noticed over and over in the Scriptures whenever He's asked to heal someone, what did He often ask the person, “If thou believest, all things are possible to them that believe.” What was He addressing? - The heart, the spiritual, the mind. Or He wouldsay to, for instance, the parallel of who was led to Peter's roof, “Man, I say thy sins be forgiven thee.” What was He addressing? -The heart, the spiritual. Jesus believed in whole-person care and then He would heal them physically as well after that.

 

So, you're not just a physical being; you're a multi-faceted being. Do you think Jesus working that way; do you think his methods of health care have changed? Jesus still believes in whole-person care. And if you have a sickness, if you have a challenge, Jesus is not just interested in healing you physically. Jesus wants to heal you also spiritually. And Jesus is - I guarantee you, in whatever health challenge you're dealing with, Christ is attempting to address your spiritual needs first. Always you see Him doing that in the Scriptures. And if you are sick and you’re only praying for physical healing, you're really not understanding what Christ is really trying to do with you. You don't understand Christ approach of health care. He’s a whole-patient Physician. He is a whole, whole-person health care Physician.

 

You know when I found out that I had my auto immune disease, my life changed pretty radically. I also got a lab report with a list of 15 foods that my body was having an auto immune reaction to. Our diet radically changed overnight. And several times we had to pull away from doing evangelism which is what I do for employment and just to take care of my health situation and I would often seem like I go off and I do evangelism and my health will get worse and I have to take sometimes six months off just taking care of my health. And my wife, at that time, thank the Lord, she was able to continue in her work as a graphic designer and we're able to do that from R.V. where we travel with, that we travel with. And so she needed to work and so someone had to take care of the house and guess who was nominated for that position? That was me. And I did it during this time period, lots and lots of dishes. And I remember sitting at the sink one day and just thinking, “God, I do not understand. I don’t understand. Here I am week after week doing these treatments. Some of them are uncomfortable. Some of them are even a little humbling and just nursing this health, this skin condition and everything that's going along with it, doing dishes week after week. Lord, I could be out there preaching a Prophecy Seminar. I could be out there training a church, empowering a church to do evangelism effectively, but I’m doing dishes. What in the world? God, I don’t understand. I just don't understand.”

 

You know, often in the Gospels, you know that Jesus went out and shock His disciples. He would do things, He would say things, and they would say, “whoa, who could be saved?”and just blow their minds on a consistent basis.

 

You know Jesus still shocks His disciples today; hasn't changed very much. And I was sitting there at the sink thinking, “Lord, I just don't understand.” But I remember just feeling impressed with this thought, “Lord, I don't get it but if me sitting here doing dishes glorifies you more than me being out there preaching public Prophecy Seminars, so be it.” So be it. I had to come to that point, friends. I had to give it all up - you know, the Ministry, hastening the Cause of God. All that stuff. I had to give it up. Is that a bad thing, wanting to go out and preach the gospel? It’s a good thing but I even had to give up a good thing. Your health, is that a good thing? It’s a good thing.

 

But there are some things that are even more important than to work for God and your health and that's your soul. That's the condition of your heart and God would have that teach me things - deep lessons about myself that I could have only learnt through situation like that. And I learned several things about myself that I needed to know. And I guarantee, if you're struggling in health, God is trying to teach you similar lessons as well. And we need to come to a point of just getting up to Jesus. Full surrender. “Lord, whatever glorifies you most, if somehow you're glorified more by me being here in the sick bed than me being out there being healthy and doing stuff for the church, so be it. I trust you with that. Your track record is too good, Lord, for me to start disbelieving you right now. I trust and I believe you. I trust you with this.”

 

Let's turn to the scripture reading - Malachi chapter 3 and will start in verse 2, “Who may abide the day of His coming?” Okay, let’s stop right there. What’s the context of this passage? - The second coming of Jesus. That’s right. The second coming of Jesus. “Who may abide in the day of His coming? Who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, (so, we know that this isn’t the first coming because Jesus did not come that way. The second coming – He’s gonna come like a refiner’s fire, a bright glorious beam) and like fullers' soap:” Verse 3 – “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”

 

The title of Craig’s topic for today was talking about the priesthood and we have a teaching in the New Testament church the priesthood of all believers. This verse told us, it predicted in Malachi - God predicted through Malachi that before the second coming of Jesus, the priesthood of believers, the sons of Levi, would go through a purification process. God would purify them. And what was the purpose of the purification? Look again at verse 3. That they may offer unto the Lord an offering in what, friends? Righteousness. It's righteousness that God is trying to get at.

 

Do you know what's going to close the great controversy? Do you know what’s going to wrap up this whole sin mess? Revelation 18: 1 – 4 tells us and, “…andI saw another angel descending from Heaven.” Read, it says, “And the earth was lightened with His glory.” Do you know what’s going to wrap up this whole terrible mess of sin that we're in? – Glory. When the world sees the glory of God that is what's going to close this entire history of planet Earth. Glory.

 

Friends, whatever results in more glory to God in this earth, is in your best interest because that hastens Christ coming more than anything else. And that could look at many different forms. That might be you going door to door - that's God's glory. You giving Bible studies t that's God's glory. You being, telling a nice kind words to your neighbor or having sympathy on the sick - that's God's glory. You, sitting sick in bed that may also result in God's glory because of what is going to do in your life and the ability for God to manifest Himself through you to the world.

 

Do you know what's one thing that God also told me when I was going through my time of inactivity, when I was sick? It came to me in prayer. By the way during this time period, I started praying and this isn't to toot my horn or anything, this is just what God put on me, start praying for an hour a day in the mornings, solid hours, sometimes an hour plus, just praying, just talking with God, crying out to Him and God gave me lots of gems. He spoke to me a lot in these prayer sessions.

 

One of the things that God told me during that time, he said, “Gabriel, I would rather swing with a sharp sword for three seconds than dull one for three hours. God is a lot about efficiency and He was sharpening His sword. That's what He was teaching me. And so, God, has a sickness, and the sickness is unto His glory. And like I said, it doesn't matter what category you fall in, I believe God wants to have all those categories to category number 4 that it would result in more glory to Him.

 

Let's turn back to John chapter 11 as we look at the final verses here. John chapter 11 and let's look at verse 15. John chapter 11 and verse 15, notice how Jesus relates to the time of delay. Jesus said, John 11:15, “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there to the intent of that ye may believe; nevertheless, let us go unto him.” How did Jesus relate to that delayed time period? He was glad for it. He says, “This is a good thing. I'm glad, now God could be glorified.” What was so glorious about Lazarus’ resurrection as opposed to the other ones? You know, this was not the first time Jesus rose someone from the dead. This is actually the third person whom Jesus rose from the dead. What was more glorious about this one? How long had Lazarus been dead? Four days. It was impossible to fake this event.

 

If you read the book Desire of Ages, did you know that it tells us there that the Pharisees had actually said that the other resurrections were a hoax - that Jesus really didn't really raise dead people, people who were just simply really sick and resting and specifically Jairus’ daughter. And they would actually quote Jesus. They said, “Even He said, she is not dead but sleepeth.”So even according to His own words, He said that she was sleeping. “So no, he didn't, she wasn't dead, she was just sleeping.” They didn't understand the state of the dead, did they? And so the Pharisees had diminished the evidence pointing to Jesus as being the Son of God; but they couldn’t do it with this one. Four days, you can't fake that. And the family member running up to Jesus, “don't move that stone, he's going to stink, if you move that stone,” in front of everybody. I mean this was public; in front of lots of Jews. He's gonna stink the family member saying it herself.

 

And so the delay sometimes, friends, is the very thing that makes it powerful. Friends, it was the smallness of Gideon’s army that made that victory so tremendous. It was the fact that Elijah has dumped pots of water on that sacrifice on Mount Carmel that made that thing so incredible; well, fire coming out of the sky was pretty incredible too, but it consume and lick up - the Bible says pots of water. Things that make it look the most impossible one; the miracle comes to flips and it turns out to make it the thing that's the most miraculous.

 

And so maybe you're going through a time of delay right now; maybe it's a health challenge that you're dealing with; maybe it's a financial challenge you're dealing with or a relationship challenge you're dealing with; the very thing that is making it painful right now, Lord willing when God delivers is going to be the very thing that makes powerful testimony. That which is the hardest is gonna flip and become the most powerful.

 

Now just a few points here. Three reasons why Jesus is doing something better. Three reasons why this delay is a good.

 

Point no. 1. You might be praying first for something that is not according to God's Will. You might be praying for the wrong thing. You know, I can remember back at certain times of my life where I was praying and pleading for God for something and in hindsight I realized, “Thank you for not answering that prayer. Thank you God, that was wow! that was the wrong way I just did not understand.” Hindsight's always 20-20, right? There are times we pray for the wrong thing just based on the fact that we are very limited in our mental capabilities. So why is it good for God to delay? You might be praying for the wrong thing and there might be a heart change that might modify the tenor of your prayers as the time goes on. We start praying according to God's Will.

 

Point no. 2. Someone else's free will might be involved in the decision. For instance, if you're praying about strained relationship, someone else's freewill is involved, isn’t it? Does God force free will? No, He doesn't do that. There might be time that's needed. There might be another reason for the delay.

 

No. 3. You might be working against your own prayers. There might be things you're doing that are actually working against the very prayers you prayed. I've seen this in people with cancer, several times. I've seen it my whole life. You're praying for help; but maybe you're breaking health laws about left and right. It's possible. You're praying for a better relationship with your spouse but you're picking fights with them. You might be working against your own prayers and God has to address that spiritual component so that you stop fighting Him and the very prayer requests you are asking. It's good that God delays.

 

One last point I want to bring out. Do you know who really suffers the most during these situations? Jesus. It’s God.

 

Last verse; let's go to John 11:35. Look at verse 35. This is a famous verse because it's only got two words. John 11 and verse 35. “Jesus wept.” Jesus wept. I think that's so interesting that this passage, this is also a unique verse, isn’t it? Having no other verses like it in the Bible. “Jesus wept.” It's interesting that this verse is placed in the context of the situation.

 

Now, why was Jesus weeping? Was He sad that Lazarus was dead? You know, He wasn't. Did Jesus know he was about to raise him up? Absolutely. He was not sad that Lazarus was dead;He knew he was going to be living in minutes, you know. Why would Jesus wept?- because nobody would believe Him. Because of their unbelief.

 

Do you know what hurts God the most? Unbelief. When He has done nothing but good, good, good, good to us and then a point where it's kind of confusing we say, “I don't know about you.” That hurts Jesus. That hurts Him. He's good to us. He's good to us. He's good to us and then, “I don't know if I could trust you.” I believe it hurts Jesus and so Jesus is the greatest sufferer in this situation. He cares about your suffering; but Christ weeps through this situation as well.

 

I like to make an appeal. Perhaps you're suffering from a physical ailment, I like to speak most directly to you. Perhaps you have some other challenges these applied and was well but especially speaking to those who are suffering physically. If you are suffering from a physical ailment, my appeal to you this morning, will you choose to believe that you are not being immediately healed because God is doing something better. Will you choose to believe that this morning? Choose that right now in your heart, in your mind. If you’re suffering physically, choose to believe that God is doing something better.

 

My second appeal. Will you start asking God whether it's a health situation, financial situation, relationship situation, will you ask God, start asking Him, “what do I need to learn about myself through this situation?” Now, is it so easy to – “just heal me, just fix that person, just fix this.” Will you change the tenor of your prayers and start asking God,“well, before I ask you to do any of that, what am I supposed to learn?” It's a big shift in our prayers, but when we do that we all align ourselves with the whole-person care that God is trying to give us. And I tell you I think our situations will get result a lot faster when we pray that way, honestly. Would you do that choose to believe that Jesus is doing something better and start asking God, is there something that I need to learn. What is there for me to learn in the situation?

 

Let's go ahead and bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Dear Father in Heaven. Lord, thank you so much for caring and loving us when we're suffering. Thank you even for the delays, the painful delays, the times of confusion, at times we don't understand and telling us through John Chapter 11 that there is a reason for that. A good reason. It's because you are doing something better. Thank you for caring much more for us than we even care for ourselves. Thank you for addressing us not only physically but spiritually. And thank you for loving those around us that they may also believe when they see the things you do in their lives. And I ask and pray that you would grant us the faith, the strength, and endurance to not wrestle out of your arms when we suffer, but to simply abide and trust in the arms of Jesus. We love you. We thank you. Please be with those who have made decisions this morning. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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