Devotional for Friday May 24th

Good Morning Everyone,

Our theme for this month: “You Gotta Keep Dancing”

Our Bible verse for today: “So Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died. I’m glad for you that I wasn’t there so that you may believe. But let’s go to him.” John 11:14-15 (CSB)

Our thought for today: “There’s no telling what good thing may come out of this.”

On it’s face John 11:1-44 is an odd story. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were special friends of Jesus. Their home was a place of refuge and rest where Jesus liked to go to get away from it all. One day Jesus received word that His good friend Lazarus was sick and in danger of dying. Jesus, being God, had the power to heal His friend if He wanted to. He didn’t even need to go to Bethany where Lazarus was. He could have simply spoken a word and healed the man right then and there long distance.

But instead of speaking the word and healing Lazarus, and instead of immediately packing-up and going to His friend, Jesus waited a few days and He let Lazarus die. Then He went to Bethany, after Lazarus suffered physical death, and after Mary and Martha experienced the agony of losing their brother. Only then did Jesus go to Bethany. If you read the rest of the story you will learn that He went to the grave, raised Lazarus from the dead, and then probably went to their home and had a nice lunch.

So what was up with that? If Jesus was going to heal him anyway why did He allow Lazarus and his sisters to go through that? He answered that for us in verse 15, “… so you may believe.” The purpose was to strengthen the faith of everyone involved.

There was nothing unusual about the fact that Lazarus died. Death is part of life. Everyone dies. And so, like Mary and Martha, at some point everyone has to deal with the death of a loved one. Sickness, death, unemployment, betrayal by friends or loved ones, and a thousand other things are all just part of a normal life and we all experience such things. God usually doesn’t intervene to prevent them from happening. But He will work in the middle of such sad and tragic events to bring about good things and to strengthen the faith of those involved in them. Lazarus died. But then he was raised from the dead; Mary and Martha got their brother back; and everyone else got to witness a miracle. Good came out of bad.

In the case of Tim Hansel (author of “You Gotta Keep Dancin”), as a result of his accident he went through the rest of his life in pain. But also as a result of his accident he became a best-selling author, as well as a featured speaker at conferences around the country, and his story has been an inspiration to many thousands of people for decades.

In my own case my wife had a major stroke twelve years ago that radically altered our lives. I needed to change careers so I could be home with her. That led to me becoming the Pastor of Oak Hill Baptist Church, which has turned out to be the best ministry experience I have ever had and one of the highlights of my life. Good came out of bad.

I don’t know how God plans to use your current difficult circumstances. But I do know that He does have a plan, and it is a good one. If you let Him, He will work in the middle of your situation and He will bring some good thing out of it for you (Romans 8:28).

As you keep dancing through your tough times I encourage you to trust God, because there’s no telling what good thing He may yet bring out of this.

God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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