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Summary: What when things don’t work out as we expect... and things don’t make sense? What does the Bible have to say about that?

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Mystery and the master. Dan 3:13-18, heb 11:1-2,6, 13-16, 32-39. WBC 21 May 06am

EVER WONDER...

...why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed?

why you don’t ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

why "abbreviated" is such a long word?

..why doctors call what they do "practice"?

.why you have to click on "Start" to stop Windows 98?

...why lemon juice is made with artificial flavour, while

dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons?

...why the man who invests all your money is called a broker?

.why there isn’t mouse-flavoured cat food?

who tastes dog food when it has a "new & improved" flavour?

why Noah didn’t swat those two mosquitoes?

..why they don’t make the whole plane out of the material used for

the indestructible black box ?

why sheep don’t shrink when it rains?

why they are called apartments when they are all stuck together?

if con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of

progress?

why they call the airport "the terminal" if flying is so safe?

I want to speak to you about mystery and our Master, this morning- and use the statement of SM&A from the book of Daniel as my framework.

- our God is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

GOD IS ABLE

I could give you so many examples of when God has answered prayer or shown His power. When events that did not made sense at the time came to show that ’all things work together for good’

- of little things: losing a camera in Miami airport and getting it back at LA (just as I’d given in and brought a new one!)

- of oil literally dripping from a friends hand as they prayed!

- of larger things: being stranded in the middle of Siberia with no communication, taking 7 hours to find we were in the wrong place, and just being bailed out/rescued as we put our lives at risk

- of visions, revelation, foreknowledge….

- Relationships delivered and turned on their head

- of huge things: friends being healed from cancer when they had no chance. Babies being born to sterile couples. Friends being guided sovereignly to safety by lights on mountains

- of people raised from the dead (yes)

God is able.

Shadrach, M & Ab knew that. The Bible is filled with examples. Some are cited in Hebs 11-

- they escaped. Conquered. Raised the dead to life

Our God is able- and our faith is built on an interventionalist God

- He acts in time, history, people’s lives. Particularly those He loves

o He is the divine weaver. Weaving a pattern we often look at and say "I see! How beautiful!"

- ////. All praise, glory and honour to His name

- and more, Lord, more!

And nine times out of 10 (I think that’s about the statistic!)- we see it. Often after time and testing- but we see it. He appears to come through

- (our administration and caretaker is an example!)

BUT EVEN IF HE DOESN’T

But you need to understand the balance of scripture this morning

- and I guess it is one of those paradoxes of the Christian faith

o God is utterly powerful, dependable, faithful

" It’s totally true. You will prove it. See it.

o But there will be times when faith is all you have got to go by, see by

" Those 1:10 occasions when there seems to be no reason, no answer, no comfort

" And it simply doesn’t make sense- however long you wait and look at it

Am I saying this because of the large handful of people I have spoken to this week for whom

- something does not make sense?

- For whom God feels distant?

- Because of Rob Lacey’s funeral last week- after a miraculous remission… 2 weeks after the birth of his miracle daughter… in the peak of fruitfulness

Actually, I’m not. Absolutely none of these have caused me urgency or crisis.

- I’m speaking to you because of the weight of scripture and the life experience of mature Christians. Life.

¢ there ARE times when it is a mystery…. and our finite brains cannot understand and take it in

- and it’s made even harder by KNOWING God can do anything and seeing Him do other things that to you would have a lower priority!

And that’s faith. That’s real faith. Not when you see the answers but when you DON’T. Real faith is shown the mystery not the certainty

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