Summary: God’s answers are often in His silence

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Silent Answers

John 11: 1-44

Opening illustration:

When Jenelle was born I expected a to ¡§feel¡¨ ¡§something¡¨. I did not ¡§feel¡¨¡¨anything¡¨. I was disappointed because I had unrealistic expectations about something that I did not know about. We often get disappointed in God because we expect to ¡§feel¡¨, ¡§experience¡¨, or ¡§have¡¨ something that we expect. God may be on a complete different page from where we are. It is unexpected and we get disappointed.

We all expect to have good days. We get upset when we don¡¦t.

You know it¡¦s going to be a bad day when:

1. You get pulled over and you haven¡¦t even left your driveway

2. Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles

3. You call your answering service and they tell you it¡¦s none of your business who called

4. The blind date you had anxiously been awaiting turns out to be your older sister.

5. You wake up to discover that your waterbed broke and then you remember you don¡¦t have a waterbed.

6. You know its going to be a bad day when your income tax check bounces

These are funny because of the reality of these situations.

1. This is close to reality

2. We can relate

3. We are thankful it isn¡¦t us

4. Bad days are a reality of life

5. They come without notice or effort ¡V

They become real in our lives:

a) When bills push you in bankruptcy ¡V financial problems

b) When home no longer is a place of sanctuary but a battlefield ¡V family problems

c) When death looms over your family ¡V loss and grief

d) When separation and divorce shatter the lives of a man and a woman ¡V marital problems

e) Illness, unexplained losses and disappointments fracture the very essence of who we are ¡V health problems

When the laughter of a bad day turns to pain, we wonder how God could let this happen. We ask where God was when we needed Him the most. If He has only been there, if He was listening, if He¡K¡K. How could you have let this happen? „³ Is often asked

We find this even in Jesus¡¦ day. When tragedy struck, people responded in the same way.

Every time you venture out in your life of faith, you will find something in your circumstances that, from a commonsense standpoint, will flatly contradict your faith. But common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense.

Can you trust Jesus Christ when your common sense cannot trust Him?

Can you venture out with courage on the words of Jesus Christ, while the realities of your commonsense life continue to shout, "It¡¦s all a lie"?

When you are on the mountaintop, it¡¦s easy to say, "Oh yes, I believe God can do it," but you have to come down from the mountain into the valley and face the realities that scoff your belief Luke 9:28-42. This is what Mary and Martha experienced first hand with the death of their brother Lazarus.

When things seem to become clear, you will encounter something that will contradict it. As soon as you say, "I believe and God will supply all of my needs (Phil. 4:19), the testing of your faith begins. When your strength runs dry and your vision is blinded, will you endure this trial of your faith victoriously or will you turn back in defeat?

Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict.

(Romans 5:3-4)

What is challenging your faith right now?

Jesus said, "Blessed is he who is not offended because of me" Matthew 11:6). The ultimate thing is confidence in Jesus.

Faith is absolute trust in God¡Xtrust that could never imagine that He would forsake us

Hebrews 13:5-6

Unrealistic Expectations will disappoint us. We often expect God to do things in our way because we have become to believe a certain way. When our expectations are not met we get disappointed.

It is only natural that Mary and Martha would inform the Lord that Lazarus was sick

They didn¡¦t explicitly ask Jesus to come

Perhaps that request is implicit in their notification

Perhaps they believed that Jesus could heal Lazarus from where he was and they didn¡¦t need to ask him

In any event, it is clear Mary and Martha expected Jesus to heal Lazarus

But Jesus waits¡K.. (pause)¡K and Lazarus dies. This is not what they expected They are disappointed

Illustration. Chuck New expected faith healers to heal his daughter of cancer

After Lazarus had died

Four days after Lazarus dies, ¡V Jesus shows up

The Jewish people believed that the soul resided in the vicinity of the body of a deceased for three days, hoping to rejoin the body - life was still possible but

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