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Summary: Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful when it seems like God didn’t come through for you. Sometimes we pray for something that we would like and it doesn’t always happen the way we would like or in the time frame we would like. Sometimes we want God’s will t

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Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful when it seems like God didn’t come through for you.

Sometimes we pray for something that we would like and it doesn’t always happen the way we would like or in the time frame we would like.

Sometimes we want God’s will to be like our will.

Illustration ---------- Jimmy’s Ranch

When Jimmy was a little boy, he wanted to be a cowboy.

He spent countless hours in front of the television, watching reruns of Gunsmoke and Bonanza.

He just knew that someday he would live on a ranch, wear a big cowboy hat, and ride the range just like all his cowboy heroes.

When he was seven years old, Jimmy said, "Dad, I want to be a cowboy when I grow up. Will you help me be a cowboy?"

"Sure, son," said his dad, smiling down on his little cowpoke.

As the years went by, Jimmy grew into a fine young man. As you might expect, he outgrew his childhood fantasy of becoming a cowboy and turned instead to girls, sports, studying, and preparing himself for a career in the business world.

One day Jimmy went to his father again and said, "Dad, I want to go to college and get a good education. Will you help me?"

His dad said, "College? Son, you can’t go to college. When you were seven, you said you wanted to be a cowboy.

So I bought you a ranch in Texas with 50 head of cattle!

There’s no money for you to go to college. Besides, you need to take care of that ranch. It’s all yours."

"But Dad!" said Jimmy. "I was just a child when I said that! I didn’t know then what I know now!

I don’t want a ranch! I want an education!"

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Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t answer your prayers exactly the way you want Him to? Maybe it’s because we’re like Jimmy, as God’s children we don’t always know what’s best for us.

Or perhaps you’re like the gentleman in this story...

Illustration ----------- God’s Donuts

An overweight man decided it was time to shed some pounds.

He informed his coworkers that he was going on a diet and would no longer be bringing donuts to the office.

He knew it would be hard to resist stopping at the bakery on the way to work, but he committed himself to remaining strong and resisting temptation.

His coworkers were surprised one morning to see him arrive at the office with a big box of donuts.

When they reminded him of his diet, he just smiled.

“These are very special donuts,” he explained. “When I left for the office this morning, I knew I was going to drive by the bakery, and I wondered if maybe the Lord might want me to have some donuts today.

I wasn’t sure, so I prayed, “Lord, if you want me to stop and buy some donuts, let there be an open parking place directly in front of the bakery.” As you know, parking places in front of that bakery are hard to get!”.

“So the parking place was there?” one of his coworkers asked.

“It was a miracle,” the man replied. “The eighth time around the block, there it was!”.

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Sometimes we want God to “rubber-stamp” something we have decided we’re going to do anyway—then are disappointed in the results.

There’s a story in the bible about someone who was very close to Jesus yet she was very disappointed when something didn’t happen the way she would’ve wanted.

Summarize John 11:1-46

Verse 2: Mary was the prostitute that wiped Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair – the one whom many despised her being near Jesus.

Verse 6: Why did Jesus stay longer than originally planned—even when Jesus knew Lazarus was sick?

Has there been a time when God seemed to take His time in hearing your need?

Verse 32: Thanks for coming, but it’s now for nothing.

If you would have been here when I asked, my brother would not have died – so – thanks for nothing.

How many of you have said those words silently or aloud—and then bury your head in your pillow while soaking it with tears.

Because if God would have came to you when you needed Him—it wouldn’t have happened the way it did.

Parents divorcing, pet sick, relative sick, misunderstood…

Verse 33-35: Jesus, God’s Son, probably is recorded in these verses as experiencing and relating to us the most…

He understands hurt.

He understands losing someone important.

He understands seeing as Himself as having failed in the eyes of others.

Jesus wept—real tears—real hurts.

Verse 36: Others were amazed at how Jesus had loved Lazarus as a friend—the other closest friend Jesus had was John.

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