As I was praying for someone dear to me today, the Lord revealed to me that this person had to go through what they were going through. God was not the cause of it, but He was allowing it to happen. When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God. When the disciples saw the man who was blind from birth, they assumed he was in that condition because either he or his parents sinned, but Jesus said he was born that way so that they could see God perform a miracle in his life.
Maybe it’s not sickness that you are facing today, but I just want you to know that whatever it is that you’re facing, it is not going to kill you. It is not going to end in DEATH. It is going to be a testimony to others of what God can and will do. It is going to give hope to those who feel hopeless. It is going to bring them LIFE.
God is going to give you grace, strength and power to endure to the end of it.
Be encouraged. It is almost over.
Jesus asked this question twice in Mark chapter 10. First, he asked James and John (verse 36). Then, he asked Bartimaeus (verse 51).
Bartimaeus was a blind beggar. One day, he was sitting by the highway side begging. When he heard that Jesus was walking by, he cried out. Those who were standing by tried to silence him, but that made him cry out even louder. He refused to quit and he didn’t stop until Jesus stood still. When Jesus called him over, Bartimaeus threw off his garment and went to Jesus.
In my study, I read that this garment was issued by the government to those who were disabled and unable to work. This garment qualified him to beg legally since he was blind. He got up every morning to beg people for help as they walked on the highway. Begging was how his need was met. This was his job.
When Jesus asked his disciples, James and John, what they wanted him to do for them, they asked for power, fame and position. Grant unto us that we may sit, one on your right hand, and the other on your left hand, in your glory (verse 37). According to Jesus, they were asking for something that they were neither ready or prepared for – nor did they need it.
Bartimaeus had been begging for money and food every day, but the moment Jesus asked him what he wanted, he didn’t ask for money. Had he walked towards Jesus wearing that garment, he would have probably begged for money and food, but he didn’t beg this time. He just made his request known. Lord, that I might receive my sight. He threw away that garment because he was tired of a temporary fix. Here he was a beggar, but he was still broke and blind. He was now ready for a permanent change.
When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth (verse 47) was near, he didn’t approach him as the carpenter’s son because he needed ‘Jesus, son of David.’ He needed the one who came to deliver what God promised through the lineage of David.
Do you know what Jesus was really asking James, John and Bartimaeus? Do you want my will or your will? It was God’s will for Bartimaeus to be whole and this is what he chose. He walked away and left that garment behind. He was tired of the life that he had. At one time, he thought that garment was the answer. It only changed what he looked like on the outside, but it never changed what was going on in the inside. He put his trust in the government, in people and this garment, but they all disappointed him. He was basically living paycheck to paycheck. He only had what others wanted him to have and that was never enough.
It’s interesting that although he was blind, Bartimaeus knew who Jesus was more than those who walked beside Jesus and had their physical sight. As I was studying, I realized that although there is nothing wrong with desiring materialistic things, they can fix some things, but they don’t fix everything. Also, sometimes we are asking for things that we are not yet ready or prepared for.
We should all be desiring the same thing Bartimaeus desired. Lord, let us see again. Restore our sight so that we can see You as You really are. Restore our sight so that when we pray, we don’t pray for SELF-ish desires.
Now, what do you want Jesus to do for you?
Thank you, Lord, for being who You are even when I’m not who I should be.
When doubt and unbelief comes, I am reminded of what my pastor said a few weeks ago.
You don’t need more faith.
You just need to hear more of the word of God.
This is how faith comes.
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).
When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, you accepted him with your mouth and your heart, but it doesn’t stop there. After salvation, you still have to confess with your mouth and believe in your heart. Not for salvation, but for everything else that you will need.
The woman who had been bleeding for twelve years kept saying, If I can touch his garment, I shall be healed (Mark 5:28, Berean Study Bible and NET Bible).
It is important that you keep saying what God said because the more you say it, the more you hear it. The more you hear it, the more you believe it. Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17).
I believe we gave our hearts to God initially, but after years of hurt and disappointment – things not working out the way we thought it should, we stopped trusting God with our hearts. We blamed Him for the poor decisions we made. We blamed Him for what people did to us. We blamed Him for what the enemy did – just like in the garden.
Adam: The woman you (God) gave to be with me.
Eve: The serpent deceived me.
For some Christians, we have honored God with our lips, but not with our hearts. We have given up mentally. We don’t believe like we used to. We don’t want to try again because we say that we’ve been trying for years and nothing has happened.
After toiling all night and not catching any fish, the disciples were washing their nets. They were tired. They had enough. Nothing was happening. They weren’t catching anything, but after Jesus finished teaching in one of the ships, he told them to try again. The bible tells us that when Jesus spoke, the disciples heard him and did what he told them to do. They didn’t procrastinate. They didn’t try tomorrow. They didn’t try the following week. They moved when he told them to. Nevertheless at your word, I will let down the net.
During the forty years that the Israelites were in the wilderness, God didn’t test what was in their mouth, but he tested what was in their heart. I know you have given God some things and you have even given up some things for God, but have you given Him your whole heart? Not pieces, but all of your heart.
Let’s be honest with God today. He already knows. Tell Him that your heart isn’t in it like it used to. Repent of doubt and unbelief and whatever else you’re carrying in your heart. Ask for forgiveness and ask Him to help you. Ask for strength and grace to endure. Tell Him that you don’t know what to do and ask for direction.
I pray that your faith won’t fail.
Don’t lose heart.
This is your time to reap, not to faint.
Sometimes it is hard to be thankful for what you’re going through because it doesn’t feel good while you’re in it, but if you can’t be thankful FOR it, you should at least be thankful IN it.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
I didn’t have a bad week, but it was a challenging week. Things didn’t work out as I had hoped and I felt defeated. I felt like a failure. The enemy even tried to convince me that I should stop doing what God told me to do because it wasn’t working anyway and I was just wasting my time.
Jesus said to him, IF you can believe, all things are possible to him that believe (Mark 9:23).
After I repented for complaining and doubting, I was reminded that all things are possible, but it is only possible according to MY belief. It’s not that what I’m believing God for doesn’t exist. It can happen, but the reason why things weren’t happening in my life was because after rejection and some disappointments, I stopped believing that it could happen.
Then, a friend texted me tonight. She told me that a neighbor she barely knew visited her and handed her what she had been praying for. She went on to say that he gave her the exact amount of money she needed – down to the penny. She knew that was God. In fact, the neighbor told her that what he had given her was not from him, but from God.
Now, my friend had no idea what happened to me this week, but I knew that God allowed her to share her story to give me hope and to remind me of how much He loves me and that He will take care of me as well as the things that concern me.
All He asks is that I just believe.
Question: Why can’t I meet someone who has everything I want in a man?
Answer: If you meet a man that has everything you want, then you will never want or need ME.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
This was one of the best tweets of 2020.
New Year blessings to you!
And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble her? She has wrought a good work on me. For you have the poor with you always, and whensoever you will you may do them good: but me you have not always. She has done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying (Mark 14:3-8).
Mark doesn’t tell us the name of the woman. He just tells us that a woman went to Simon’s house and while she was there, she broke open an alabaster box and poured a very precious perfume on the head of Jesus. While she poured, those who were doing nothing criticized her for what she was doing. She did what she could when she could (verse 8, MSG). They felt it could have been used for something better, but it was. Their comments were made to discourage her, but Jesus told them to leave her alone. They could always give to the poor if they wanted to. You will always have them, but you won’t always have me.
What they called a waste, Jesus called a good work.
At the end of 2019, some of you declared that 2020 would be your year. You were expecting some things to manifest, but then our country began to experience sickness/disease, deaths, shutdowns, fires, protests, unemployment, and closing of businesses. As we come to the end of 2020, the enemy wants you to think that nothing good has happened this year. He wants you to believe that what you’ve been doing for the Lord has been a waste. But to those of you who have remained faithful in doing what God told you to do (even in a pandemic), it has not been a waste.
What you gave to the Lord is very precious.
When you prayed.
When you fasted.
When you gave your time.
When you met a need while you had a need.
When you gave someone an encouraging word.
When you gave YOURSELF for His work. (You are very precious, too).
We know that what this woman did was good because had it not been good, the people wouldn’t have criticized and complained. She probably didn’t know why she was doing what she did, but Jesus explained that she was preparing his body for his burial and that what she did will always be remembered. You may be sure that wherever the good news is told all over the world, people will remember what she has done and they will tell others (verse 9, CEV).
I’m sure you’ve done things and didn’t understand why you did it and you have probably forgotten some of those things you’ve done, but what you have done for the Lord has not been forgotten. I know you may not see it this way, but what you do is a message to others (lived, not just preached). I don’t know of all the things we will face in 2021, but someone needs you to do what God told you to do – even if you don’t understand why you’re doing it.
Don’t let anyone discourage you. Just as this woman did what she could, you continue to do what you can.
It will not be a waste.