Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Prophecy Matters - Andy Woods -
We live in a day in which many spiritual leaders routinely challenge the relevancy of Bible Prophecy. Many of the contemporary church's leaders will not teach on what the Bible reveals for the future because such teachings are considered divisive and impractical. In the minds of many, the field of Bible Prophecy is more related to "pie in the sky" notions that have no practical value to the believer's daily walk and life in the here and now. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. I was privileged to speak at a recent prophecy conference entitled "Prophecy Matters." I love this conference title because prophecy does indeed matter to the daily life of the child of God. Consequently, for my conference teaching session I decided to do an exposition of Second Peter 3:3-15, which, perhaps more than any other section of Scripture, clearly explains why prophecy does indeed matter and is quite important from the divine point of view. Please allow me to briefly share this section of Scripture with you.
The Doctrine, Method, and Motives of False Teachers
In Second Peter, the apostle equips his readers to withstand the coming onslaught of false teaching that he warns is on the horizon. Concerning false teachers, Peter predicts, " But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves" (2 Pet. 2:1; italics added). Thus, in the letter's final section (2 Pet. 3:3-15), Peter explains to his readers regarding how to respond to the specific doctrinal attack that these coming false teachers will introduce. In the process, Peter clarifies how important the subject of Bible Prophecy actually is.
Peter predicts that the false teachers will arise and ridicule the doctrine of the Second Advent by asking, "Where is the promise of His coming?" (2 Pet. 3:3) Peter even identifies the tool that these false teaches will employ in their attempt to debunk the doctrine of the Second Advent, when he says, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking." The tool they will use will include sheer ridicule, which they will heap on any who hold tenaciously to the idea that Christ will one day return physically and bodily. Ridicule is far more of an effective tool than most realize. Since no one likes to be made the butt of jokes or made to feel that they are members of the "flat earth society," we have a tendency to shy away from ideas or concepts that we know will bring upon us intense ridicule. Deterrence from an idea through ridicule is a strategy that has been used routinely against God's prophets. Second Chronicles 36:16 says, "but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy." Thus, in the final section of his letter, Peter gives his readers the tools necessary for responding to this coming attack. He does this so that they will not be caught off guard by their arguments but rather will know how to refute them even before the false teachers arrive on the scene.
Even before providing this refutation, Peter explains the false teachers' motives for denying Christ's return. First, Peter notes that the false teacher will be controlled or dominated by their own lusts (3:3). He explains, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts." Peter's point is that those dominated by the sinful nature have a natural aversion toward the doctrine of the Second Coming since the idea of Christ's return is automatically associated with the notions of accountability and judgment. If someone is walking in their own lusts, the last doctrine they want to contemplate or consider is the doctrine of the Second Advent. Consequently, those walking in known sin tend to push any teaching related to Christ's return out of their minds.
Second, Peter explains that these false teachers will have capitulated to a uniformitarian worldview. This is what Peter means when he notes that the false teachers will say, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation" (2 Pet. 3:4). According to this viewpoint, the unobservable past and future is determined by the observable present. Because no miraculous divine interventions are observable today, then neither will a future miraculous intervention of God take place via the Second Coming. In other words, you assume that the pattern of the present has always been uniform in the distant past and will remain uniform in the remote future. Uniformitarianism has become perhaps the dominant philosophy of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In fact, it is the very notion that Darwinian evolution is built upon.
Four Refutations of False Teachers
Having exposed the doctrine, method, and motive of the coming false teachers, Peter next offers a fourfold refutation to such errant thinking (3:5-10).1 First, Peter appeals to history (3:5-7) by reminding his readers that God has twice miraculously intervened in history through creation (3:5)2 and then in judgment through the flood (3:67). These verses say:
For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Peter uses the present active participle from the verb thelō to show that these false teachers willfully suppress these truths of creation (cf. Rom. 1:18ff) and flood. The reason for this willful suppression relates to the idea that these historical truths are perpetual reminders of God's intervention in creation and mankind's accountability to its creator. Peter's point is that the same "word of God" (Gen. 1:3) that ushered in these two historical realities will also one day be issued again and a third miraculous intervention will occur through Christ's return. After all, if God has already intervened miraculously twice in the past through both creation and the flood, how difficult will it be for God to do so a third time regarding the Second Advent?
Second, Peter appeals to Scripture: "But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day" (2 Pet. 3:8). Here, Peter alludes to Psalm 90:4 in order to show that God is outside of time and thus does not reckon time the same way man does. In other words, although man remains finite and time bound, God is infinite and timeless. For God, tomorrow is already today. Consequently, God has the capacity to reveal the end from the beginning (Isa. 48:3; Rom. 8:29; Jude 14). Thus, while it seems as if there has been an interminable delay in Christ's return from man's time bound perspective, it does not seem this way from God's timeless perspective.
Third, Peter appeals to God's character by explaining that God purposely delays His return to give as many as possible an opportunity to get right with Him before the eschatological judgment transpires. Second Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." God's postponement of judgment is consistent with His past actions. For example, God waited one hundred and twenty years before sending the global deluge, known as Noah's Flood (Gen 6:3; 1 Pet. 3:20). God also waited over four hundred years before eradicating the wicked Canaanites through the hands of his servant Joshua (Gen. 5:13, 16). God postpones judgment by first sending grace because He desires all to be saved (Ezek. 18:23, 32; 1 Tim. 2:4). Thus, the apparent delay in His return is actually a blessing in disguise.
Fourth, Peter appeals to divine promise by explaining that God is all-powerful and will fulfill His promise of returning in accordance with His divine schedule. Second Peter 3:10 says, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." The "Day of the Lord" is a non-technical term depicting anytime God manifests Himself by intervening in history. In this context, it is used to describe His return and the dissolution of the universe. These events will take place most likely just before the final judgment of the unsaved (Rev. 20:11-15) and just prior to the inauguration of the Eternal State (Rev. 21:1). The repetition of "will" (NASB) in this context indicates that God has every intention of making good on His promise of destroying the present world and replacing it with a better and newer world (Isa. 65:17; Matt. 24:35; 1 Cor. 7:31; Heb. 1:10-12; 1 John 2:17). Thus, a delay in the events related to the return of Christ should not be misinterpreted as a denial of them. Despite the misinterpretation of the false teachers, postponement of these eschatological events should not be misunderstood as a cancellation of them. In sum, knowing this fourfold refutation in advance will help protect Peter's readers from being swayed by the coming attacks that the false teachers will launch against the doctrine of the Second Coming.
Prophecy is Practical
Rejecting uniformitarianism and instead living in the hope of the Lord's return has profound ethical implications for the believer (3:11-15a). Peter acknowledges the practical import of the doctrine of the Second Coming when in Second Peter 3:11a he says, "Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be..." Peter then enumerates the various ways this doctrine changes the believer's life. First, the Second Coming motivates the believer toward personal holiness (3:11b, 14). Since all things will be destroyed by fire, we begin to live for the only two things that will last: the Word of God (Isa. 40:8) and the souls of people (Eccles. 3:11). In other words, a study of prophecy alerts us to eternal priorities, which in turn motivates us to reprioritize and realign our lives according to them in the present.
Second, prophecy gives us hope by reminding us that there is a better world coming. Peter describes this new world in Second Peter 3:13, which says, "But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells." Without the light of prophecy (2 Pet. 1:19), the only perspective that one is left with is this present world, which leads to hopelessness. Third, prophecy even stimulates the believer toward personal evangelism when he comprehends that his evangelistic activity can actually hasten the Lord's return (Rom. 11:25). Second Peter 3:12 says, "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!" (italics added). How can we hasten the coming of the lord? If God postpones judgment so that as many people as possible can be made right with Him before judgement falls (2 Pet. 3:9), the more we spread the Gospel consequently giving more people an opportunity to be saved, the faster the end times scenario can transpire. When viewed in this manner, a knowledge of prophecy actually motivates personal evangelism.
Fourth, a knowledge of prophecy causes us to be patient with others. God was patient with us before we were saved (2 Pet. 3:9). In fact, God was so patient that He even brought Saul of Tarsus, a former murderer of Christians (1 Cor. 15:9; 1 Tim. 1:13; Phil. 3:6), to personal salvation and even allowed him to become a great advocate of Christianity and author of several canonical books as the spiritually born apostle Paul (2 Pet. 3:15). Thus, studying prophecy alerts us to God's patience, which we should then emulate and extend toward others. Does prophecy matter? Yes! Second Peter 3:3-15 reveals how the study of Bible prophecy revolutionizes our perspectives and behavior in the present in profound, fundamental, and practical ways.
1 Michael Green, 2 Peter and Jude, ed. Leon Morris, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 140-52.
2 The phrase "out of water and by water" may refer to God first forming the world out of water (Gen. 1:6-8) and then bringing the dry land out of the water (Gen. 1:9-10).
From Iran to Gaza - connecting the dots - By Herb Keinon -
Although feeling the squeeze, Tehran still has areas where it can kick back - where it can pinprick Israel. Gaza is one of those areas.
Listen to the news, and it seems that the country - in relation to security issues - is teetering on the abyss.
Confrontations with Iran in Syria, Hezbollah gaining political strength in Lebanon, tens of thousands on the march in Gaza.
Yet talk to former senior Israeli intelligence officers, both in government and in think tanks, and the situation looks a bit different, even - as one official put it recently - "pregnant with opportunity."
And that opportunity for a positive turn stems from one basic reason: Iran has had a few very bad weeks.
The nuclear agreement with the West, which provided Iran with critical oxygen for its adventurism in the region, is in jeopardy. Tehran has come up against a very determined Israel in Syria, which has bloodied its nose in attacks against its assets inside the country.
Russia is showing signs of impatience with Iran's antics in Syria. Moscow is increasingly concerned that an entrenched Iranian military presence there could lead to a wider confrontation with Israel, something that would endanger the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and therefore put at risk Russia's significant gains in the area.
Furthermore, Iran has had its nuclear archives revealed by Israel, suffered a setback in the election in Iraq, and continues to face daily demonstrations on its own streets.
And, to top it off, the rial is tanking.
In short, Iran is feeling the squeeze, and what is bad for Iran - what weakens Iran in the region - is good for Israel. That's the good news.
The bad news is that Tehran still has areas where it can kick back - where it can pinprick Israel. Gaza is one of those areas.
There are many possible reasons why Islamic Jihad, obviously with a not-too-subtle wink and a huge nod from Hamas, decided on Tuesday to launch the largest barrage of rocket fire against Israel since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
It could be a revenge attack for Israel's shelling of an Islamic Jihad position in southern Gaza on Sunday, killing three men, in response to the Palestinians' planting of an explosive device along the border fence.
It could be to avenge the death of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives killed over the past few weeks in the "Great March of Return" toward the fence.
It could be because Hamas is cornered, with no significant victories to show for the deaths of so many Palestinians over the past month, and with soured relations with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.
It could be a way for the terrorist organizations to show their domestic constituency they are still alive and relevant.
It could be out of frustration that the reconciliation process with Fatah has gone off the tracks. It could be to demonstrate to Israel why a hudna - a long-term cease-fire that some have reported is being discussed by Israel and Hamas through intermediaries - would be worthwhile. It could be because Islamic Jihad and Hamas simply hate Israel and want to see it destroyed and its people killed.
It could also be because Iran has an interest - as its sun appears to be sinking in the north, where its adventure in Syria is not going as well as it had hoped - to make Israel stand up and take notice in the south.
In the Mideast, everything is connected; there are few "localized incidents." Islamic Jihad is, for all intents and purposes, an Iranian franchise, heavily sponsored by the Islamic Republic and ideologically beholden to it.
Having its Gazan proxy shooting rockets at Israel, especially at a time when it seems that Iran's fortunes are waning a bit, is a way for Tehran to signal to Israel that it still has leverage.
And, after all, that is what Iran is after - leverage. That is one of the reasons it is in Syria, and why it has spent tens of billions of dollars on Hezbollah in Lebanon - to gain leverage against Israel, so that if Israel ever attacks Iran to end its nuclear program, Iran would be able to hit back extremely hard through conventional means - whether from Syria, Lebanon or Gaza.
Is Biblical King Og Rematch About to Take Place in Syria? - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"They marched on and went up the road to Bashan, and King Og of Bashan, with all his people, came out to Edrei to engage them in battle." Numbers 21:33 (The Israel Bible™)
Daraa, a small city in southern Syria noted for being the powder keg that set off Syria's civil war seven years ago is about to become the scene of what may be the final battle between Syrian government forces and the rebels. The city's identity as a battlefield has its roots in the Bible, and according to Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, it may be the surrogate that replaces Israel as the scene of the devastating War of Gog and Magog.
Civil unrest in Daraa is credited with sparking off the Syrian civil war in 2011. Daraa may soon play a role in the end of the conflict since the Syrian Arab Army's (SAA) shock troops from the 9th Brigade and Republican Guard fighting for President Bashar al-Assad are currently setting up around the city to fight the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their rebel allies who are firmly entrenched in different urban areas.
An Orthodox Geula (redemption) blogger who goes by the title Yeranen Yaakov noted the Biblical roots of the city that establish it as a location with a particularly bellicose nature. In a recent post, he wrote that in the Bible, Daraa was known as Edrei, the city where the Children of Israel fought the King Og.
They marched on and went up the road to Bashan, and King Og of Bashan, with all his people, came out to Edrei to engage them in battle. Numbers 21:33
This militaristic past of the city does seem to be reappearing as this small city plays a central role in Syria's tragic civil war. In the Biblical account, all of Og's subjects were wiped out. In the current civil war, almost 300,000 Syrians have been killed and many more have been made homeless.
Rabbi Berger feels the Biblical battle at Edrei is integrally connected to Daraa's current situation.
"Every place that God brings down a miracle it is forever changed," Rabbi Berger said. "The place remains an opening for that particular aspect of God. Daraa still has its source in Biblical Edrei, a place of war in which all the people were wiped out."
Yeranen Yaakov also noted that Daraa is inside the borders of Biblical Israel. The Bible states explicitly that Edrei was part of the region assigned to half of the tribe of Menashe in the time of Joshua, the successor to Moses.
And part of Gilad, and Ashtaroth and Edrei, the royal cities of Og in Bashan, were assigned to the descendants of Machir son of Menashe-to a part of the descendants of Machir-for their various clans. Joshua 13:31
Yeranen Yaakov emphasized that this was significant since the pre-Messianic War of Gog and Magog was prophesied to eventually take place inside the borders of Israel.
"The practical implications for current events is obvious," Yeranen Yaakov told Breaking Israel News. "If the impending battle in Edrei takes place, it could very well involve the US and Russia, who both have significant military forces in the region. Since it is inside Biblical Israel, Edrei may become the place where the War of Gog and Magog is to take place."
Rabbi Berger agreed that the Syrian conflict, concentrated in Daraa, could be the pre-Messianic War of Gog and Magog coming about in an unexpected fashion, outside of modern Israel, for a particular reason.
"The War of Gog and Magog will be devastating, as the war in Syria has been," Rabbi Berger said. "It could be that Israel has merited God's mercy and the War of Gog and Magog will not be inside Israel in order to save us from suffering."
As a source for the War of Gog and Magog being fought outside of Israel, Rabbi Berger cited his father, Rabbi Shalom Berger, a spiritual leader in Israel with thousands of followers known as the Mishkoltz Rebbe.
"My heart tells me, that God is having mercy on the Nation of Israel concerning what the prophets have prophesied - that the War of Gog and Magog War needs to be within Jerusalem," the Mishkoltz Rebbe said at a gathering of his followers held after the holiday of Simchat Torah in 2015. "Nevertheless God sweetened this and He is currently making [the War of Gog and Magog] in Syria."
The rabbi quoted from Sifrei Devarim, a collection of midrash (homiletic teachings) believed to have been compiled in the first century. The midrash states that the gates of Jerusalem are destined to reach until Damascus.
"If that is the case, instead of the war being in Jerusalem with the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael suffering from it, God widened Jerusalem until Damascus in order that the great war will be there," the Mishkoltz Rebbe said. He emphasized that the multi-national forces facing off in Syria conforms to the prophetic descriptions of the Gog and Magog War.
Nearing Midnight: No Lesson Learned in Venezuela - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The worst way to run an economy is one based on socialism. The Soviet Union killed 30 million trying to make it work. China murdered an equal number of people under the socialist banner. Once China turned to capitalism, its economy began to boom. Many European nations have experimented with socialism, and the typical result has been economic stagnation.
"I would rather be subjected to the few failures of capitalism than the few successes of socialism." -Unknown
The nation of Venezuela is the most current example of socialism's destructive nature. About 40 years ago, Venezuela was the richest country in South America. It has the world's largest reserve of oil. According to OPEC's 2015 figures, Venezuela has the most proven crude oil reserves in the world, with over 300 billion barrels. That puts it ahead of Saudi Arabia (266 billion barrels), Iran (158 billion barrels) and Iraq (142 billion barrels).
The Rise of Hugo Chávez was the turning point for Venezuela. Chávez kicked out all the Western oil companies that he claimed were stealing the nation's wealth. He used the oil money to provide free goods to people. For a short time it appeared that Chávez had finally proved that socialism can be made to work.
The socialist dream began to turn into a nightmare when oil revenues began to decline.
Immediately after the state kicked foreign oil firms out of the country, the production of oil began to decline, going from 3.1 million barrels per day to 1.6 million barrels per day.
Chávez was so focused on filling his pockets with money from the oil, he neglected to reinvest back into the national oil company.
When global oil prices declined from $140 to $30, the Venezuela economy completely unraveled. There have been numerous food riots, and people stand in line for hours to buy whatever is available.
Venezuela's Marxist government made matters worse by seizing private businesses. In 2016, Venezuela's new leader Nicolás Maduro took over a plant belonging to US-based hygiene products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark. The plant was turned over to the workers. Venezuela quickly ran out of toilet paper because the workers at Kimberly-Clark could not obtain or hadn't the incentive to find the needed raw materials.
Last week, the socialist Venezuelan government seized a closed Kellogg's factory. Maduro, who has previously accused the United States of waging economic war against his government, called the factory closure "absolutely unconstitutional and illegal," even though his policies are the ones which caused the closure of the factory to begin with. Most people won't work long without being paid, and if Kellogg's cannot find supplies to produce their infamous cereals, it's unlikely the workers will be successful.
No new business will want to invest in Venezuela. The firms that remain in the country are likely looking for the exit.
Life for the average Venezuelan citizen has become extremely difficult. A domestic survey of Venezuela's living conditions found that over 73% of the population lost an average of 19 pounds due to food shortages in 2015 and 2016. The IMF forecasts that inflation in 2018 will likely top 13,000%. Prices rise an average of 4% each day. One woman told a reporter that a single banana now has the same worth her house had five years ago.
The hardships have not been enough to force out the socialist government. Nicolas Maduro has just won re-election with 67.7% of the vote. The election was a sham. The mainstream opposition called for a boycott, and turnout was 46 percent compared with 80 percent in 2013's presidential election.
Now that Maduro has a "mandate" to continue destroying Venezuela for another six years, citizens are buying bus tickets for a mass exodus. According to Reuters, some Venezuelans have saved for months to buy a bus ticket out of the country. Nearly one million Venezuelans have left their country over the past two years.
There is no lesson to be learned from Venezuela's attempt at socialism. Most media outlets ignore the hardships that are taking place in the nation. The few reporters that do cover Venezuela blame the poor economy on U.S. sanctions. John Oliver of the HBO show "Last Week Tonight" blamed Venezuela's problems on "epic mismanagement."
The fact that we almost had a communist as the Democratic candidate in the last election just shows how deception has taken over in these last days. If people can't notice what should be an obvious truth, they will be no match for a cunning lie.
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13).
Daily Jot: Christianity and socialism - Bill Wilson -
A recent survey by George Barna's American Culture and Faith Institute indicates that the more deeply people study the Bible, the more they favor capitalism over socialism. Notwithstanding, people under the age of 35 more strongly lean toward socialism. The survey of 2,000 adults also indicated that Americans lacked an understanding of socialism, and after responding to several questions about the workings of economics and governance, they switched from 41% favoring socialism over capitalism to only 25% preferring a socialist system in America. Some 23% of Americans think capitalism is most compatible with the principles of the Bible, 29% chose socialism and 8% believed communism best fit the Bible.
Barna says, "However, the more likely a respondent was to believe that the Bible teaches truth, to say that it is an accurate and reliable source of wisdom, and to spend time reading the Bible during a typical week, they more likely they were to argue that capitalism best fits a biblical lifestyle. Overall, two-thirds (64%) of SAGE Cons - the spiritually active, governance engaged conservative Christians - said the Bible is most compatible with capitalism. That dropped to just 40% among all born again Christians and only 25% of Notional Christians. Even smaller proportions of non-Christians - 18% of people associated with a non-Christian faith and 12% of Skeptics - believed the Bible is more compatible with capitalism."
The survey showed that "pluralities of Notional Christians (33%), people associated with non-Christian faiths (29%) and Skeptics (28%) leaned toward socialism. Significant, though, was the number of people from each group who admitted that they had no idea which economic system is most compatible with the Bible, ranging from 19% of SAGE Cons to 28% of born agains, and jumping to 36% of Notionals, 41% of those aligned with non-Christian faiths, and a majority of Skeptics (53%). Protestants and Catholics also differed on this matter. Among Protestants 40% said the Bible is most compatible with capitalism while 28% chose socialism. In contrast, Catholics were more likely to say the Bible is most compatible with socialism (35%) than with capitalism (27%)."
Communism and socialism are rooted in the Communist Manifesto, which calls for the abolition of all morals and religion, rendering the state as god. Many Christians who believe socialism is in step with the Bible point to Acts 4:32, which says, "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common." This is not socialism. This is true Christianity. Socialism would force the redistribution of wealth. With Christianity, it is given freely. As Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3:13, "that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God." Responsible Capitalism is aligned with the Biblical principle that whatever you sow, you will also reap. Socialism is a godless system by virtue of its manifesto.
Daily Devotion: "If God really loved me . . ." - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. -Ephesians 3:20
When tragedy, hardship, or even death comes into our lives, we might ask, "If God really loved me, then why did He let this happen?" It's hard to see through eyes that are filled with tears. Though we cannot see how the situation will end or why it has come upon us, we can know that it flows from the love of God and is controlled by Him.
If you are not a Christian, however, when tragedy strikes, when heartache hits, when death comes, there are no words of comfort that I have to offer. But Christians can know that everything must first come through God's protective screen that He has placed around His children.
When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus was sick, they wanted a healing. But Jesus wanted to do more than heal Lazarus; He wanted a resurrection. By the time He arrived in Bethany, Mary and Martha were honestly upset. Yes, Jesus loved Lazarus. But He wanted to do something even more dramatic in his life.
If God is not coming through when we expect Him to, there is a reason for it. Do we ever stop and think that God might want to do more? Do we ever stop and think that God might want to do abundantly above and beyond that which we could ask or think? If God closes one door, He will open another.
Maybe you're frustrated or even a little upset with God right now. Maybe something you were hoping for hasn't happened, and you're saying, "God has let me down." Hang on. It isn't over until it's over. You don't know what the Lord has in store. His delays are to be interpreted in the light of His love-and not the other way around.
FROM THE HEART
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