Journey Group Devotional, 11/3/15
In the familiar passage leading up to Lazarus being raised from the dead, we find Mary and Martha saying the same thing. ‘Lord, if You had been here my brother would still be alive’ (John 11:21, 32). They obviously had no way of knowing that Jesus was going to raise Lazarus. They were caught up in the painful reality of their brother’s death and the emotional regrets of “if”.
If You had been here… If You had healed him. If this sickness had never happened. If…
How many times do we find ourselves saying if, as we carry the emotional baggage of painful memories, deep sorrows and regrets? If I had not taken that job…. If I had not made that unwise decision…. If that I had never met that person…. If I had a better job… more money… a different family…. If….
Life can be filled with painful regrets and drag us down If we don’t have a proper perspective.
Mary and Martha were considering what could have been…. if only… We’ve all had dreams that have been shattered by what could have been… if only…. Mary and Martha knew enough doctrine to believe in a future resurrection, but not enough faith to trust in the very One who is the ‘Resurrection and the Life’ (John 11:24-25). We may believe in heaven one day (in the sweet by and by), but totally miss the abundant life Jesus came to give us in the here and now. Mary and Martha were viewing the circumstances from a physical and emotional standpoint only. We do that when we do not take into consideration that our God is totally sovereign. Our God can take our past, present and even our future and work it for our good and His glory. Jesus said to them, ‘if you believe, you will see the glory of God,’ (John 11:40b).
Friends, please don’t let the ‘if’s’ of the past ruin your today and tomorrow. You really can trust Him as you wait on His perfect timing.
Here’s one final If.
‘If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (I John 1:9)