HOPE DEFFERED (DELAYED) #2
“…Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren … Now Joseph had a dream …There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” ……. Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Genesis 37: 2, 5-14, 41:37-46).
Mary, Martha, and his disciples, obviously, already BELIEVED Jesus could have prevented Lazarus’ death. They also knew Jesus could have simply rebuked his sickness, or completely restored him to health, or raise him immediately from the dead. “…The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, … he hath anointed me (Jesus) to PREACH the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to PREACH deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To PREACH the acceptable year of the Lord…” (John 4:16-21 KJV).
They BELIEVED Jesus COULD do anything. Believing a CHAIR will hold you up is not the SAME as PROVING, you believe, by sitting upon the chair. God wanted to ELEVATE their faith even HIGHER and make it STRONGER. “….To the intent, you may BELIEVE….” (John 11:15 KJV).
In order to develop, in Mary, Martha, and his disciples, such a higher and stronger faith, it was important that Lazarus died a physical death.”…I am glad for your sakes that I was not there…” (John 11:14 KJV).
Martha, Mary, and his disciple’s spiritual growth in FAITH depended on Lazarus’ death. “…that you (they) “may” believe…” (John 11:14 KJV).
The FAITH of God’s people is PRECIOUS to him! “….the proof of your faith (trust in, dependency upon, and cooperation with his word), being more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory (his indwelling Spirit empowered them) and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ...” 1 Peter 1:7 ASV). “...[God] knoweth the way that I take; when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold…” (Job 23:10 KJV).
DEMONSTRATIONS of GOD’S GLORY are the building blocks for MORE faith, GREATER faith, and STRONGER faith. THE FAITH of Gods people will ALWAYS result in God’s GLORY. “…HOW MUCH MORE DO I NEED TO SAY? It would take too long to recount THE STORIES OF the FAITH of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets… [Through]… FAITH these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death….” (Hebrews 11:1-35 NLT).
Jesus’ DELAYED his coming for the INTENT purpose of raising Lazarus from the DEAD and to BUILD a STRONGER faith within Martha, Mary and his disciples. HOW? “IN” and “THROUGH the POWER of the indwelling SPIRIT, which is Jesus, the Word of God. “…that ye may BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God (the WORD)...” (1 John 5:13 KJV).
Jesus, the Son of God, had another name. “… His name is called The Word of God…” (Revelation 19:12-13 NASB)
While DELAY makes people focus on what is happening on the OUTSIDE, God is focusing on the HEART. “…The LORD looks at the heart…”(1 Samuel 16:7 NASB).
God took Israel through the wilderness (delays, trials or tribulations) for forty years. One reason he did it was to “….know what was in [their]…heart…” (Deuteronomy 8:2 KJV).
Many believers claim to BELIEVE in God, yet struggle, in their heart, with the very FAITH they CLAIM to have. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12 KJV). “... Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief (as Israel)…” (Hebrews 4:10-11 KJV). “…I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NIV).
“... the devils also believe...” (James 2:19 KJV).
“... except your righteousness (your demonstration of belief) shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven...” (Matthew 5:10 KJV).
Therefore, “…WALK BY FAITH...(trust in God, dependency upon God, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and cooperation with his instructions (word)...” (2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV). “…live by faith, not by sight….” (2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV). “...God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart…”(1 Samuel 16:7 NASB). God is looking at the “…hidden man of the heart…” (1 Peter 3:4 KJV). “… From within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts…these … come from within, and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23 KJV).
God KNOWS the heart “…is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked…who can know it [except God?]…” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).
God’s TIMING: it OFTEN comes with a DELAY not DEATH or even DENIAL. It’s a DELAY with the intent to help God’s people BELIEVE or have a GREATER FAITH in the POWER of his WORD. “…[That]…ye MAY BELIEVE…” (John 11:14 KJV).
HOPE, your PRAYER life, or your DREAMS were not meant to be weakened by DELAY, but to grow STRONGER. Jesus TOOK Martha and Mary BACK to the PLACE where they BURIED their hope, closed out their prayers, and put away their dreams. “…the PLACE “WHERE” the DEAD was laid…” (John 11:39-41 KJV).
“…Jesus said…I am the resurrection and I am the LIFE…..” (John 11:25 KJV).
DEAD HOPE, forgotten PRAYERS and broken DREAMS can be brought out of the BURIAL CHAMBER, of the heart, with STRENGTHENED faith. STRENGTHENED faith that is EMPOWERED by HEARING the WORD OF GOD. “…Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God...” (Roman 10:17 KJV). “…Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me (the WORD), but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me (the WORD).” (John 11:41-42 NLT). “…And the prayer of [strengthened] ...faith SHALL save the sick (situation), and the Lord SHALL raise [the situation]... up…” (James 5:15 KJV).
“…THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK unto you, they ARE SPIRIT, and they ARE LIFE…” (John 6:63 KJV). ). “…NOW UNTO HIM THAT IS “ABLE” to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the POWER that worketh in us…” (Ephesians 3:20 KJV). “…I am come that THEY MIGHT have life, and that THEY MIGHT have it more abundantly…” (John 10:10 KJV).
DEAD HOPE, DEAD PRAYERS, and DEAD DREAMS can be totally revived or returned to LIFE by the COMMAND of the GOSPEL (which is JESUS, the LIVING Word). “…Lazarus COME FORTH…he that was dead came forth…” (John 11:43-43 KJV).
DEAD “HOPE,” PRAYERS, and DREAMS can be brought BACK to absolute spiritual health and the GRAVE CLOTHES (negative conclusions) removed. “…He that was DEAD came forth, bound, head and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’” (John 11:44 KJV).
Grave clothes represent EVERYTHING that your HOPE, PRAYER, of DREAM was bound or wrapped in such as: doubt, disappointment, what you saw, what you heard, what you lived through, what didn’t happen, what did happen, the enemies lies, the weapons the enemy formed against you, and weariness.
It is easy to see how HOPE DIES PRAYERS DIE, and DREAMS DIE, especially with long-term DELAYS. God intends for you to make it to the FINISH LINE by redeeming your HOPE, your PRAYER, or your DREAM. “…He will keep you strong to the end…” (1 Corinthians 1:8 NLT).
“…My Lord delayeth his coming…” (Luke 12:45 KJV). “…I am glad for your sakes that I was not there , to the intent, you may BELIEVE….” (John 11:15 KJV).
Therefore, “Let us NOT become weary in doing good, for at the PROPER TIME WE WILL REAP A HARVEST if we do not give up”…” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
“…If God is for [you], who …[or what]…is against [you]? …” (Romans 8:31-39 NASB). “…. And he that was dead came forth…” (John 11:42-43 KJV).
Does this MEAN you will get EVERYTHING you want? No, it’s even BETTER than that, because it MEANS you will get EVERYTHING God meant for you to have and be BLESSED with.“...ALL THINGS (sickness, divorce, death, disappointments, pain, heartbreak, etc.) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE…” (ROMANS 8:28 KJV).
“…BLESSED be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who HATH BLESSED us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:3 KJV).
“…His DIVINE POWER hath given unto us ALL THINGS that pertain unto life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3 KJV). “...He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 KJV). “…The LORD “WILL” accomplish (take care of)…that which concerns [you]…” (John 14:31 NASB). “…God is the one who provides ....”(2 Corinthians 9:10-13 KJV). “…God will generously PROVIDE all you need…” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT).
Being empowered by “strengthened” faith, through DELAYS, to depend upon his powerful WORD, will enable you to become a GREATER recipient of his GLORY.
Becoming a GREATER recipient of God’s GLORY means you have CHOOSEN to allow your faith to be strengthened, in spite of a DELAY in your HOPES, PRAYERS, and DREAMS.
“...The life which I now live in the flesh I live by ...[HIS]... faith [which is strengthened by the WORD] ... the Son of God (the indwelling Son of God or WORD) …” (Galatians 2:20-21 KJV). “…GOD IS SPIRIT…” (John 4:24 KJV). “…The Spirit of God dwell[s]… in you…” (Romans 8:9 KJV). “…Jesus Christ is IN YOU…” (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV). “…[You] CAN DO all things THROUGH Christ which strengtheneth [you]…” (Philippians 4:13 KJV).“…The …HOLY SPIRIT …is the SOURCE of [all God’s strengthen FAITH]. …it is …God who does the work IN and THROUGH all of us who are his. The HOLY SPIRIT DISPLAYS God’s power THROUGH each of us (who are strengthen by FAITH) … (1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NLT).
The witness of his SOVEREIGN GLORY is GRANTED to the unearned, undeserving, and the unworthy recipients who willfully CHOOSE to be STRENGTHENED to a GREATER faith. “…Since it is through God’s kindness …[and] not by [your] good works. For in that case, God’s GRACE (GLORY) would not be what it really is—free and undeserved…” (Romans 11:5 NLT).
God’s GLORY is granted and witnessed, because of his desire to freely bestow GOOD WILL and KINDNESS upon all mankind, especially HIS PEOPLE. “…He did this, not because we DESERVED it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time…” (2 Timothy 1:9 NLT).
God’s allows HIS PEOPLE to WITNESS his GLORY NOT simply to be a SANTA CLAUS or GENIE to their every beck and call or personal desires. God WANTS “...to show us his GRACE (GLORY) through Christ Jesus...who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for GOD WAS WITH HIM. And we are witnesses of all things (HIS GLORY) which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem…” (Acts 10:38-39 KJV & 2 Timothy 1:9). “…Jesus Christ is IN YOU…” (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV).
The WITNESS of God’s GLORY is meant to bring WELL-BEING to mankind, especially “his people.” “…He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous…” (Matthew 5:45 NASB). However, “…You (God, the Holy Spirit, particularly) surround [your people] WITH FAVOR (GLORY) as with a shield…” (Psalms 5:12 NASB).
In addition, his GLORY is witnessed by “his people,” to bless THEM and to spread his blessings to others. God does this by displaying his GLORY to his people, personally, and empowering them to become witnesses by working in and through them. “…God will supply all [your need (the witness of his Glory)]…” (Philippians 4:19 NASB). “…my cup runneth over (with God’s GLORY)…” (Psalms 23:5 KJV). “…God will generously PROVIDE (display his GLORY upon) all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to “SHARE” WITH OTHERS…” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT).
“… It is …God who does the work IN AND THROUGH all of us who are his… (1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NLT). “…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works (empowered by the Holy Spirit) and glorify your Father which is in heaven…” (Matthew 5:16 KJV).
It gives God pleasure to display his GLORY to his people. God’s GLORY is “his” to REVEAL freely, as he pleases, and “not” yours to DEMAND. “…This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure…” (Ephesians 1 NLT). God “…does whatever pleases him...” (Psalms 115:3 NIV). “… [God]… does as he pleases…” (Daniel 4 NLT). “…Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish…” (Isaiah 46: 9-10 NLT).
His GLORY is his to DISPLAY and REVEAL to whomever “HE” chooses and “not” yours or anyone else to DEMAND it from him. “... God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose...” (Romans 9:15 NLT).
Even though God’s GLORY is his to DISPLAY and REVEAL as he pleases he is GENEROUSLY to ALL. God WANTS “...to show us his GRACE (GLORY) through Christ Jesus...who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for GOD WAS WITH HIM. And we are witnesses of all things (HIS GLORY) which he did …” (Acts 10:38-39 KJV & 2 Timothy 1:9). “…Jesus Christ is IN YOU…” (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV).
Mary and Martha had concluded the hopes, prayers, and dreams about Lazarus was long dead and it was TOO LATE for Jesus, the WORD, to do anything about it. She told Jesus: “… Lord, by this time, he stinketh: for he hath been dead for four days …” (John 11:39 KJV). However, God’s truth SAYS: “…the things which are impossible with men are possible with God…” (Luke 18:27 KJV).
Jesus promised THEM as he PROMISES us all: “…..Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 KJV). “…Jesus said…I am the resurrection and I am the life…..” (John 11:25 KJV).
“…THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK unto you, they ARE SPIRIT, and they ARE LIFE…” (John 6:63 KJV).
God SPOKE to Joseph in a DREAM.
However, JOSEPH’S DREAM was DELAYED for 13 years. “…Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren … Now Joseph had a dream …There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” …Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Genesis 37: 2, 5-14, 41:37-46).
“…[But]… in the PROCESS of time … [what God promised]… CAME TO PASS…” (Genesis 4:3 KJV).
Slavery or prison COULDN’T STOP the PROMISES of God upon Joseph’s life. “...God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!” (Numbers 23:20 NLT). “…As many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes …also … Amen …” (2 Corinthians 1:2 NASB).
“…Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you believe (trust in me, depend upon me, and cooperate with my word), you will see the glory of God (his presence and goodness in your life)?..." (John 11:40 KJV).
HOPE, PRAYERS, OR A DREAM DEFFERED (DELAYED), NO MATTER HOW IT APPEARS, IT NOT DEAD OR DENIED.
“…you will see the glory of God (his presence and goodness in your life)?..." (John 11:40 KJV).
“… my word ...that goeth forth out of my mouth: IT SHALL NOT RETURN UNTO ME VOID, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11 KJV). “…Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; ALL CAME TO PASS…” (Joshua 21:45 NASB).
GO BACK AND GET YOUR HOPE, YOUR PRAYERS, AND YOUR DREAMS GOD, PERSONALLY, PROMISED TO YOU: “…you will see the glory of God (his presence and goodness in your life)?..." (John 11:40 KJV).
” …Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt..[AS RULER]...” (Genesis 37: 2, 5-14, 41:37-46).
“…you will see the glory of God ..." (John 11:40 KJV).