196. A HOPELESS END OR AN ENDLESS HOPE?

(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)

Jesus often delays but when he comes, no matter how dead, hopeless or sterile the situation, he imbues it with HIS life, so that the impossible becomes possible, too late becomes on time, odds are defied, words of life are illogically spoken and authoritatively into that clearly dead and hopeless situation and to the amazement of all who behold, that dead situation is brought back to life.

All around, people may have given up. They may have concluded that the situation could never again be redeemed. They may have said to themselves and to others, that too much time had past and that Jesus had taken too long to come. Some may have even concluded that he would never come, while others opined, that had he come earlier, had he put in an appearance when there was still hope, then things may have changed but not now. Certainly not at this late hour.

YET, Jesus steps in, unfazed by all that has been said before. He dares to speak like to the situation, operates as if he has power over the grave and reverses what has been labelled ‘the irreversible’.

In so doing, he silences the naysayers and reminds everyone that HE is on the throne and that HE is “..the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.” (1 Timothy 6:15).

This is what he does. This is what he has always done and how he has always operated, even in the Bible days. His power has not waned. He is “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8).

All he asks of us to transform any situation is that we believe in him, who he says he is and that he has limitless power to do anything and all things. You don’t believe me? Let’s look at two situations in the Bible days and how Jesus operated:

LAZARUS’ SITUATION -A HOPELESS END? (John 11:1-44)

THE PROBLEM

  • “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha…Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick…”

JESUS DELAYS COMING

  • “… When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again…”

JESUS COMES AFTER ALL HAS ALREADY BEEN LOST: LAZARUS IS DEAD

  • “…and after that…Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him…Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already…Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

JESUS SPEAKS HOPE, WHEN IT IS CLEAR THAT THE SITUATION IS HOPELESS AND GIVES A CRAZY INSTRUCTION

  • “Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again… I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die… And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone.”

MARTHA WONDERS IF JESUS HAS LOST HIS MIND – COULDN’T HE SEE HOW HOPELESSLY DEAD THE SITUATION WAS?

  • “Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”

JESUS COMPLETELY DISREGARDS THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION AND SPEAKS AS IF HE HAS POWER OVER DEATH

  • “Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, LAZARUS, COME FORTH.”

RESURRECTION POWER: JESUS RAISES THE DEAD BACK TO LIFE

  • “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”

JAIRUS’ SITUATION – A HOPELESS END? (Mark 5:22-42)

THE PROBLEM

  • “And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.”

JESUS IS DELAYED ON THE WAY

  • “And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.”

JESUS HAS NOT YET ARRIVED AND ALL IS LOST: THE GIRL IS DEAD

  • “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?”

JESUS SPEAKS HOPE, WHEN IT IS CLEAR THAT THE SITUATION IS HOPELESS AND GIVES A CRAZY INSTRUCTION

  • “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.”

PEOPLE ARE CONVINCED JESUS HAS LOST HIS MIND – COULDN’T HE SEE HOW HOPELESSLY DEAD THE SITUATION WAS?

  • “And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.”

JESUS COMPLETELY DISREGARDS THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION AND SPEAKS AS IF HE HAS POWER OVER DEATH

  • “But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, TALITHA CUMI; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.”

RESURRECTION POWER: JESUS RAISES THE DEAD BACK TO LIFE

  • “And straightway the damsel arose, and walked…”

COMMENTARY

The two situations above seemed like nothing but a hopeless end but when Jesus stepped in, even when people thought he had come too late and that all was lost, he transformed the situation into something beautiful. He turned a HOPELESS END into an ENDLESS HOPE because He is THE source of hope.

These situations remind me of the Prophet Ezekiel’s experience in Ezekiel 37:1-14.

He had a vision, as a precursor to what the Lord promised he would do for the Israelites, whose situation seemed dead, sterile and hopeless. They were so far gone before the Lord decided to intervene, that nobody round about believed that they would ever bounce back.

YET, God purposed that they would and whatever he intends to do, no matter how bad the situation, he intervenes and changes it, in HIS appointed time. He has power over dead situations and the grave and at his word, things change.

It matters not what reality looks like or how bad things seem now. God’s spoken word is more real than reality itself. If he says that you will get to A, if you are currently in a dark, deep pit at Z, in his SET TIME, things have to line up and you have to be re-positioned, so as to get to A because that is where he said you will be.

In Genesis 21:1-2, after the Lord had promised Abraham that Sarah would bear him a son in his old age in Genesis 17:1-16, it mattered not what upheavals they endured or fears they had in the interim with king Abimelech or any other situation. God preserved them and when the time that HE HAD SET was right, he brought exactly what HE HAD SAID to pass.

Verse 21 states:

  • “And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bare Abraham a son in his old age, AT THE SET TIME of which God had spoken to him.”

Like with the two situations we looked at earlier, the Lord also tested Ezekiel’s faith in him before he worked his miracle. He wanted to know if he believed that despite how bad things looked, despite the fact that things had gone from bad to worse in the life of the Israelites, so much so that it seemed that the Lord had arrived on the scene too late and when all was dead, that he could fill that dead situation with his life because he is THE RESURRECTION and THE LIFE.

In the midst of all that looked hopeless to the eye, the Lord again spoke words of hope because he has power over death and the grave. He then intervened and worked a miracle, like only the true and living God can do. The Prophet Ezekiel testifies of his experience as follows:

  • “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
  • And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.
  • Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
  • So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
  • So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
  • Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: BEHOLD, THEY SAY, OUR BONES ARE DRIED, AND OUR HOPE IS LOST: WE ARE CUT OFF FOR OUR PARTS. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; BEHOLD, O MY PEOPLE, I WILL OPEN YOUR GRAVES, AND CAUSE YOU TO COME UP OUT OF YOUR GRAVES, AND BRING YOU INTO THE LAND OF ISRAEL. AND YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: THEN SHALL YE KNOW THAT I THE LORD HAVE SPOKEN IT, AND PERFORMED IT, SAITH THE LORD.”

IN CLOSING

If like me, you believe 100% that Jesus is who he says he is, that no situation is too hard for him to change in your life and that he has limitless power, then, if you’re trusting him to work a miracle in a particularly dead area of your life, say to him, even as I do:

  • “Lord Jesus, I believe that you are who you say you are, the Son of the true and living God and my Creator. I believe that you are able to do what I have requested that you do and am trusting you to do it, in YOUR own time and YOUR own way, for YOUR glory. Even as you told many of the persons that you healed and granted miracles to in the past, who believed that you could do the impossible, I ask you today, let it be to me, according to my faith. I understand that a lot of time has passed Lord and my situation seems dead and hopeless but I pray Lord that you will still do it for ME according to your will and mercy, for YOUR NAME SAKE and for ALL THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING ON. I believe in you Lord Jesus. Even as your Word states, let me not be ashamed. Amen.”

Romans 10:11 states that “…Whosoever believeth on him shall NOT be ashamed.”

After writing this Article, I prayed:

  • “Lord, you know that there are many who think of you theoretically but do not really believe that you are real. I pray that you will use my situation to cause them to no longer have doubt in their hearts but that when they see you work in my life to bring back my situation from the dead Lord, that they will KNOW that it is you Lord that did it. I pray that when you decide to come Lord and change my season, that all those who have doubted but see what you have done and are doing in my life, will believe that you are truly LORD OVER ALL AND THE KING OF KINGS AND THE LORD OF LORDS. And I pray Lord, that when they see it, that those that have been busy with their own human effort or distracted with the things of this life, will be humbled, by the realization and reminder of the magnificence of your power, so much so, that they will bow their knees afresh to your Lordship because YOU ALONE Lord are on the throne and YOU JESUS are Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

(Written on 03rd November, 2018)

ADDENDUM: My additional comments written on 14th December, 2018:

If you remember nothing else in life remember this: It is not your human effort, intelligence, articulation, the occult, your connections, what you can do for yourself, your looks, your account balance or anything else on earth that will get you ahead in this life. It is JESUS CHRIST and him alone.

The sooner you humble yourself and admit to God that you don’t have what it takes in your own strength to make it successfully in this life and you truly live your life this way (and not with mere words), the sooner he can intervene. This doesn’t just apply to unbelievers but also to those who profess to know the Lord. For many people who profess Christianity, due to pride or not enough faith, Jesus is considered to be just a pleasant help and a part-time Consultant.

They therefore live the average day as if they are in charge of their lives, their decisions, where they will go, what job they will take and their fate. They see success as only coming if they put out the human effort. Faith then becomes something they only talk about but rarely practice. For, they mention the name of the Lord but live their lives every day according to their own human intelligence, might and know-how.

If you are in a situation where you really don’t know what to do therefore (as I have been on more than one occasion) and you tell them you are waiting on God in faith for the solution, they look at you as if you are crazy. In their minds, you need to be doing something (not trusting God) to get ahead.

They even tell you (as I have been told), that God helps those who help themselves. Yet, this is not true at all. The Bible, which is the only authority, makes it clear that God helps those who can’t help themselves and who are humble enough to not just admit it to him but to live their lives daily, in utter and complete dependence on HIM.

I don’t know about anybody else but the God I serve is not my sometimes guide or part-time Consultant. He reserves the right to tell me what to do, what not to do and where to go or where not to go. He chooses whether to open a door or to keep me stuck behind a closed one for a season, that season being defined by his will alone, not man’s. I have given him access to every area of my life, to do as he pleases.

I therefore have no control over what happens in my life or where I end up. He does. See, he is not my part-time Consultant or sometimes guide. He is my lifeline.

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article useful, informative, edifying or interesting, then you may be interested in reading the following:

  • Note 40 – ‘Please…Allow Him To Blow Your Mind’
  • Note 112 – ‘Lessons I Have Learned From The Lazarus Story’
  • Note 114 – ‘…But God’
  • Note 117 – ‘Whose Report Will You Believe?’
  • Note 123 – ‘We Serve A ‘Let There Be’ God’
  • Note 124 – ‘Are You One That Has To See Before You Can Believe?’
  • Note 125 – ‘Unbelief Cannot Come’
  • Note 154 – ‘They Say I Can’t But By God’s Grace I Will’
  • Note 157 – ‘The Price Tag Of Success’
  • Note 159 – ‘Next Stop – Victory!’
  • Note 171 – ‘If That Tree Could Talk’
  • Note 174 – ‘They Can Think Whatever They Like – God Will Do Whatever He Pleases.’
  • Note 191 -‘When God Blows Your Mind With His Answer And Leaves You Flabbergasted’
  • Note 193 – ‘God Calls Me Hephzibah’
  • Note 194 – ‘It Is Well’
  • Note 195 – ‘When God Promises To Write-On A Write-Off’
  • Note 197 – ‘Left For Dead…Then Resurrected’

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