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Hope for Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones: In His Hands

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 20, 2022 3:00 am

Hope for Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones: In His Hands

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 20, 2022 3:00 am

Much of life is bittersweet. There are good times, there are bad times. It’s only during the bad times that we ask why. But the Lord wants to walk beside us through it all. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie draws from his own bittersweet experiences to bring us a fresh perspective on the faithfulness and compassion of the Lord. We’ll see it’s okay to bring our hurts and questions to God. But it’s also okay to leave the perplexing, vexing uncertainties in His hands.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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We are glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners get more encouraging audio content. When you subscribe to pastor Greg daily depots. Learn more and sign of your revolt would God let you know where were you when my marriage is all what were you employing what is were you when my God pastor grid will report so God can become so very real to times when our minds are just swirling questions times it's only the Lord wants to walk beside us through it all has to Greg Laurie draws from his own experiences to bring us fresh perspective on the faithfulness and compassion.

It's okay to bring our first question also is jumps up 11.

This is a story of people who are lost with the story of the death of a loved one, amending Lazarus and how his sisters, Mary and Martha reacted is also a story of how Jesus reacts to such circumstances, and how God can be glorified in such situation, but it's a hopeful message. We see how the Lord deals with these people. Now he deals with the verses like to point out that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were a tightknit family. There were three siblings that love each other and had a great home. Everyone knew Martha was a killer chef and Jesus love to come visit shown up of the bugs was that they were here 12 friends.

Is that okay Martha was so hospitable would always make up a fantastic meal for the Lord these guys, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus can legitimately say that Jesus of Nazareth was their personal friend because he frequented their home which was within striking distance from Jerusalem. There in Bethany, so now tragedy comes even though there, and Lazarus is very very ill that so the story starts. John 11 verse one now certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

It was at Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore, the sister said to him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom you love is set so what we learn from the store number one life is filled with pain, sorrow, and the death of loved ones again. Life is filled with pain and sorrow the death of loved ones. I don't know why but some of us may think were going to get a pass somehow make it through life unscathed. Never having a major tragedy.

Never having any kind of illness, never losing a loved one. I had to fall going to be great, but then when it comes our way were shocked. Don't be shocked. Happens everywhere. Jesus said in this world you will have tribulation, so it's going to come your way.

It's going to knock at your door number two. God loves us. God loves us. Don't rush over that. I don't misunderstand it, let it sink in. God loves you. Listen to this. Whatever he does or allows to happen in your life as his child is motivated by his everlasting love for you. God says in his word.

I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore with lovingkindness. I have drawn you he loves you and he loved them and Jesus would ask in his time and in his way. Verse four and five when Jesus heard that, he said, this sickness is out of the death, but for the glory of God the son of God may be glorified through it. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Therefore, when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he wants what he did what it seems like we would've read that when Jesus heard this, because he loved Mary Martha and Lazarus. He found the fastest horse and ran full speed to get to his sick friend. Or we could read that Jesus just appeared there.

Oh hello everyone, what's up, how can I help know because he loves them. He delayed his arrival. Remember, his delays are not necessarily his denials just as surely as God has his will.

He has his timing of Ecclesiastes 311 says God is made everything pitiful in his time. So here is what is really happening.

Jesus is trying to get up very hard to get the big picture guys. I know it seems like I can come there right now what I want to do is better than what you're asking me to do.

I want to go above and beyond your request. When he finally shows up. Things are looking pretty bleak. Lazarus is not sick anymore. Lazarus is dead is been away for four days.

The process of decomposition is already set in Jesus not only did not come and heal his friend even missed his funeral and so see them coming down the road. Martha is going to give Jesus a piece of her mind. Look at John 11 verse 20 then Martha Cindy Seger Jesus was coming when I met him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Then Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if you would've been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know whatever you ask of God, he will give it to you. Jesus said your brother will rise again why this is all I know he will rise again in the resurrection of the last eight Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live in those whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe that pretty press words from sister Martha. Here, Lord, if you would've been here. This would not have happened. Allow me to loosely paraphrase it and I don't think I'm taking any liberties or Jesus Martha saying you blow it.

We were bragging on you, you, we were telling everyone you are close friend and you didn't show up only needed you. I've never felt that God let you down and you were asked God why God why where were you when my marriage dissolved. Where were you when my parents divorced.

Where were you when my child went astray. Where were you when my love one died by that, I want you to know something very important. Jesus does not rebuke Martha for what she said you would've thought he would listen shut your mouth girl to show some respect to who I am new that he sort of absorbed. Why, because in effect would Martha was doing was not all that bad all sure she should the babies accusing remarks to cry, but the fact that she was making them to Christ. In other words, she was talking to Jesus.

He wasn't running from Jesus. She was running to Jesus with her problem.

That's what you need to do. You know people zero don't arouse God why you not unsafe as God. Why is much as you want. Don't expect an answer but ask away. You know what I said you be honest with God.

You think God doesn't see your heart when you pray, so be honest to God. I'm not happy right now. I don't understand this. I am hurting. This doesn't make sense.

Why digit.

It's okay to say those they go bring Ovitz possibly know it is not blasphemy. Jesus himself said from the cross, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me was a blasphemy know he was calling on his father underline the words. My God, my God, Lord.

I'm calling on you look at the honesty of the psalmist as he deals with this problem and then he called out to God. That is what we need to do don't withdraw from God in your Christian friends, go to the Lord and cry out to him.

You can ask why you probably won't get an answer in old Joe.

We all know his story, we remember that every heard the horrible news of the death of his children that he worship God and said, naked came I into this world naked going out.

Blessed be the name of the Lord. And yet, as you read through the book of Job he has God why many times and he never really got an explanation, but let me ask you that if the Lord would actually tell you why certain things happen as they did without erasure pain or heal your broken heart I got that okay okay I'm tardy asking nonmonetary you ready write it down. I did this for this reason, get what you all I okay great Craig Gottlieb probably is it.

I don't agree with that and I knew you'd say that. Then Excel sense to me Lord, I am sorry yeah you know it that's probably what he doesn't tell you listen. We live on promises, not explanation. We shouldn't spend too much time asking why, and said we should be asking the question what is and what am I supposed to do. You are to turn the Lord Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message just a moment and emails, letters and phone calls from listeners are so encouraging to us and they let us know the effectiveness of these studies. Greg a lot.

I graduated from college black here. I came back home.

Got a book from God, and I would get a putting update on the back burner about me from being it didn't do farm work and now in my morning I looked in your body that and I'm never there with the Lord.

I've been praying more and I've been going to church regularly angered by got intact with my date though.

Thank you for the work you do in California. Here in Tennessee and I get to listen to you, usually in the car on the way to the gym where I work out and I love your method to look at the analytic truth that you drink each and every single day. Thank you for sharing the word of the Lord and all that you do their part of ministry's great stories, pastor Creek's teachings from God's will made an impact on this man's life. If you'd like to listen to pastor Creek's podcasts. You could do that through Google Apple course modify or just Google that's will pastor great continues.

Now with this study. One of the most requested messages of the past year called hope for those who have lost loved ones and no Jesus puts things in an eternal perspective. Your brother will not die. Yeah, yeah. Lord, I know all resurrection I've heard all that you know Martha read my lips, I am the resurrection and the life he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live sober lives in him shall never die.

While that's Martha Chancey seemed satisfied because we don't read much more. But she said now along comes Mary Mary is usually more soft-spoken Martha you always knew we have stood with their she spoke her mind. Mary Moore laid back and Mary comes along.

In verse 32 that then Mary came where Jesus was and saw him and fell down at his feet, saying, Lord, if you would've been your my brother would not abide same statement is Martha. Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, he groaned in the spirit and was trouble and he said where have you laid him, they said, Lord, come and see how the shortest verse in the Bible verse 35 Jesus wept.

Then the Jews said, see how he loved. That brings me to point number three. Jesus weeps with us in our time of pain Jesus weeps with us in our time of pain. Yes, Jesus was God with all of his power and glory what he was also a man and he was a man who felt our pain and sorrow.

Isaiah 53 says he was despised and rejected.

He was a man of sorrows, and appointed with the most bitter green. He carried our weaknesses in our sorrows weighed him down. Jackie knows he voluntarily put himself in the way of danger, to bear our sorrows on the cross. Why would he do this. Hebrews 217 gives the answer and says it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect just like us and since he is gone through suffering and temptation is able to help us when were being tested within the visited breaks your heart it breaks his as well. Scripture reminds us that God keeps our tears in a bottle barber told in Psalm 56 eight. You keep track of all of my sorrows. You've collected all of my tears in your bottle you recorded each one in your book when I was in Israel in 2008 before our son died. We were running through talented. We went to a Jewish antiquities story and heard about and they had relics dating back to 3000 years amazing is like a museum except lets you hold things just don't drop them cost a fortune and does so I was looking around. It's a lot of fragments of pottery in it and a lot of just very weathered things, understandably, but then standing out in the midst of all of these antiquities was this beautiful translucent blue bottle and I asked the manual.

The store will insert what is this blue bottle says all that's a Roman tier bottle. Is it really.

I've never heard of a Roman tier bottle. What is that he says will the Romans believed that when they lost a loved one that they put their tears on the bottle they would be recorded and they haven't while I was immediately reminded of what the psalmist said I worry says that you keep my tears in a bottle.

While I have a terrible not this one. It was too much money it still there probably but I would tier bottle in heaven. God keeps record of every tear I've shed were God keeps a record of every tear you shed God keeps our tears in a bottle. So he may wipe them away Sunday at three just a few more verses a will and look at verse 33 of John 11 when Jesus saw her weeping, and saw the other people wailing with her.

He was moved with indignation. I was deeply troubled and Jesus was troubled and they came to the praying and I was in came with a stone rolled across the synthesis word for trouble could be better translated. He was mad. Yes, he was angry and he was ticked off and why was Jesus that was Jesus angry with the mourners and those were cry. What's wrong with you people, absolutely not. He felt complete compassion. Don't forget he wept with that not tell you who he was angry with.

He was angry with the Grim Reaper if you will.

He was angry with death itself.

This was not the way it was meant to be, or should have never been death. There should've never been aging. There should've never been disability there should've never been sick this I should have hair sought a throw that it is ridiculously that's the least of the concerns right above the wonder defendant Kevin will beget a glorified body of we will all be bald like me. Maybe this is the perfected state in you that have here is a part of the curse seriously.

Death is in operation. Death is not the way it was meant to be, but the curse came because of the fallen. Jesus was angry about that now is to put God's glory on display. Despite this tragedy brings me to my final point number four God to be glorified through human suffering and bring good despite the betterment to deal with this more next message in this series but course we all know what happened.

Lazarus was raised from the dead. I don't think that's a big part of the story, but it is a significant part he calls back from the great formula I feel sorry for last. Honestly, if you could interview someone and they haven't said you were going to think it would be good if you came back to earth again but we want to give you a choice that would come at me like trying to get a kid out of Disneyland. That's been there for like 12 minutes time ago. Now I know what you finally never know and come back to this stinking earth not suggesting Lazarus had no choice, as Jesus called to the other side when Jesus calls people answer to everything Jesus did not just say come forth because every body and every grave would've come out simultaneously globally singled out S come for up from the grave he arose wrapped in bandages, but the bad thing for Lazarus. Did it die twice and is not bad enough that I want. He had to die twice. So God was glorified through all of this was in the sometimes God is glorified through the removal of the affliction and you have some problem and you have people pray and it goes away. Praise God for that, or the doctor does a surgery in your cancer free or they take care of that heart issue or whatever it is and we thank God think our Dr. Pam as well, but we realize God is the one ultimately control so that's wonderful.

Then there are times when the surgery does not go as hope. There are times when the illness is not removed. The problem is not taken away. And then God can be glorified to be enduring of the affliction listen to this.

It is through hardship. We will develop hope. You would think the best way to find hope they have a trouble-free life right now the best place to find hope is through the crisis of life, because Romans 53 says we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance which means endurance and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope, hope is good, through hardship, so when a Christian suffers and still glorifies God, and reassures the rest of us that there will never be a belly so deep that God will not get us through it. That also reminds us that death is not the end. Physical death is not the end of existence.

It's just a change in the state of existence.

The tomb is not the entrance to death, but the entrance to lie.

Heaven is the earthly life of the believer glorified and perfected. When a believer dies they go into God's presence. That's the ultimate whole view of that hope. What are you hoping everybody holds and something somebody hope in themselves there like Maria in the sound of music. Remember I got confidence and confidence when you not you have confidence in confidence. Now that's like assisting all I have my open technology really all I'm putting my hope in politicians. I really feel sorry for you. Listen, this is a tried and tested truth I'm saying to you now. Put your hope in God, he will never let you access it's true because the Bible says it through. Let me just say personally. I know it's true because I put it to the test and God gives been there for me and he will be there for you and no matter what you face in life, you will walk with you through it.

The psalmist said yay though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me. You are either hopeful or hopeless.

The Bible says in Proverbs 1028 the hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked are all in vain hope in God, let me ask you enclosing that we are hope is maybe your facing crisis right now. Maybe you've just heard the worst news imaginable. Maybe you're going through troubles in your marriage troubles at work troubles with your family physical troubles health troubles financial troubles. The list goes on.

I'm sure one of those categories applies to you you're just in anguish, or you're in anxiety right now and you wonder what do I do.

Here's what you do you call out to God. And here's a great hope. The Christian matter what happens in life we have the guaranteed assurance that when we die we will go to heaven. It's called when when when when is Christ living inside of you. You know that you go to heaven when you die, if not you want this. Hope you can find it right now will give the closing prayer nominally give you an opportunity to put your faith in Jesus Christ with all our heads. Father I pray for everybody here.

Everybody listening to this message. I asked Lord that you will help them to see how much you love. Help them to realize Jesus died on the cross for them and help them to turn from their sin and come due now and be forgiven in Jesus name I pray, amen, Greg Lord important prayer about coming to the Lord to find forgiveness of sins. And if you like to do that. Pastor Greg will help you in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes that such a privilege to have Pastor Levi Lesko with us today is author of the new children's devotional book roar like a lion, and it comes at a perfect time because of what's going on in the world in a covert caught the world by surprise, just upended everything but it didn't catch God by surprise, Levi. What is your book.

Tell us about trusting the Lord in the unexpected trials of life. Yeah, absolutely Dave, I think this book is hopefully going to help people to train for the trials. They're not yet in every single person every single family is going to suffer some sort of difficulty or loss. It's not a question of if but rather win and the Bible says that if we have a righteous heart. We have an everlasting foundation and when the whirlwinds of this life, we won't be moved but the person who builds their house on sand is can have the trial destroy them.

So we talk a lot in the book about how to get ready for hard things that are going to come and how to respond to them when they do, by fixing our eyes on Jesus and by having faith and we talk specifically in the book there is a whole entry just did to help people kind of view hard things differently and to believe that that good things can come out of hard situations just like the cross, which led to our salvation.

Yeah, there's a little sidebar in this particular chapter.

That's called stuck where he talks about a what happens when you do get stuck, and Lisa did you know have you ever seen a movie or a cartoon where people get stuck in quicksand.

The more they move the deeper they get pulled in. You may thought that only happens on TV but quicksand is real. It's a mixture of sand and water because the water doesn't reach all the way to the top quicksand looks like regular sand but if a person or animal steps ended the begin to sink. If you ever find yourself stuck in quicksand moves slowly spread out your arms and legs and try to float on your back to safety. So not only is this a spiritual book into practical book because I often wondered if I stepped into quicksand. What do I do now.

I know because I've read roar like a lion by Levi Lesko that just so amusing and yet I something like. I think one of the things this is that's fun for me about this book. Greg is is that there has to be something that keeps adults ingested to and finding out that Frank Sinatra paid $60 for his first microphone and before that he used to sing his Contras through a megaphone. When little things like that that will hopefully be interesting to the kids but also keep the adults paying attention as well. That's right so we want to send you this new book by Pastor Levi Lesko called roar like a lion subtitled 90 devotions to a courageous date for your gift of any size they help a new beginning continue on ministering to people literally around the world.

Yeah that's right and it's such an important time for that work. Hearts are hungry. We've been shot several weeks ago at SoCal harvest one person wrote in shape.

Can you believe how many people are here. We came from Los Angeles and frankly we would've driven across the country to be here, we wouldn't have missed this for the world. It's such an important time to reach out with the love of Christ and your investment makes that work possible with your donation right now would like to send you Levi Lesko's new book called roar like a lion. You can donate securely or write to us at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 and we have operators who can speak with you by phone anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 will pressure you put out the importance of asking Jesus to forgive our sins.

A few moments ago. Yes you help those who want to do that very thing.

Right now you know the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ stands at the door of our life and he knocks and if any man will hear his voice and open the door he will come in maybe. As you've heard me speak today while you've heard another voice speaking to you. It's a voice of God and you realize you need Christ in your life you need your sins forgiven you want the assurance that you will go to heaven when you die when here's what you need to do. You need to pray and I would like to lead you in a prayer right now or you will be seeing the Jesus Lord come in the my life. I choose to follow you. So let's pray Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I think you for dying on the cross for my sin.

I turned from that sin.

Now and I put my faith in you be my Lord, my Savior and my God, my friend. I choose to follow you, Jesus. From this moment forward.

Thank you for loving me and calling me and accepting me in Jesus name I pray, amen. Listen if you just pray that prayer I want you to know on the authority of Scripture that Christ himself is coming to your life. The Bible says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

If you just pray that prayer and minute you can know today you have eternal life MEI be the first to say to you, welcome to the family of God and we want to help you grow as a believer. So let us send you our new believers growth bracket will send it free of charge if you prayed with Pastor Greg today. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300. We are here to take your call around-the-clock, seven days a week that's 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or just go online to and click on know God will next time is our best of series continues.

Pastor Greg brings his insights from the great hero of our faith name no one joined us here on a new beginning*Bible teacher, Greg Laurie and I harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to do, harvest partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith

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