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God Do You Really Care? Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
January 6, 2022 7:00 am

God Do You Really Care? Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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January 6, 2022 7:00 am

It's easy to see the hand of God in our life when things are sailing along nicely. But Dr. Tony Evans will point out that when we’re trapped by seemingly hopeless problems or pain, even sincere Christians begin to wonder if God really cares.

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You had this plan for your life. You thought things were going to fall into place.

Now, not only have they not fallen into place, it's died. Dr. Tony Evans says when your prospects in life don't seem to have a pulse, it's not because God doesn't care. If God lets something die, it's so that you can see what only God can do, because only God can raise the dead. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of The Urban Alternative. When we're feeling hopeless and out of options, it can start to seem like God has forgotten all about us. But today, Dr. Evans takes a look at what's really going on and how we can get a clearer look at what the Lord is up to.

Let's join him. When a coach, a head coach on an NFL team, perceives that the referee has made a misstep. He's called a wrong play, awarding a key play to the opposition, whether a pass or a touchdown or yardage gained. He throws out a red flag signaling that the referee needs to look at this again. Obviously, you have made a mistake. There are times in our lives when we want to throw a red flag out on God because it looks like he ain't called that one right.

Look, he didn't miss something here because if he really knew what was going on, he wouldn't have called that play. If he really knew how this was going to affect me, he wouldn't allow that to happen. If he really knew the pain I was going to have to go through in dealing with this, that's not the God I know.

God, somehow, you've missed it. In John chapter 11, two sisters throw a red flag out on God. They both say the same thing using the same language, which means they had a discussion in a family meeting and they agreed. Martha verse 21 said to Jesus, Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died. Then verse 32, Mary came where Jesus was, saw him, fell on his feet, saying to him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Now, what they're suggesting is, Jesus, this is your fault because if you would have been here, we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't be dealing with death, sickness, the loss of a loved one, the emotional pain that we're going through. So the only reason we're having to go through this mess is you were here when you were supposed to be.

Because if you hadn't been here, we wouldn't be here. The question on the floor regarding whether God really cares is, what good is a God who's not there when you need him most? Fundamentally, these two sisters were saying, Jesus, you let us down.

What was the basis of their complaint? Why were they complaining about this let down by the Savior? And come on, it's okay to be for real. You are given permission to not sugarcoat your faith and act like it's all good all the time.

Because that's a lie. And lying is a sin. The story behind this, and you can read the whole chapter later on, but the story behind this is that Lazarus is sick. Martha and Mary, in the first five verses of John 11, send word to Jesus that our brother is sick and we need your help.

So the first thing you need to know is they started with the right thing. They took their problem to Jesus. I mean, isn't that what you learned in church?

Tell him, tell him all about your troubles. What a friend we have in Jesus. I mean, you told us to take our burdens to Jesus, so we took our problem to you.

Not only did we take our problem to you, but we have a special relationship. They came to Jesus and said, the one who you love is sick. So we're not talking about somebody who's been shucking and jiving on you. We're not talking about somebody who's not in the church. We're not talking about somebody who doesn't care about spiritual things. We're not talking about somebody who has no relationship with you.

We're talking about somebody who you love. But not only do you love him, you love us, verse five. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Jesus, you love the whole family. So you got three good reasons to help us.

You love all three of us. And in the words of Sister Sledge, we are family. But not only did we do the right thing and come and tell you about our problem, which you told us to do, pray to, you know, you gave us hope. I mean, we told you about our problem and you sent back a word of hope. Because you said in verse four, this sickness is not to end in death but for the glory of God so the son of God may be glorified.

We heard the word from you having told you about our trouble and you gave us shouting music. Because you sent back word, it's going to be all right. It's all covered.

It's all good. It's not as bad as it seems. God is going to be glorified by the miracle. We got our hopes up on you. You let us to believe that it was all good and it was all going to be all right. The problem occurs because Lazarus dies. After doing the right thing, after being in a loving relationship with God, and after getting hope from his word, things not only stay bad, they get worse. Because when we started this pilgrimage, Lazarus is sick. Now Lazarus is dead. So I go to Jesus with my problem, with my pain, with my anguish, with my hurt, get a little hope only to watch stuff get worse. Anybody ever been here? Where things get worse since you've been to Jesus.

Where you go to Jesus to win and you find out you're losing. I wonder if there's anybody here who's experienced a death, a death of your dreams, of your hopes, of your relationships. Stuff started off sick and now it's just dead. You had this plan for your life. You had this dream. You thought things were going to fall into place. And now, not only have they not fallen into place, it's died. Lazarus is dead. But on top of that, it gets even worse. Because Jesus has the audacity to say, after things have gone from bad to worse, he has the audacity to declare.

Verse 14, So Jesus then said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead and I'm glad for your sakes I was not dead. Oh no, you didn't do that. It's bad enough for you not to be there. It's worse for you to tell me you're happy you weren't. I called you. I needed you. I wanted you.

You love us. We're in pain. And you're glad you were not here when it got worse.

It's even worse than that. Because verse 18 says, Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off. You were close enough to get here, but you were nowhere to be found. The personalities of these two sisters comes up in verse 20. Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, he coming all right, late. Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet him, but Mary stayed at the house. Martha heard Jesus was coming.

She said, let me go to him because I have some questions. Mary said, well, you go by yourself because I ain't talking to him. I mean, these are the different approaches that people take to pain when they're disappointed with God.

Some come to church to get answers, some stay home. Says Mary stayed home even though she knew Jesus was coming. She's in too much pain, too much anguish, too much hurt to face him. Her God had disappointed her. You're disappointed with life. You're disappointed with failure. You're disappointed with circumstances. You're disappointed with singlehood. You're disappointed with marriage. You're disappointed with Korea. You're disappointed with how your children have wound up. You are simply disappointed.

And God would have just been here. I prayed. I called on him. I went to church. I did what I thought I was supposed to do.

And if he would have just been here, I wouldn't be here. What happens when we finally do what God wants us to? We'll find out in a moment when Dr. Evans continues this message from his brand-new compilation, Coming to the Comforter.

These 20 lessons cover why God allows painful circumstances to come our way, how He cares for us as we're going through them, how He uses them to build our strength and devotion, and what we can do to approach Him for His help and healing. It includes bonus material we won't have time to present on the air. And if you contact us right away, it's yours with our thanks when you make a contribution in support of the ministry of the alternative. And right now, we'll also include a special bonus, a copy of Tony's brand-new book, Hope for the Hurting. In it, he shows that no matter how negative the realities of life get, we don't need to let them define how things are going to work out for us, because there's help and hope even in the midst of our hurt. To request your copy of this special resource bundle, visit us today at TonyEvans.org or call us at 1-800-800-3222. And if you're looking to go even deeper into the subject or want to present this material to your small group, check out obtaining the companion Hope for the Hurting Bible Study DVD and study guide. Again, this is a limited-time offer, so visit us right away at TonyEvans.org or call 1-800-800-3222 any time of the day or night as your team members assist with your resource request.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Dr. Evans will come back with more of our message right after this. Alaska is a land where ancient glaciers drop house-sized chunks of ice into the sea, where grizzlies fish for spawning salmon, where the lush green canopy of trees is offset by distant snowy mountains, and where the word majestic is hardly enough to describe what you see. Nowhere else in North America is the scenery so spectacular and God's creative wonder so vivid. Come journey here with Tony Evans on an unforgettable urban alternative Alaskan cruise. You'll discover powerful scriptural truths from Dr. Evans and other gifted instructors. Experience meaningful times of worship and enjoy inspirational musical performances from talented musicians. There's plenty of time for rest and relaxation, luxurious accommodations, and incredible meals, all while surrounded by the breathtaking creation that is Alaska. To find out more about the urban alternative Alaskan cruise, visit TonyEvans.org today.

That's TonyEvans.org. Martha wants to go deep. She wants to go deep. She is the theological mind and the family. After she says, Lord, if you would have been here, she throws out a theological statement that has staggering implications.

You'll hear a few of them in the next few moments. Even now, verse 22, I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you. Now, it's easy to read over that statement, but if you do, you've missed the finger. Now, I am in a hopeless situation. I mean, we're talking death here. It doesn't get more hopeless than when something dies. However, even though there is no hope for my situation, Martha says to Jesus, I know something that whatever you ask your daddy, he will do. Jesus says to her, your brother will rise again in verse 23. Your brother's gonna live again. Martha said to him, I understand that one day he will rise again.

I know that that is true on the last day. And Jesus throws a zinger. He says, I am the resurrection and the life. You who believes in me will live even if he dies.

Now, why is that a zinger? Because he says, until and unless, watch this now, you turn your theology about me into an experience with me, it'll remain doctrine on a paper and not a reality in your existence. She had the right theology. On the last day, he will rise again. She spoke futuristically, but Jesus says, I am. When she asserted what was true about God and true about Christ, your father never turns you down, then Jesus gave her more specific information about her personal situation.

Your brother will rise again. See, somebody is still not with me here. When she believed doctrinal truth, then Jesus then narrowed it down to her specific scenario, your brother. He personalized his communication with her. In other words, if you're not believing his general revelation, he's not gonna give you specific application. But because she affirmed general revelation, he gave her a specific application. Then when she wanted clarification on the application that came from the revelation, Jesus Christ gave her himself.

I am. You see, the great problem is you can come to church and get revelation without leaving church and having personal application because you're not believing the revelation. You just heard it, but you don't affirm it.

So he asked her, do you believe this? Do you believe that I am? Having a medical book is nice. Having a doctor is better. Now, the doctor is gonna be functioning based on the medical book, but having a medical book doesn't give you everything you need.

You need it to be personified in a person. Having a law book is nice. Having a lawyer is better.

Because even if you don't know all the law books, the lawyer is the expert having something personalized to your situation. So he allows truth about him to lead her into an intimate experience of him. Now, what's my point? God lets things die in your life and mine. He lets things get sick and even get worse. He will let things die for the express purpose of letting you witness a resurrection.

If God lets something die, it's so that you could see what only God can do, because only God can raise the dead. Stick with me, because we're still in the introduction. He says, do you believe this?

He says, yes, Lord, verse 27, I believe. Now, we're in a very emotional setting here. There's a lot of crying going on. Mary particularly is weeping, and the people with her are weeping. In verse 31, the Jews are seeking to console her.

She's weeping, she's crying. We've already seen verse 32, Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died. Jesus says, where have you laid him?

They said to him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Shortest verse in the Bible. The shortest verse in the Bible is Jesus feeling Mary and Martha's pain.

The Bible says we do not have a high priest who is not touched with our pain. The beautiful thing about Jesus is that Jesus knows how you feel, because he was a man. He knows what it is to lose loved ones. He knows what it is to be rejected. He knows what it is for birds to have nests and foxes to have holes, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. He knows what it is to be hungry.

He knows what it is to be thirsty. He knows how you feel. And he sees your tears and cries with you.

But wait a minute now, watch this. What Jesus does that we don't do when he's crying is he never allows his tears to interfere with God's plan. He'll cry with you, but he'll never let the emotional moments of life dictate the plan. She's crying, he's crying, the Jews are crying, because we've got a dead situation, and isn't that what death does? It brings tears. You know when a person's in pain because they can't hold back the tears, and Jesus will cry with you.

He feels it. Hebrews 4 says, But what he will not do is allow tears to interfere with the plan of God. Dr. Tony Evans talking today about how God can bring life out of our dead situations. If the resurrection you've been waiting for has been a long time coming, let me suggest you get in touch with us and ask about getting a copy of today's message to review again.

God, do you really care? Copies are available on CD or digital download. Or contact us for details on that special resource offer I mentioned earlier, the 20-message teaching compilation, Coming to the Comforter, along with Tony's brand-new book, Hope for the Hurting. Remember, you can also request the companion Bible study DVD and study guide to get even more out of the book. To get the details and make the arrangements, just visit tonyevans.org, make a contribution to the ministry, and let us say thank you by sending these powerful resources your way. Again, that's tonyevans.org. Or by phone anytime 24-7 at 1-800-800-3222. Well done is better than well said. Tomorrow, Dr. Evans will take a look at why we sometimes miss out on what God wants to do in our lives when we spend too much time thinking and discussing and not enough time doing. I hope you'll join us for that. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-01 11:28:28 / 2023-07-01 11:36:18 / 8

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