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If there is no pain there is no gain in life. (Benjamin Franklin)

“Trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus. Hold it at a proper distance and it can be examined and properly classified. Throw it at your feet and it can be seen in its true setting, just one more bump on the pathway to life” (Celia Luce ). Jesus’ dear friend, Lazarus, became sick. Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, notified Christ immediately, but He didn’t respond to their appeal until after Lazarus died. How disappointed they were. Everyone thought the Lord had waited too long and now it would be impossible for him to intervene into these circumstances—but Jesus knew exactly what he was going to do. He had a plan. What was true then is also true today. God’s higher purpose often exceeds our need for immediate deliverance from adversity. Many times we find ourselves, like Martha and Mary, bearing the pain of a trial while God is working behind the scenes preparing a miracle for us. We easily become impatient wanting Jesus to submit to our plan for Him; instead of you and me submitting to His plan for us.

Usually we respond to trouble by asking God to deliver us from the predicament immediately. We give very little regard for that which Christ seeks to do through the circumstances that occur in our lives. Paul diligently sought the Lord, seeking deliverance from a problem. The Lord spoke to Paul saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” We would do well to remind ourselves of the words of Barsanuphius, “Whatever good is to be attained, struggle is necessary. Do not fear temptations, but rejoice in them, for they lead to achievement. God helps and protects us.”

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Although Christ did not heal everyone—He did heal everyone who came to Him for healing. Christ has your answer. Trust Jesus, even when things don’t happen as you think they should; refuse to quit or give up. The Lord is seldom early, but He is never late. “Let us remember that out of a hundred impatient actions, scarcely one is in the will of God. The Lord knows the impetuosity of our nature; and He never performs anything hurriedly; so consequently, He will rarely entrust His power to the impatient” (Watchman Nee).

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