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Lazarus' Storm (John 11)

The Storms of Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Today the story is about Lazarus’ sickness, death, and resurrection.
There are three truths that seem to follow the storms of life. The stress of the uncontrollable circumstances of life, the sorrow of the disappointments of life, and the total dependance on the Savior of our life.

The Stress of the Storm ()

John 11:1–16 NIV84
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.” After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
John 11:1-
Stress comes from the uncontrollable storms of life - a boat driven by the waves and wind, a doctors report that is bad, a prodigal son or daughter, a marriage that is sick and dying, a career or business that going in the wrong direction.
Sickness can be one of the most stressful days of a persons life. We feel so helpless in sickness. Notice in the story Mary and Martha and I’m sure Lazarus was stressed out. The disciples were stressed out, but Jesus was not.
Today we allow our focus to be on our storm rather than the presence of Christ with us in the storm. This results in hopelessness and stress.
Gerald L. Borchert, , vol. 25A, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 353.
Stress comes from uncontrollable situations in life that was never meant for you to control. Today we must give Jesus the uncontrollable.
Give your uncontrollable to the controllable… Jesus.
Uses your stress to cry out to God … He loves you!

The Sorrow of the Storm ()

Don’t blame God (“What if “Game)
John 11:21 NIV84
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
john 11:
John 11:32 NIV84
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
John 11:37 NIV84
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
John 11:
John 11:35–37 NIV84
Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
John11:
The Storms of life are the times to trust Jesus not walk away from Jesus. Listen… In your deepest darkest storm you will see and hear God most clearly. Do not let the storm pass you by and miss what God is saying to you.
Listen… In your deepest darkest storm
Martha, “If you had been here.
Mary, “If you had been here”.
Jews, “He who open the eyes of the blind, could have kept this man from dying”.
The Storms of life are not a time for blaming Jesus but believing in Jesus
John 11:25–26 NIV84
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:
Martha past faith
John 11:21 NIV84
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
John
Martha future faith
John 11:23–24 NIV84
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
John 11:
John 11:24 NIV84
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
What is missing is a present faith!
John 11:
Jesus was looking for present faith not past faith.
Mary and Martha were claiming faith of the past and the future when they need to confess a faith in the present.
Your faith of the past will not carry you through the storms of today. Have faith in God today!
Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely. He sees and knows all the way you have trod; Never alone are the least of His children; Have faith in God, have faith in God.
Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered, Your earnest plea He will never forget; Wait on the lord, trust His word and be patient, Have faith in God. He'll answer yet.
Have faith in God in your pain and your sorrow, His heart is touched with your grief and despair; Cast all your cares and your burdens upon Him, And leave them there, oh, leave them there.
Have faith in God though all else fall about you; Have faith in God, He provides for His own: He cannot fail though all kingdoms shall perish. He rules. He reigns upon His throne.
Refrain:
Have faith in God, He's on His throne, Have faith in God, He watches over His own; He cannot fail, He must prevail, Have faith in God, Have faith in God.

The Savior of the Storm ()

John 11:38–44 NIV84
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
The New American Commentary: John 1–11 (3) The Encounter with Martha (11:17–27)

But we must all be warned that verbal confessions and life commitments are not always partners with each other.

The Stone
The Stone was represents the normal, the traditional, the expected, the familiar. That is way Martha protested… Her words of faith and her actions of faith were conflicting with each other.
It is one thing to say the right things, and it is another to do the right things.
Behind that stone was death, odor, embarrassment, and hopelessness.
John 11:41–44 NIV84
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
John 11:41–44 NIV84
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
John 11:41-
JOhn 11:41-
Behind that stone was the Glory of God, the Power of God, the Authority of God.
WE ARE LIKE LAZARUS!
We all were sick sinners facing death. The Bible says were were dead in our trespass and sin. All our sin, guilt, and shame was tucked away in some dead, dark, dungeon. One day Jesus show up at my graveyard and said, “Take the stone away”! “Take off the grave clothes and let him go”!
And on that day, Shelly walked out of that dungeon of darkness and walked into life everlasting.
John 11:25 NIV84
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
I was dead like Lazarus and Jesus gave me life, but this old body is not eternal and this body will die one glorious day. (you know Lazarus died a second time too.) But when I die I will be with Jesus … I am looking forward to my eternal body, my eternal home, my eternal family.
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