Never Lose Hope

In the message “Stand Firm in The Gap” we were encouraged to continue in prayer and minister to the needs of others; to stand in the gap for those who need protection against enemy attacks. We saw our responsibility to stand for as long as necessary. This requires perseverance and complete trust in God. It can be difficult when we continue to “stand” but God appears slow to respond. We can also become extremely discouraged when we think we understand HOW He should respond.

Lazarus had become sick to the point of death, and his sisters were standing in the gap by ministering to his needs. They even sent word to Jesus in hopes that He would help.

John 11:4-6
“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.”

Jesus did not immediately respond – and during this delay, Lazarus died. Yet this tragedy was for God’s glory. When Jesus finally arrived, He raised Lazarus from the dead and taught an important message: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25).

Lazarus and his sisters would have preferred a healing during the early stage of the sickness – but that was not God’s plan. His plan included much more than the temporary suffering of one family. His plan was to teach many people, through many generations, to this very day and beyond, that He was the sure way to eternal life. His plan was perfect, with perfect timing.

We are all given opportunities to serve by meeting the needs of others. But as we serve, we must NEVER take our eyes off our Heavenly Father. Our “job” is to stand in the gap before Him and minister in the manner which His Spirit directs – it is never our responsibility to “fix” the people or circumstances we have been called to serve. If we will faithfully serve as He directs – working outward while looking upward – we will find that God actually uses our ministry effort to work on many issues in our own life. Most are issues we never even knew we had, issues like trust; “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8).

When our area of service seems out of control – when the need seems to outpace our ability to serve and God seems slow to respond – we must continue to trust Him with all our heart. These times of testing will draw us closer to God as we abandon ALL into His sovereign care. He alone knows His plan, and His plan remains perfect. Let’s continue to trust Him and serve as He directs. Let’s continue with our eyes fixed on God, and never lose hope!

Have a Great Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries