Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Things we Don’t Understand


John 11:3  His sisters therefore sent to him, saying: Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. (That is, your friend is sick)

John 11:5  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister Mary and Lazarus. (That is, Jesus wanted what was best for Martha and Mary and Lazarus).


We don’t Understand the Lord’s Love

The Lord was a close friend of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  Surely the Lord would want to heal Lazarus who was sick.  The Lord had healed on many other occasions.  But while the Lord was the friend of Lazarus, he was also One who wanted to show charity to him and his sisters.  He loved this family as dear friends, but he also loved this family in a self-sacrificing way that at this time was going to cause them some short-term pain.  So the Lord delayed his coming to Lazarus until he had died.  Now there was no hope, right?  Is that the way a friend should treat a friend when the Lord had the power to heal?


We don’t Understand the Lord’s Delay’s

One of our problems in interpreting the Bible is that we don’t understand God’s timing and we certainly are impatient with his delays.  In Genesis 32, Moses delayed coming down from the Mount and as a result the people began making and serving idols within a forty day period.  Moses in the mount speaks to us of Christ in heaven.  While the people were waiting for him to come down, they corrupted themselves.  While we are waiting for the Lord to “come down”, are we corrupting ourselves?  Have we made God something that he isn’t by changing his moral and ceremonial commands and saying that we need to be culturally relevant?


In Daniel 9 and 10, Daniel prayed for the restoration of the nation of Israel.  He knew that he was praying in the Lord’s will.  Solomon had been promised that if the Lord’s people sinned and were taken captive into a foreign country,  God would hear and forgive them when they repented and prayed toward the temple.  In Daniel 10, Daniel prayed and fasted for three weeks; however, he had not obtained the answer for which he was looking.  Finally, an angel appears to Daniel and tells him, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words (Daniel 10:12)."  There was a war going on in heaven that had hindered the angel from answering Daniel’s prayer.   We don’t understand how much Satan despises a praying Christian and we don’t understand how much he tries to hinder the answers to our prayers.  However, Daniel’s prayer was heard and Michael the archangel was victorious.  We need to remember that God may be listening and responding when we pray but Satan too is listening and resisting.  But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:57). 


In 2 Peter 3:8-9, we are told why the Lord has delayed His second coming.  He has promised to come and He will come.  But He still has someone that He wants to save.  Maybe that is my reader.  God is not willing that any should perish and because of His mercy, He has not closed the door of opportunity on the unbelievers of this dispensation.  In addition, God’s time is not our time.  God is eternal and a thousand years to the Lord is like one day to us. 


We don’t Understand the Lord’s Plan

We tend to limit the Lord when we pray to Him.  Mary and Martha and then the Jews all seemed to know that the Lord could have kept Lazarus from dying.  They didn’t, however, expect that He could raise Lazarus from the dead. The other times the Lord raised someone from the dead, they had just died.  In this case,  Lazarus had been dead for four days.  That may have been why they thought all hope was lost. The Lord performed a miracle that was greater than what they had expected. 

We don’t Understand How Evil the Heart of the Unbeliever can Be

One of the saddest verses in this story is John 11:48 which quotes the chief priests and Pharisees when they say, "If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation."  Think of it!  EVERYONE WILL BELIEVE ON HIM!  That would have been a great blessing.  However, the rulers were only concerned with their "place."  They were not concerned with the eternal consequences of their evil intent. 



I consider the Lord to be my friend and I know that even when circumstance seem to suggest otherwise, He does want what is best for me.  He wants what is best for you as well.  If you are an unbeliever, He wants you to change your mind and He wants your trust and worship.  If you are a true believer, He will answer your prayers– perhaps in ways that you don’t expect.  We must remember, however, that Satan is a real foe; and he resists anything that will bring the Lord honor and glory.  Not only does He try to cause us to doubt the faithfulness of the Lord’s promises, He tries to get us to doubt the Lord’s goodness.  But we need to remember that the Lord wins, He is faithful, and I am glad that I am on His side. 


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of June 5, 2016

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