I’m not going to say there is a purpose to everything. That just seems so cliché and cold to say to the one who has lost a loved one or to the one whose marriage is falling apart or is living in the wilderness wondering if she will ever get out of there.
I don’t know the purpose to why bad things happen or God’s timing on things. What I do know is God can take everything we experience…every hurt, every painful thing, every dry time…and make something good from it. Every. Single. Thing.
Here’s the question: Can we thank him before we understand the purpose because, let’s face it, some stuff we will never understand this side of heaven. Can we thank him before we see the good that he makes from something bad?
Hard questions to consider for sure. But boy when we come to the place of being thankful in all things, it sure changes our perspective, our attitudes and our worship.
Sunday November 12 Read John 11:1-43
Monday November 13 Read John 11:1-16
Have you ever sent word to Jesus, letting him know (praying) about a situation?
Has his response ever seemed like he stayed where he was two more days? (A “delayed” response to your request.)
How did/does this make you feel? About the situation? Towards Jesus?
Tuesday November 14 Read John 11:17-37
What was Mary and Martha’s reaction to Jesus when he “finally” showed up?
What was Jesus’ reaction to each of them?
Is it okay to be completely honest with how we’re feeling, sharing our disappointment, anger and grief with God (or even towards God)?
What “I AM” name does Jesus use here?
Wednesday November 15 Read John 11:38-43
What does Jesus thank God for in verse 41?
For whose benefit and for what reason does he do this?
God hears our prayers. God answers our prayers. Sometimes his answers seem delayed but maybe it’s so everyone knows Who it was that was working in the midst of your request. Just something for us to consider.
Thursday November 16 Genesis 1:1-31
Switching gears a little today. We saw in John 11:25 that Jesus is the resurrection and life, bringing the dead back to life. God is All-Powerful. His word can create something from nothing.
Spend some time today paying special attention to what happens every time you read And God said…
Consider this: Maybe you have something that seems hopeless and you feel helpless. A relationship that is dead. A job. A marriage. Etc. If God spoke into existence all that he did out of nothing, he can surely speak life and hope into your situation…that something that you lay at his feet.
Thank him today that he hears you and that he can speak life into whatever you are facing.
Friday November 17 Read Ezekiel 37:1-14
Who does the setting in and leading around the Valley of Dry Bones?
All of us experience dry times spiritually. Often times it’s of our doing but sometimes the Lord actually leads into that valley. Verses 13-14 gives us a clue as to why.
We cannot know the beauty of the mountaintop if we’ve never experienced the depth of a valley. A valley is something meant to be gone through not lived in.
Listen for the Breath of Life to breathe into you.
Saturday November 18 Read Proverbs 18:21
Our words have the power of life and death.
How do you use your words towards others?
How do you speak to yourself? Your family? Your friends?
This week has been one of thanking the Lord before we understand the purpose of the thing we’re going through. Can you thank him in the I don’t know why? Will you thank him in the I don’t understand the purpose? Can you thank him while in the valley of dry bones? Will you use your words to bring life to others and yourself?
I know it’s hard to be thankful in all things, in all situations, with all our words. But if we practice thankfulness before knowing the purpose, we will get better at it!
Fiercely for you!