Ministry Resources

NT Fire Starters – Day 143: John 11: 1-16

READ: John 11:1-16

THINK: Are you a patient person? If not, you’re probably well aware of the fact that God’s timing seldom fits our preferred schedules. Yet, if you try to get ahead of God–or if you give up too soon and aren’t ready to respond at all–you could forfeit a valuable lesson and miss what God has in store for you. Remember, God’s most extraordinary works will never happen the way you expect. They’ll go far beyond your plans, expectations and imagination.

RESPOND: Why is an apparent tragedy or terminal illness not a hopeless situation for a person who knows Jesus? (See 11:4 note.) In what ways can Jesus be honored through tragic situations? Why do people who are deeply devoted to God still suffer deeply at times? (See 11:5 note.) Why did Jesus not leave for Bethany as soon as He received the message about Lazarus? (See 11:25-26 note.) What do you tend to do in situations when it seems that God is silent or unresponsive? Why? What do you think God expects of you and wants you to do in times like this? What do you think He might be trying to teach you?

PRAY: Thank Jesus for His love and friendship. Thank Him for doing things in His time–the right time–and ask Him to help you trust Him, regardless of the circumstances. Pray for someone who has recently faced a tragedy. Ask God to do something through this situation to honor himself and bring people closer to Him.

ACT: Are you currently facing a situation in which you feel that God is silent or unresponsive. Perhaps you’re becoming impatient with God’s timing. Exercise your faith and demonstrate dependence on God by entrusting the situation to Him once again. But this time, don’t simply pray for an answer. Instead, ask God to do things in His time and way. Ask Him to honor himself and to help you grow closer to Him as you wait for His answer. Then consider what God might be preparing to do in this situation. Also, check up on the person you just prayed for who has faced a tragedy. Be sensitive not to open emotional wounds, but simply see how they’re doing and let them know that you are thinking and praying for them.

What's Next

We would love to answer any question you have or help suggest next steps on your journey.