Unshakable Trust In The Lord Jesus While You’re Shaking…

tsunami (7-23-17)

“‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus,

‘if you had been here,

my brother would not have died.

But I know that

even now

God will give you

whatever you ask'” (John 11:21-22).

What a statement. Wow.

In the middle of her deep grief
over the very recent death of her brother Lazarus,
Martha said, “But I know that even now...”

She didn’t say, as many of us would today,
“But I feel, but I hope, but I wish, but maybe that even someday…”

Martha, by the unearnable grace of God, KNEW…

In the middle of her grief,
as Martha was being shaken–
‘even now’!–
her trust in the Lord Jesus Christ remained unshakable…

She didn’t say, “When things go well,
I know that God will give you whatever you ask of Him.”

She said, “I know that even now…”

Even now.

Two powerful words.

Utter confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ,
determined, rock-solid faith in

  • His eternal identity as God the Son,
  • His matchless power,
  • His firm control over everything,
  • His inseparable one-ness with God the Father,
  • His sovereignty (in charge-ness) even over death itself,

not just before & after grief,
but in the pit-like middle of it,
not just on the mountain top,
but in the valley as well,
not just on the climb up,
but also on the tumble-down,
not just while peacefully gazing at beautiful vistas,
but also while avalanches attempt to sweep us (& our peace!) off the mountainside,
not just on the steady advance,
but also while bivouacked (“stuck”) in the same place for what seems like eternity.

This kind of faith in Christ Jesus is impossible
for us to muster up on our own,
for us to produce in ourselves (or others!)
through sheer willpower
(or through positive-thinking).

But this kind of faith in Christ Jesus is not impossible
for Him to produce in us
by His undeserved grace & unstoppable Truth (Matthew 19:25-26).

Indeed, it is why even the apostles
boldly, succinctly, humbly & vulnerably cried out to Him,

“Lord, increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5)

Not “increase our money,”
not “increase our fame,”
not “increase our safety,”
not “increase our comfort,”
not “increase our happiness”
not “increase our [fill in the blank]”…

“Increase our faith” in You…
…the one thing that matters more than anything else,
the essential ingredient to pleasing God (Hebrews 11:6),
the essential ingredient to salvation & eternal life & peace with God (Romans 3:9-31):

Faith in the Unshakable Rock: The Lord Jesus Christ.

Not faith in faith,
not faith in “the power of faith.”
Many believe in faith in general,
(but not in The General),
though they do not have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ only in particular,
faith in Him as their One Savior & One King.

Faith in general, apart from Christ Jesus,
is a handless glove;
unable to do anything but sit on the table & look nice.

But faith in Christ Jesus,
Him the nail-scarred Hand
in [us] the glove
giving life not only to our once-dead faith
but also to our once-dead in sins US (Colossians 3:13-14),
faith in Christ Jesus started, continued & finished by Him alone,
that is the faith that changes eternity…

…and that is the faith that dear Martha had
(& still has even now!) in this passage above.

Only He can make something out of nothing;
indeed, that is one of His specialties;
He did it to the universe once,
He does it around the world daily in the lives of sinners!

Only He can bring the increase/make it grow,
though we have our part to play in
planting, watering, cultivating, etc. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)

Faith in Christ Jesus that says

“I know that even now…
You promise to work all things for the good
of those who love You,
who are called according to Your purpose (Romans 8:28).
even though I don’t understand HOW this is true (Isaiah 55:7-9),
I trust & believe THAT it is true (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Even now…”

“I know that even now…
You promise to be with me always,
to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:16-20),
even though I can’t feel You
the way I used to
& even though You feel so far away (John 20:29).
Even now…”

“I know that even now…
You promise to finish the good work you began in me (Philippians 1:4-6),
even though I am weary from falling into the same pits
and exhausted by my sin
and worn out by spiritual attacks
and am scared that I will always be painfully under construction.
Even now…”

“I know that even now…
You promise that you are the
Author & Perfector (Finisher, Pioneer & Perfecter)
of my faith (Hebrews 12:1-3)–
You began it by Your grace
when it was entirely non-existent (Ephesians 2:1-10)
and You will finish it by Your grace (Jude 1:24, 1 Corinthians 1:7-9)
through the circumstances that menacingly threaten
to obliterate it back to its previous non-existence.
Even now…”

“I know that even now…
You alone are worthy of my praise & worship & faith & devotion,
even though You have chosen by Your wisdom
to take away someone/something dear to me or
to not give someone/something dear to me,
and even though I don’t understand
and my knees have completely buckled
under the weight of my grief & questions,
even now,
by Your grace,
like Job,
I know & choose both to worship You and say,
“The LORD gives and the LORD takes away,
may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:20-22).

So how can we get such a faith in the Lord Jesus?

Cry out to Him for it
(Romans 10:12-13; 1 Peter 2:4-6).

Do not try to earn it,
do not try to deserve it,
do not look yourself in the mirror &
fix your hair &
put on your best outfit &
give Him your most winning smile.

Simply cry out to Him for faith in Him.

Ask Him to help you agree with Him
that you are utterly dependent on Him,
that in yourself you have no “raw materials” for Him to mold/shape/work with;
come to Him with not even the lint of empty pockets,
come to Him agreeing that you are empty & sinful & in need of Him alone
to make you new, forgive you, adopt you, fill you & transform you…

Come to Him!

Come to Him “even now”…

…and experience “ever after” that lasts forever…

Look at what happens after Martha says “even now”:

John 11:23-27:

“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’

24 Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’

25 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.
The one who believes in me will live,
even though they die;

26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.
Do you believe this?’

27 ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied,
‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God,
who is to come into the world.’”

2 Corinthians 6:1-2:

“As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.

For he says,
‘In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.’[a]

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”

2 Corinthians 4:6-18:

“6 For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’[a]
made his light shine in our hearts
to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory
displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

We are hard pressed on every side,
but not crushed;
but not in despair;

but not abandoned;
struck down,
but not destroyed.

10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake,
so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b]
Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith,
we also believe and therefore speak,

14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead
will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.

15 All this is for your benefit,
so that the grace that is reaching more and more people
may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

17 For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us
an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.”

All of these Bible verses are True,
even now…