God is… an ever-present help in trouble. — Psalm 46:1
Hey, friends! Welcome to week two of the You Are Never Alone OBS! This week Max shares with us biblical wisdom from John’s gospel about one of the toughest stretches for Jesus followers.
What do we do with the not-yet-answered prayer or the not-answered-in-the-way-I-asked prayer?
Believing is hard when you’re stuck. It’s such a lonely place, the isolation of what feels like God’s desertion.
Stuck stinks, doesn’t it? So often, stuck comes at us out of nowhere and it hangs around way too long. Illness lingers, financial troubles worsen, relationship squabbles get more complicated, delays lengthen, the solution or breakthrough we anticipated stays frustratingly out of reach.
I understand the man sitting at the side of the pool at Bethesda (John 5:1-15) on a spiritual level because waiting for an answer for so long can feel permanent, like we just have to settle for the sadness, the illness, the suffering. Believing in Jesus in the stuck is where the rubber meets the road for the Christian. It’s where the metal of our faith in Him is proven.
Jesus can do anything! He’s infinitely creative in the ways that He works! What’s hardest is when He doesn’t. Yet. Faithfulness in the long walk is the hard beautiful, right? Think of Hannah’s faith in 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11. After such long heartbreak and the intentional evil she endured at the hands of Peninnah, she believed! Hannah received her answer “in the course of time” (1 Samuel 1:20). How much time? I don’t know! But, she believed and set aside her bitter grieving in exchange for believing God favored her and being at peace. Wow! I’m sure it wasn’t any easier for her than it is for us.
God’s plans are better than our plans for ourselves.
When the unwelcome companion, Despair, hitches a ride on our long journey, should Jesus choose to delay the answer to our prayers, stay the course! Like the father in John 4, take the long walk back from Cana to Capernaum without proof. In faith. Trudge each step willfully and faithfully.
The man took Jesus at His word and departed. — John 4:50
Take Jesus at His word. Believe that He is good. Trust that He is able to answer our request. Acknowledge that He will do what is best is His own divine time. ~ Max
The road between supplication and celebration can be a long and wearisome trek. ~ Max
Still, believe! You’re never alone. God is with you. He hears you. He sees you. He holds you. He is moving on your behalf even if you can’t see it yet. Even if it doesn’t look like you expected it to look.
Choose to believe!
Assume something good is going to happen. Set your sights on a new destination and begin moving forward. Stop being stuck! ~ Max
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session one of You Are Never Alone on our study home page and take notes in your study guide on pages 23-31 and then stick around for the conversation with our OBS community!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 33-43.
- Join the conversations about this week’s teaching and get to know our community in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You. Help us to trust You when despair creeps in and joins us on our long journey of waiting in faith for the “not yet”. Give us faith to trust Your promises and move forward in joy. Strengthen us to believe! We love You. Amen.