Read John 11:1-44.

When tragedy strikes, we often accuse God of being distant, asking, “Where was God?” Nearly 2,000 years ago, one woman confronted Jesus with the same question. 

Martha’s brother Lazarus was fatally ill. She had sent for Jesus, knowing He could easily heal him. But finally, after Lazarus had been dead four days, Jesus arrived. “If you had been here, my brother would not have died,” she said. 

I can’t help but identify with Martha’s pain. Shortly after I surrendered my life to Christ, the Lord took my mother home. My cry was, “Had You come and healed her, she wouldn’t have died!” Like Mary and Martha, when we pray fervently for something, we want Jesus to answer immediately. But sometimes He doesn’t. Does He not care? 

My friend, Jesus didn’t dismiss their pain. Even though He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, He wept in sorrow (v. 35). He lovingly pointed them to their eternal hope, saying “I am the resurrection and the life” (v. 25). And then He showed them the glory of God (vv. 40-44).  

Though there will be times in our lives when we cry out, “Where are You, God?” we can rest in the Truth that God has not forsaken us. We can take heart that, in Jesus, darkness has met its match, death has been defeated, and God is always near. Christ is the only one who rose from the dead, never to die again. And because of His resurrection, there is hope for every situation and eternal life for all who call on His name. 

Prayer: Lord, I know You are always there. You will never forsake me. Whatever my circumstances, my hope is in You. Help me trust in You in every valley. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series Jesus: Know Him and Live: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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