You know, as I go through the Bible, I am amazed at just how dense some of those people can be. I mean, when you read of what Jesus did, how can you be anything else but filled with awe and confidence in Him? Yet, He had His doubters, didn’t He?

Yes, alright, I’ll admit, that statement was unfair. No, I don’t have more faith in God than they did. In fact, when push comes to shove, I wager most times I have less. Is that the same for you?

And that’s the point, really, isn’t it? Faith seems to come so easily when we are looking upon the situation on hindsight, knowing full well what the outcome is going to be. And faith is even easier when we are not directly involved in the situation. But in those instances, we don’t really need faith, do we? We need faith when we are in our darkest pits. We need faith when all is hopeless. And it is precisely at those times that when Jesus tells us to relax, we miss what He is trying to say completely.

And because of that, we cause ourselves much undue grief. For you see, the more dire the situation is, the more we must remember that

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

So let us take some time and learn from the lessons of those precious people in the Bible, and see why we should never let our doubt limit what Jesus can do for us.

“Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”” John 11:20-22

Martha. Martha was the elder sister of Mary. And when we compare the two, Martha seemed to always be the one in-charge. She always knew what to do and took it upon herself to see to it that things around the house were always well taken care of. She was the responsible one, the mature one, the intelligent and sensible one.

And from this exchange, it would seem that she was also the stalwart of faith in the family. ‘I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You’, she says. So surely she will have not problems expecting a big miracle from Jesus now, would she?

Yet when “Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”” John 11:23

How did she respond?

“Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”” John 11:24

Yeah, we all know that. Tell me something I don’t know. And that’s the point.

The fact is, Martha’s desire was not just for Lazarus to be resurrected on the last day; she wanted him alive now. That’s why she told Jesus that had He been here, Lazarus would not have died. She knew Jesus could heal him; and that’s what she wanted, healing. But you see, that’s the problem, because that’s also all she wanted.

Her imagination was limited to that one thing, healing; and she, despite saying that she knew Jesus could have anything He asked for, was really still limited by the fact that all she thought Jesus could do for her in her situation was heal. She never thought that Jesus could resurrect. It wasn’t in her imagination.

And that is why when

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”” John 11:25-26

“She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”” John 11:27

Jesus, did not ask her who she thought He was; He asked her if she believed that Lazarus was going to live again. It doesn’t take an English teacher to tell that her answer did not match Jesus’ question. And that is what happens when we let our imagination limit what we think Jesus can do for us.

You see, Jesus is able to cut through all the fluff that we fill out hearts and minds with and get down to the core of what we truly desire. He is able to see that what you really want is not the job or the house or the car; what you really want is the sense of stability, the respect and the feeling that you are able to provide, and provide well for your family. And Jesus is able to cut through all that fluff and get right down to what we really want.

For what did Martha really want in this situation? She thought she wanted healing. But what she really wanted was for Lazarus to be alive and well. And Jesus saw through that; and in the end, He gave her exactly what she wanted, did He?

Then remember the man lying by the miracle pool who had been infirmed for thirty-eight years?

“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”” John 5:6

How did He respond?

“The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”” John 5:7

What did he really want, that man by the pool? Did he really want someone to carry him? Of course not. He wanted healing; he wanted to be well again; but his situation had conditioned him into thinking that being carried to the pool was the only way that he could get healing. His imagination was limited. Yet Jesus gave him exactly what he wanted, didn’t He?

But you’re sitting there thinking, what’s the harm in being limited by our imagination? Those people still got what they wanted.

Yes, praise God, they did. But two things happen when we allow our imaginations to limit us.

Firstly, we start to worry. Martha worried; she was upset; she was grieving. And the man by the pool, he was wallowing in self-pity, feeling like the complete invalid that he was; unable to break out of his situation because he gave up thinking of ways to.

And if we are being honest, that is not an unfamiliar feeling for us too. When we are stuck in what we think is a hopeless situation, we too stop thinking of ways to get out and start to wallow in self-pity; and psychologists call that mindset the vicious downward spiral, don’t they?

The second thing that happens is that we start to reject help. When we think that our situations are hopeless, we view all help as condescending, and we start to push people away. How many times have you seen people who are in desperate need of help, respond in a hostile manner to social service workers? It’s not a matter of doubt in their ability. They have become so caught up in their own world that they see nothing else but. Instead, they feel that all who come around are just here to mock them and make fun of them, taking away the only thing which they still have, their self-respect. Now imagine if Martha and that man by the pool rejected Jesus?

So imagine if you rejected Jesus when you are in your darkest pit?

Beloved, if you are in a situation right now, don’t let your imagination limit what you think Jesus can do for you. This is the precise moment when outrageous solutions should flood your mind, for when you hold on to the promises of Jesus, you will soon realize that those outrageous solutions don’t seem so outrageous anymore.

Now, I’m not saying that it will happen exactly as you imagined. What I am saying is that all those outrageous thoughts that you have will go some way in preparing you for Jesus’ solution. Because I am sure that when it comes, He is going to outdo your outrageousness. For you see, Jesus, the word of God, knows your heart’s inner most desires even better than you think you know yourself.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

He is going to cut through all that fluff; pierce through all that limiting imagination and get down to the core of what you really want. Then He is going to deliver it to you at the time when you most need it, and in the manner which leaves you, and all who are looking on, in no doubt that it was Him who was behind it all.

You know, the worst thing that hopelessness can do to a person is make Him reject Jesus. Because when you do, you sometimes create situations that block His delivery. It’s like running off to your friend’s house for a stay-over on the day your dad says he wants to bring you out for Christmas toy shopping. If he grounds you, you’ll be upset. But if he lets you go, you’re going to miss out on the joys of picking out your toys.

So when you are stuck, don’t let your imagination limit what you think Jesus can do. Turn your situation over to Him and prepare to be amazed; for indeed, Jesus is able “…to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20

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