I will never leave you nor forsake you even when your situation seems grim. Look for me in the storm. Am I not the one who calms the waves? I will calm your troubled heart.


Whether it’s an obituary, tax bill, divorce papers, doctor’s report or your child’s report card, we’ve all gotten bad news. Let me tell you, there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with negative reports.

Let’s take a look at the wrong way as Jesus tells the disciples, “I’ve got some bad news for you guys. Lazarus is sleeping.”

The disciples must be in a really bad mood and one of them says, “Well, at least somebody gets to sleep.” Read it! You need to read it! He says, “If he gets to sleep then he does well.” What that means is, “At least somebody around here gets to sleep. Praise God, because we sure don’t.” 

That’s when Jesus quits being nice and just comes right out with it. “No, Lazarus is dead. And you know that God’s going to do something awesome so we’re going to go there.” 

Then Thomas says, “Oh great, let’s all go where Lazarus was because whatever plague killed him is liable to kill us, too. That’s a great idea.” Read it! He says, “Yeah, let’s go there too so we can all die.” Now it’s a party. Read it! So, Jesus is just like, “I’m surrounded by idiots. Lets just go.” 

The disciples just don’t get it. I’m sure Jesus is really excited about what’s going to happen, but they can’t see past their own shock, grief and ruined plans. They are focused on the negative. 

They were not looking for a miracle and they were living night and day with the Miracle Worker Himself! Not one of them was looking for beauty in the midst of ashes, let alone a flat out miracle. As followers of Christ, they were either dense or faithless – a lot like you and me.

Are you focusing on the negative? Did you look for the beauty God promised instead of the ashes life delivered? Have faith. Have hope. Your God is the God of resurrection and life. Look for Him to show up in the midst of the mess.

Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” – John 11:14

From my sermon series EXODUS