Matthew 11:1 – When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Having finished his instructions to his followers, Jesus sent them to teach in Judea, while he continues to preach in Galilee. It’s comforting to know that Jesus does not sit in idle luxury while sending us out to do his work.  Instead, he invites us to partner with him.  We have the opportunity to share in his toil, trials and tribulations, but also his glory when he finally assumes Lordship over all things. 

Matthew 11:2-3 – Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

We are going to look at John’s imprisonment very soon (Matthew chapter 14), but since it is mentioned here, let’s briefly review what has happened so far.  Herod the tetrarch had decided to ‘take’ or marry his brother Philip’s wife.  John spoke out against this situation, basically telling Herod it was a sin.  Because of this, Herod had John arrested and put in prison.  His original intent was to kill him, but he feared the masses of people, who respected John as a prophet.  So at the time of Matthew 11, John the Baptist is languishing in prison.

John the Baptist was imprisoned for calling out the sin of Herod

Now, we know from earlier scriptures that John the Baptist recognized Jesus as being the Messiah. 

John 1:29 –The next day he [John] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

In light of that, how do we explain John’s actions?  Why would he, from his prison cell, send his followers to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah?

One opinion is that John is looking for confirmation of Messiah’s physical kingdom coming to earth.  Part of the Jews understanding of the coming of the Messiah was that the Messiah would set up a literal kingdom on earth.  At the same time, their enemies would be defeated and they would be vindicated for their belief in the true God. 

While these are true beliefs/expectations, the Jews of Jesus day did not understand that the coming of the Messiah and his literal reign on earth would be separated by hundreds and hundreds of years.  To be fair, we would not have understood that either.  Prophesy is always easy to understand once it has become history!  Anyway, some people speculate that John was asking if the Romans were soon to be overthrown.

Another possibility is that John was trying to transition his disciples into disciples of Christ.  Remember John’s miraculous birth?  The angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and prophesied that John would be a great prophet, turning the Jewish people back to God.  Eventually, John began to preach that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand.  He called the people to repentance, and baptized whole crowds of Jews.  His ministry was huge!

We can easily see how he would have many devoted disciples, who would be hesitant to leave him, even when he told them to follow Christ.  Obviously, this is going to be a problem.  John will soon be dead, and if these followers do not accept Jesus as Messiah, they are in great danger of falling from the faith and rejecting salvation.  So, by sending his followers to Jesus, John was making a last-ditch effort to satisfy them that Jesus was the Messiah.  He hopes they will now switch their allegiance to Jesus. 

In a way, this incident speaks to modern day Christians.  We must place our trust in Christ (our bridegroom), not a particular minister or evangelist (friends of the bridegroom).  Men may die or fail, and if we have placed more trust in them than in God, we will be in danger of falling away from the faith.  It is okay to be fed by a ministry, but make sure you are firmly rooted and grounded in Christ.

In a way, this incident speaks to modern day Christians.  We must place our trust in Christ (our bridegroom), not a particular minister or evangelist (friends of the bridegroom).  Men may die or fail, and if we have placed more trust in them than in God, we will be in danger of falling away from the faith.  It is okay to be fed by a ministry, but make sure you are firmly rooted and grounded in Christ.

Do you ever wonder why Jesus seems to give an indirect answer to this question?  Why didn’t he just say “Yes, I am the Messiah”, and leave it at that?  Why point to the works he was accomplishing?

Remember, we are looking at the situation from a different perspective.  In our minds, there can be no question that Jesus was the Messiah.  However, the Jews were not so sure, especially at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  Back in that day, other men had already come forward claiming to be the Christ.

Acts 5:35-37  – And [Gamaliel] said unto them, You men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do concerning these men.  For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and came to nothing. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

These verses show that there had been several antichrists who tried to get the Jewish people to follow after them before Jesus came into ministry.

So at this point, there was no way that a simple verbal claim would convince the Jews. They needed proof before they would accept that Jesus was the ‘one who was to come’.   His must be able to fulfill all of the messianic prophesies of the covenant (Old Testament). 

Did he?  What did the evidence show?

Isaiah 35:5-6 – Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

Isaiah 61:1 – The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…

Here we have two very well-known messianic prophesies from the book of Isaiah.  There are many more throughout the old covenant.  It’s easy to see that the miracles of Jesus were a fulfillment of these prophesies.

So, by answering the question of John’s disciples in this manner, Jesus gives them (and everyone else!) clear, unambiguous proof that he is the Christ.  The scope and magnitude of Jesus’ miracles was a much better witness than just a verbal ‘yes’ would have been. 

It is interesting to consider that the physical miracles of Jesus were symbolic of what he would do in the spiritual realm after his resurrection.

  • The Blind: Sinners are spiritually blind.  Before Christ, our understanding is so darkened by sin that we cannot know truth or comprehend the ways of salvation.  
  • The Lame:  Sinners are unable to walk in the paths of righteousness.  We will always turn to the right or the left seeking the wide road of sin, unless we walk with Christ.
  • The Lepers:  Spiritually speaking, fallen man is like a leper.  His soul is defiled with sin, which results in death.  Just as man had no cure for leprosy, he has no cure for sin apart from Christ.
  • The Deaf:  Sinners are deaf to the voice of God, the truth of his word and our own consciences.  Only when we are his sheep can we hear his voice.  
  • The Dead:  Man is dead in trespasses and sin. Nothing but the blood of Jesus can reunite us with God, who is the source of all life.

Matthew 11:6 – “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

The word ‘offended’ means stumbling block.  This verse could be correctly translated ‘Happy is he to whom I shall not prove a stumbling block’. 

The Jews should have been able to look objectively at the Old Testament scriptures and see that Jesus fulfilled them, hence, he was the Messiah.  But as we know, not all of them came to that conclusion.  Why not?

The answer is that the Jews were not just judging by the facts.  They were also judging by their own opinions and traditions. 

Since the Messiah would be a king, the Jews felt he would be rich and powerful, just like other earthly kings.  When Jesus came he was neither rich nor influential; this caused the Jews to question his claim to be the Christ.

Likewise, since Jesus was despised and humiliated on the cross, he could not be the glorious triumphant Messiah he claimed to be.

The Jews believed that the Messiah would immediately set up his kingdom on earth.  Because Jesus did not form an army and overthrow the Romans, the Jews questioned his claim to be the Messiah.

Do you think that people today consider Jesus a stumbling block?  I think in many ways, they still do.

For example, people will claim that if God was real and loving, he would not allow poverty or child abuse or other bad things to happen.  These people are no different than the Pharisees – because God does not fit their opinion of what he should do or how he should govern the universe, they reject him. 

Here’s the part that can be really tough to swallow:  Even Christians can stumble and be offended at Jesus.  What if you prayed and asked God for something, but you didn’t get the answer you were expecting? 

Maybe you were asking him to heal your mom or dad from cancer, but it did not happen.  Maybe you asked him for material wealth, but you remained poor.  Maybe you asked him to give you relief from a bad situation, but you’re still in it.  I know it’s tough, but don’t be offended!  Stay in faith, believing that God has all things working together for your good, even if you cannot see it right now. Jesus says that you are blessed if you can do so!

Matthew 11:7 – As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see?  A reed shaken by the wind?”

As John the Baptist’s disciples leave, Jesus now turns his attention to the Jewish crowds before him, who were probably listening to their conversation. 

Using John the Baptist as a starting point, Jesus is going to point out to the Jews that they have some serious flaws in their reasoning. 

The Jews cannot deny that they absolutely loved John the Baptist!  They flocked out to the wilderness in droves to hear him preach and to be baptized.  They considered him a true prophet of God.  Since this is the case, we would expect the people to believe the testimony of John, right?

Wrong – they don’t!  Despite the fact that John was very clear and emphatic that Jesus was the Messiah, the Jews still rejected Jesus as the Christ.  Although John never wavered from his witness, the Jews still did not believe.

John 1:6-7 – There was a man sent from God whose name was John.  He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.

Hence, Jesus asks the crowd if they considered John a “reed shaken in the wind” or a man who was of an unsteady mind, declaring something to be true today and not true tomorrow. 

The obvious point is that the Jews can’t have it both ways – if they believe that John was sent by God, they must also believe that Jesus is the Messiah, because that was John’s testimony.  If they reject Jesus as the Messiah, they must also reject John’s ministry.  

Matthew 11:8 – “What then did you go out to see?  A man dressed in soft clothing?  Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in king’s houses.”

Jesus now inquires why else they might have gone out to see John.  Did they go all the way out in the wilderness to see his fashionable, expensive clothing?  Obviously not, because those kinds of luxuries were only worn by kings and rich people. 

John was the opposite of a king– he lived a life of asceticism.  His clothing was made of camel hair with a leather girdle/belt.  His food was locusts and wild honey.

So…if the Jews did not go out to the wilderness to see John because of his fancy ways, why did they go out to see him?  Isn’t it true that they went to hear the message that God had given John?  If that was the case, then why are they rejecting the message God gave them concerning the Christ?  The Jews have no excuse for rejecting Jesus!

Matthew 11:9-10 – “What then did you go out to see?  A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’”

Jesus next asks if they went out to the wilderness to see a prophet.  The answer is yes; that is exactly what they went looking for, and they were not disappointed. 

But this particular prophet was a bit different from the rest.  He is the one spoken of in Malachi 3:1.  Prior prophets had the task of educating the Jews regarding the Messiah. John was the only prophet to actually see the Messiah and point him out!  He was the one who had the privilege of announcing Jesus to the world as “The Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sins of the World”.  What an honor!

Matthew 11:11 – Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist.  Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Jesus tells us that John was the greatest prophet.  This was because he knew and understood more about the Messiah than all the prophets who came before him.  But despite that, he was spiritually ignorant compared to any member of the kingdom of heaven. 

In these verses, the kingdom of heaven refers to the era of grace, which began with the death and resurrection of Christ.  This is the dispensation we currently live in.  Grace allows people to be completely and totally forgiven of sin, due to the shed blood of Christ.  Grace allows us unprecedented free access to the throne room of God.  In this dispensation the Holy Spirit literally indwells each believer.

In every way, the age of grace is far superior to the old covenant.  Thus, even the lowliest Christian is spiritually superior to John, the greatest prophet of the old covenant.  

Matthew 11:12 – From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

The original language gives us a picture of an army taking a city by storm, or a crowd bursting into a house.

People who realized they were sinners through the preaching of John the Baptist were filled with zeal and fervency.  This includes the tax collectors, harlots, heathen and all other sinners – people the Scribes and Pharisees think have no right to the kingdom!  Awakened by the Holy Spirit, these sinners storm into the kingdom of heaven eagerly seizing the mercy of God and accepting salvation.

It seems as though staying in the kingdom also requires some force/violence.  We must crucify our flesh, run our race, fight the good fight, renew our minds and take up our cross and follow Christ.  Clearly, salvation is not for the faint of heart!  Our task is made possible through Christ, who strengthens us to do all things as well as the indwelling Holy Spirit who leads, assists and protects us, until our course is finished and we enter his eternal rest.   

Matthew 11:13-15 – For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The expression “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” is a phrase that Jesus frequently uses.  It is a proverbial expression implying that the highest attention should be given to what was spoken.   We can be sure that Jesus is relaying a very significant truth here.

The phrase “if you are willing to accept it” is also significant.  It means that Jesus was telling the Jews something that was different from their common expectation.  It was something they never would have considered, and because it seemed so outlandish and contrary to their beliefs, they would be prone to rejecting it.

Pop Quiz:  What might the Jews find so hard to believe?

Answer:  The fact that John the Baptist was the ‘Elijah’ who was to come. 

Please reward yourself if you answered correctly!. 

The difficulty centers on a prophesy from Malachi:

Malachi 4:5 – Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 

If you heard this verse being prophesied, would you think it should be interpreted in a literal physical way, or in a spiritual way? 

The Jews felt that it should be interpreted as being a literal event.  They were literally looking for the ancient prophet Elijah to make a physical reappearance in Israel for the purpose of proclaiming the coming of the Messiah.  

But Jesus was trying to tell them that this should be taken in a spiritual sense.  The purpose of the prophet was to call attention to the coming of the Messiah and the new dispensation that he would usher in.  John the Baptist did these exact things as he preached repentance and baptized people in the wilderness, getting them ready to accept the new covenant. 

Therefore, John the Baptist was the Elijah spoken of in the book of Malachi. 

Matthew 11:16-17 – “But to what shall I compare this generation?  It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

Using an analogy, Jesus now reproves the unbelieving Jews for their actions.  He likens them to children playing a game in a public place.  When the flute was played, it signified a happy, fun time, like a festival or a wedding.  It would be natural for children to join in the fun by dancing, laughing, etc. 

In this case, since no one joined in with the happy singing, the musician switched over to playing a sad, mournful dirge, thinking that this would please the nonparticipants, and they would join in. 

But they did not.  Apparently, there was no way to please them; nothing that was done incited them to join in.

Matthew 11:18-19 – For John came neither eating or drinking and they say, ‘He has a demon.’  The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him!  A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’  Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.

Here we have the true meaning of the analogy.  John the Baptist was a Nazarene from birth.  This mean that he did not cut his hair, he did not drink wine, he abstained from certain foods and touching dead bodies.  As we have already mentioned, he lived an ascetic lifestyle – living alone, eating locusts and wearing camel’s hair clothes. 

He is the “mournful dirge’ of the analogy.  He ‘sang’ a message of repentance, but many of the Jews refused to join in.  They rejected his message. 

Then Jesus came.  He is the ‘happy flute’ of the analogy.  He came in a different manner.  He did not practice austerity, nor was he under a Nazarite vow.  He ate and drank the ordinary foods that everyone else ate.  He wore clothes similar to those around him.  He attended both weddings and festivals, yet the Jews rejected him as well! 

The Jews were like sullen children who could not be made happy, no matter what was offered to them.  Regardless of how the gospel was presented to them, they rejected it.

They have hardened their hearts against God just as surely as Pharaoh did.

Romans 2:4-5 – do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Had they broken a moral law, they would have a remedy – the gospel would have provided forgiveness with repentance. 

But what they have done is to sin against grace itself by rejecting it.  This is the most shameful, ungrateful thing they could possibly do.  They have chosen spiritual blindness, deafness and lameness, which will result in spiritual death.

Matthew 11:20 – Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.

What Jesus had just said in general regarding the current generation, he now applies to particular cities.  The main charge against them is the refusal to repent/rejection of the gospel message.

Matthew 11:21 – Woe to you, Chorazin!  Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Chorazin and Bethsaida were cities situated on the Sea of Galilee.  Both were rich and prosperous places.  Bethsaida had recently been advanced to a city by Philip the tetrarch.  Three of the apostles (Philip, Andrew and Peter) were from this area.

Tyre and Sidon were very old, very prosperous cities that were located on the Mediterranean Sea.  They were famous for trade, navigation, corrupt morals and debauchery.  The Jews long considered them as abominable and despicable despisers of God. 

But Jesus, who knows the hearts of all men, declares that if he had preached and worked miracles in Tyre and Sidon, they would have accepted the message and repented with expressions of deep sorrow (sackcloth and ashes).   Sadly, heathen cities would have gladly accepted the salvation rejected by Jesus’ own native land.

This shocking pronouncement should have been like a slap in the face to the unbelieving Jews.  It should have caused them to stop in their tracks and take a second look at their rejection of the gospel, but sadly, it did not. It seems to have further hardened their hearts!

Matthew 11:22 – But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.

The bible is very plain that ‘to whom much is given, much will be required’.  Since the Jewish cities/people had heard the gospel message, seen the miracles of Jesus and been given a chance to repent, they will suffer greater judgment than the cities/people who did not have access to the same grace. 

Matthew 11:23-24 – And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven?  You will be brought down to Hades.  For if the mighty works done in you had been done is Sodom, it would have remained until this day.  But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.

In this verse the word ‘Hades’ does not mean that all the people of Capernaum were going to hell.  Likewise, the use of the ‘heaven’ does not mean that all the people will go to heaven.

This verse says much the same thing as the one before it.  Capernaum was another materially prosperous city, but one which was also graced with the miracles, the preaching and the presence of Jesus the Messiah.  Because it rejected the gospel, it would be cast down to a state of desolation and destruction.

As we all know, Sodom was destroyed because of its great wickedness. 

Jesus tells us that if he had preached and done his miracles there, the people would have repented and the city would not have been destroyed. 

Most of us have read the account of Sodom’s judgment, when it was destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven.  Although the Day of Judgment for Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum is not covered in the biblical account, history tells us that all three were destroyed by the Romans.

Matthew 11:25-26 – At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

The use of the title ‘Lord of Heaven and Earth’ acknowledges God the Father’s absolute power to have done as he pleased.

Question:  Who are the wise and understanding? 

Answer:  This refers to the Scribes and Pharisees, who were the keepers of the law.  Even though they knew more about the law then ordinary citizens, they rejected the gospel message.  Instead, they decided they could save themselves by clinging onto the law and their own traditions.

Question:  In what way was the gospel hidden?

Answer:  It could not be understood and accepted through mere external revelation or teaching.  The Holy Spirit had to reveal it to the hearer’s heart, so that they could believe and embrace it.

Question:  Who are the ‘little children’?

Answer:  Ordinary people who were not extensively schooled in the law; people who were open to accepting the gospel. Eventually, this would include Gentiles.

Matthew 11:27 – All things have been handed over to me by my Father and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

God the Father has commissioned Jesus to mediate a new covenant between God and man.  His commission includes all power and authority on heaven and earth to make this happen.

Matthew 28:18 – And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

It includes power over all flesh.

John 17:2 – As you have given him [Jesus] power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him.

Because of this, Jesus alone has the right to execute judgment.

John 5:22, 27 – For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son… and has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 

So, God put literally everything into Jesus hands for the purpose of bringing us back to him.  Jesus brokered a deal between God and man, then paid the ultimate price – his own blood – to seal the covenant.  In light of that, how confident should we be in giving Jesus total control of our lives?  Why do we worry about the simple, mundane things of this life?  

In the book of Ephesians, Paul goes on to tell us that not only is Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, but he is the head of the church.  Since all power and authority have been given to him, we can be sure that the church will not fail.  Don’t be fooled by what you see in the world today; Jesus has already gained victory over Satan and he will assure our victory too.  In light of that, why not trust him to do what he is both willing and able to do in our lives?   

Is our tendency to worry and fret a sign of our unbelief?  I think it is. At least some of that unbelief can be cured by devoting more time to meditating and understanding the power and authority of Jesus.

He goes on to say that ‘no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son’.  This is a clear claim of equality with the Father.  Despite what the Pharisees believed, the divinity of Jesus is unquestionable.

This truth also teaches us that no man or angel or any other being can clearly and completely comprehend our infinite God; only Jesus can do that.  I am very glad to be serving a God who is so much bigger than anything I could imagine or think! 

Likewise, only the Father can fully comprehend the mystery of the divine and human natures of Jesus.  Thankfully, we don’t need to fully understand the Trinity in order to embrace and love him!  

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

These verses can be understood to mean that the old covenant was a heavy burden, made even worse by the traditions of the elders and Pharisees.   By coming to Jesus, the Jews could remove these heavy burdens and instead take on the restful yoke of salvation.

In a wider sense, it refers to sin in general.  All of us are under the crushing guilt and burden of sin.  We could never remove the yoke ourselves.  But Jesus, the one who mediated the covenant, is standing near offering us rest, if only we will accept the terms of the covenant he offers. 

Notice that Jesus does not offer us freedom from all yokes; he requires to replace our former yoke with his.

When we accept his offer/yoke of salvation, we need to embrace all that this requires.  We need to submit to his ruler ship.  We are to renew our minds, mature in our personal holiness, love others and fellowship with him.  Jesus was obedient to his Father, we need to be obedient to Jesus.

In the original Greek, the word for ‘easy’ actually means ‘easy or gracious’.  The yoke of Christ does not drag us down, hurt us or fill us with despair.  It is pleasant, refreshing, and fulfilling.  It is immersed in love and it always results in blessing for us.  

Let me offer you a little encouragement: Keep your eyes on Christ, not on people.  We certainly look to the shepherds that Christ has put in our midst to lead and guide us.  We certainly look to other Christians for support.  We can certainly be inspired by large, public ministries that operate on God’s behalf.  But we should never have blind trust in anyone except God.  Men and women will stumble and fall.  If we are too heavily invested in a person or a ministry instead of God, we will stumble when they fail.  Let’s remember the example of John and his disciples.  Let’s keep our eyes on Christ.

 Let me offer you a little relief:  Have you accepted the yoke of Jesus (salvation) but you still want to carry around the burdens of your life?  Are you still worried about the coronavirus or the stock market or rumors of wars in the earth?  Are you still worried about your job or your retirement account? 

If so, then you need to go back and remind yourself whose yoke you are under.  Jesus is the grand architect of salvation.  He is the one who mediated the agreement.  He is the one who sealed that deal with his own blood.  God has given him all power and all authority to do this job.  Jesus is also the head of the church and he will use all his power and authority to make us victorious.  If you can’t trust Jesus with your day-to-day problems, then who can you trust?  Give yourself some relief – cast your cares upon him, for he cares for you!

Let me give you some strength:  Jesus says we are blessed if we are not offended by him.  You and I have a very, very limited perspective of our own lives and the lives of those we love.  God, however, sees the entire picture of your life.  He knows how each situation not only impacts you, but interacts and causes changes in the lives of others.  We need to strengthen our faith and trust that God is using everything in our lives to bring about his highest and best will for us.  If we believe this is the case, we can have strength when things don’t go the way we planned.  

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