Sermon Series: Terrific Tension

Title: The Tension of Pain versus Praise 

The Story of Wounded Worshippers 

John 11 NLT

20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house.

25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[e] Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.

26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”

28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.”

29 So Mary immediately went to him.

40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”

*1 The Tension of Worshipping While Wounded

20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house.

The pain of grief.

The pain of suffering.

The pain of brokenness.

Martha carried pain.

Martha stood emotionally wounded.

Yet the moment she heard Jesus was near, she ran.

The moment she received notice of his presence, she left the other mourners and ran towards him.

Why?

Martha knew that the presence of Jesus changes everything!

Martha had hard questions that only Jesus could answer.

Her dear brother died.

The one that could have healed him did not show up on time.

Yet instead of going on social media or texting her disappointment;

Instead of engaging in the deconstruction of her faith, she ran towards his presence.

She was wounded, but she ran.

She was in pain, but she ran.

And when she encountered Jesus, she not only shared her pain, she gave him praise.

She not only vented, she worshiped.

“If you would have been there…because I know who you are! You are the Messiah. You are the Son of God.”

In other words, even though I am hurting, I know who you are!

Even though I am broken, I know who you are.

Even though I am shattered, I know who you are.

And who you are is worthy of all praise!

Wait a moment!

Martha never said I thought you were the Messiah.

I used to believe you were the Son of God until you let my brother die.

She did not speak in the past tense.

She spoke present.

I know who you are!

You are the Messiah! You are the son of God!

That’s it right there!

Who will change the world?

Christ followers, born-again believers.

Disciples of the risen Christ who know who he is even in the midst of their pain.

Those who are certain of HIS identity even in the midst of their suffering.

This world will be changed by the manifest sons and daughters of God….not those who think, hope, aspire, or wish but those that know that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of the living God!

I dare you to open up your mouth regardless or in spite of what you’re going through and shout “Jesus, I know who you are!”

You are my savior.

You are my deliverer.

You are my healer.

You are my rock.

You are my redeemer.

You are my going in and you are my going out.

You are my purpose.

You are my passion you are my promise.

In the words of the apostle Paul in Colossians chapter 3 verse 11; Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

Fascinating!

She came to vent and she ended up worshiping.

She came to talk about her problem and she ended up praising him.

It is easy to worship when all is well.

It is easy to praise when everything is awesome.

Yet there exists a special remnant just like Martha that know that the God is worthy of worship even when we are wounded, that God is worthy of praise even in our pain.

Job said it this way;  “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” Job 1:21

Habakkuk said,

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! Habakkuk 3:17,18


Is there anyone here who knows what it is to give glory with tears rolling down your cheeks? Etc..

Here’s the word;
Worship God in The Valley and on the mountain top.
Praise Jesus in the desert and in the promise land.
Rejoice in God’s promises through the process and in the outcome.

Martha did not stay in the house.

Martha did not stay in the atmosphere of mourning.

She left her surroundings!

There are  people like Martha that go through brokenness but don’t stay in brokenness.

They go through hell but hell does not go through them.

There are some modern day people with Martha’s  faith declaring my wounds will never stop my worship.

My wounds are temporary but my worship is permanent.

My pain is for a season but my praise is forever.

Hence the tension lies in the query of whether or not you will worship him with your wounds and praise him even in the midst of your pain.

This story it’s not just about the resurrection of Lazarus, this story is likewise about wounded worshipers.

And this is what Jesus said about his worshipers;

For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

When you worship in Spirit and truth you worship even when you are wounded.

When you worship in Spirit and truth you worship even when you are in pain.

When you worship in Spirit and truth you worship even in when Jericho’s walls stand in your way.

When you worship in Spirit and truth you worship even when you are surrounded by all the enemies of your purpose.

When you worship in spirit and in truth you worship in front of the giant that mocks you.

When you worship in spirit and in truth you worship in the midst of a fiery furnace.

When you worship in spirit and in truth you worship inside the jail house right after you’ve been beaten.

Because God who you are is greater than what I’m going through.

Who you are it’s greater than my pain.

Who you are is greater than my worship.

Are there any Martha type worship person the house here today?

Somebody praise him like your pain can’t stop you praise him like your wounds will not define you praise him like the storm will not be your final chapter.
All that have breath….

*2 The Tension of Belief in The Midst of Brokenness

25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.

26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”

I think therefore I am.

I pray therefore I am.

I worship therefore I am.

I believe therefore I am.

We are what we believe.

Martha was broken but she still believed!

Jesus repeat it on multiple occasions if you believe.  You are what you believe. You are what you believe. You are what you believe. You are what you believe.

If you want to live out your God ordained purpose,

If you want to for fill your assignment on this planet,

If you want to live in abundant life,

Then you must believe.

It’s not about what you feel it’s about what you believe.

It’s not about what you hope for it’s about what you believe.

It’s not about theory it’s about belief.

It’s not a hypothesis it’s about belief.

It’s not a supposition it’s about belief.

It’s not theoretical it’s about belief.

We must believe even in the midst of brokenness.

We must believe even in the face of a broken world. Bombs descending upon Ukraine but we still believe. Discord and strife in America but we still believe. Inflation rates are high but we still believe.

Global pandemics but we still believe.

More than ever we must believe.

40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”

What do we believe?
We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
We believe Jesus is the only Way, the truth and the life.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Church*,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
There’s an amendment to what we believe;
A bill of rights, Derivative tangential itemized list that cannot and will not be denied.
We believe that if we believe in the Lord Jesus our houses/homes will be saved.
We believe that our children and our children’s children will walk upon the ruins of what we bring down in this generation.
We believe that all of God’s promises are yes and amen.
We believe that the latter glory will be greater than the former glory.
We believe Jesus still saves.
We believe that Jesus still delivers.
We believe that Jesus is still healing.
And we believe that Jesus is coming back again.
We believe that all of God’s promises are yes and amen in Christ our Lord!
Are there any believers in the house?

*3 The Tension of Rescuing Others From Perpetual Grief

28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.”

29 So Mary immediately went to him.

Martha ran and told her sister.

Martha ran back home and rescued her sister from perpetual grief.

Because healed people heal people.

Because restored people restore people.

Because redeemed people want everyone else to be redeemed.

Because people that legitimately encounter the presence of God want everyone they know to experience the presence of God!

People that legitimately encounter God can’t help but to invite others to encounter him!

You cannot tell me you encountered God and then keep it to yourself.

One of the greatest proofs that you had a legitimate encounter with Jesus is that you cannot keep it to yourself.

There is no such thing as private Christianity.

There is no such thing as private Christianity.

If your Christianity is private it is not Christianity it is a form of religion.

Christianity prompts you,?provokes you to go back home and tell everyone in your home that Jesus is there.

An authentic encounter with Christ prompts you to tell others about him!

Stop trying to hide your faith.

Stop trying to hide your relationship with Jesus.

If it’s real it’s public.

If it’s real you share it.

If it’s real you can keep it to yourself.

Why did Martha go and engage Mary?

Because….

The presence of Jesus changes everything.

The presence of Jesus changes everything.

Martha found comfort in the presence of Jesus prompting her to go get her sister.

In this church we explore the word of God, embrace the grace of God, encounter the presence of God, and express the love of God.

We must create an atmosphere where people encounter the living God and that encounter will mark them for the rest of their lives.

Here’s the word of the Lord, create an atmosphere in your home,,in your life where others encounter the living God and he will take care of the rest.

An encounter with the presence of Jesus changes everything.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: Romans 1:16

Samuel Rodriguez

New Season-Lead Pastor
NHCLC President/CEO
Author “Persevere With Power; What Heaven Starts, Hell Cannot Stop!”
Exec. Producer “Breakthrough” and “Flamin Hot” Movies