A sermon preached at New Hope Lutheran Church, West Melbourne, FL on September 20, 2009 by Pastor Dale Raether He Does All Things WellMark 7:31-37Recently friends in Wisconsin found out that their 18 month old granddaughter has leukemia.  Here’s a picture of her and her dad.  It came on very suddenly.  She had been just fine.  But then she got this unexplained, low grade fever.  One day it would seem a little better; the next day it would be worse again.  They finally took Hailey to a walk-in clinic.  Her blood count was so low that they rushed her by ambulance to a children’s hospital 40 miles away.  They were told she’d have to be there for two weeks, and then come back for treatments every week for two years.  The problem is the dad is laid off, they have no health insurance, and their truck just died.  If you were this young couple, what are you thinking about now?  “Where’s God in all this?  Why isn’t He helping us?  Doesn’t He care?”   Later on I’ll share with you some amazing things God has already done for them.  He DOES care.  In fact what’s the shortest verse in the Bible?  Jesus wept.  That was Jesus’ reaction when His friend, Lazarus, died.  Even though Jesus knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus wept over the sorrow His friends were going through.  So also in our text this morning, when people brought to Him a man, who was deaf and could hardly talk, it says Jesus sighed.  The Greek word is He groaned inwardly.  Jesus was torn up inside over how much this man had suffered over the years in not being able to hear or talk.  My point again is, Jesus cares when we hurt, whether it’s from a broken body or a broken heart.   Well, if Jesus cares so much, why isn’t He doing a better of solving our problems?  Or, why doesn’t He prevent them in the first place?  While we may ask that, our text this morning assures us that someday we too will be saying, “He Has Done All things Well!”  1.  He said about creation, “It was very good.”  2.  Man’s sin corrupted creation.  3.  Jesus will restore creation. At creation there was no sickness or death even among the animals.  That’s hard for us to imagine.  I mean, what about animals like this T-Rex, what would he have eaten if animals never died?  Genesis one tells us.  “Then God said, ‘I give very seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.     And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground, I give very green plant for food.’ And it was so.”  This is all changed when man fell into sin, but it raises an interesting question.  If there was no death and if man had not sinned, wouldn’t the world have gotten overcrowded?  God’s in control.  I suspect that just as the number of angels is set, God had a set number of animals and people in mind, and once that number was reached, no new babies.   But this raises yet another question.  If the world had stayed perfect, and if everywhere was made as perfectly ordered as the Garden of Eden, what would be left to do?  And, wouldn’t we get bored?  We would not, and here’s why!  Just as birds were created to fly, and flowers were created to look beautiful, man was created to give glory to God - freely and with overflowing love.  It’s only when we’re doing that, that we can be truly happy.  Also, for God’s part, He loves pouring out every blessing on us of good food, good health, good friends, freedom and purpose, just as His very good creation showed.   However, why isn’t God doing more of that today?  Why does He allow life to be so hard and even depressing?  It pained God to do this; but right after our first parents sinned, God cursed every living creature with suffering death.  But if all this pains God, and Romans chapter eight tells us that it does, why doesn’t God undo the curse?  He will, but first He had to deal with something that pains Him even more than our suffering.  It’s our sin.   You see, God knows our heart.  He also knows that because of sin, we’re not capable of truly enjoying His blessings.  Instead we abuse them; or we easily become slaves to them and so hurt ourselves or others.  For example, do you think the homeless alcoholic is hurting?  Absolutely, not even alcohol can dull all his physical, mental, and emotional anguish.  And yeah, we could say the guy messed up and it’s his own fault he’s suffering.  Yet when Jesus sees anyone hurting, He hurts!   However, a person’s earthly hurting is nothing compared to the eternal separation from God in hell that he’s destined for, unless something changes.  Now, just the thought of that suffering literally made Jesus cry, which is why He went to the cross, so this wouldn’t have to happen.  Unfortunately a lot of people don’t understand that.  They’ll say, “If God wanted to forgive everyone, why didn’t He just do it?  Why the cross?”   Well, the reason we don’t fully comprehend the seriousness of sin is sin has corrupted our hearts.  However one way God gives us a glimpse of the seriousness of sin is whenever someone suffers.  And I’m not saying the suffering person is somehow worse than others.  Sin lives in all of us.  However the way we can really begin to see the seriousness of sin is by looking to Jesus’ agony on the cross.  Yet even then, we still have trouble grasping the spiritual battle that’s within us.  Nevertheless our spiritual hard of hearing doesn’t change the reality of our sin, now does it change how Jesus feels about us.    Our text reads, “There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.    After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue.    He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!").  At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.”  We don’t know what caused this man to become deaf.  That he could talk a little means he wasn’t born that way, but it maybe happened when he was still quite young.  Anyway what this man and his friends had learned because of his deafness was just what I’ve been saying all along: that sin lives in everyone and that everyone needs a Savior.  What a blessing to learn this!  It’s also a blessing to be turned from thinking that earthly things is all that matters, and suffering does that for us.  People matter!  Godliness with contentment matters!    Now, as God teaches us these lessons, because He’s already paid for our sins, He begins doing for us what we can’t wait to complete.  He begins to undo the curse that He put on creation after the fall.  In our text, He healed that man.  Also, how He healed him showed His compassion for Him.  He took him aside one on one.  He communicated to him with symbolic actions that He was about to heal him and that He was His Savior.  Then after He healed him, He told the man not to talk about this, because Jesus didn’t do this to get fame for Himself.  He did it, because He cared about the man.  However, being deaf wasn’t the only problem this man would ever face.  At some point, he would get old, maybe he’d even go deaf again.  Eventually he would die.  So, why did Jesus bother to heal him, if nothing lasts, if there’s always another shoe that drops?  Again, Jesus healed him in compassion, and to show him that He was His Savior from sin, and that the best was yet to come.   Speaking of the best that’s yet to come, in Revelation 21 we read, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.    He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."  He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" – Revelation 21:3-5.”    The new creation is going to be like this present creation would have been, if man had not fallen into sin, and if as soon as it was filled, God could have transformed our bodies to be like Jesus’ glorified, resurrected body.  However the day is coming, when He will do that; and we can’t wait!    So, what have we learned from God’s Word this morning?  Whether we’re young or old, sin causes all our hurts.  But also Jesus hurts when we hurt, and He’s done something about it.  He paid for our sins.  And, He IS doing something about it.  He’s helping us through our hurts a day at a time in order to bless us spiritually.  And finally He will do something about it – He will make all things new. Now, we know that Jesus paid for our sins, because that’s in the Bible.  And by faith we know we’re going to live in heaven some day.  It’s the present that’s so hard to deal with.  And when we can’t take one more thing going wrong, how can we be sure He’s going to work all this into blessings?  Well, here’s the latest on little Hailey.  Remember when I said the dad was laid off?  That turned out to be kind of good thing.  Because their family income is so low, the State of Wisconsin is paying for the whole thing, otherwise they’d be in debt for rest of their lives.  Or, remember when I said Hailey would have to stay in the hospital for two weeks and that their truck had died?  Pastors in the area are looking for a truck for them and they received 100s of dollars on visa cards to help pay for their food and gas.  The dad asked our friend, “Why are people doing this for us?”  Our friend responded, “Because our church is family.”  Then she said he looked up to heaven and admitted, “I wouldn’t have done that.”   God doesn’t help us because we deserve it.  He helps us because He loves us.  But I suspect next time another family is hurting, this young man will help.  May we do the same!  Rather than count our problems, let’s admit God is just, when He tells us that we are sinners and when He urges us to turn from all sin.  And then let’s count the amazing ways God is at work to rescue our earthly life and our souls.  And finally let’s help others as we have been helped.  Especially let’s tell everyone, “He has done all things well!”  Amen.

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