Every once in a while, we run into people stuck in unchangeable, unalterable, in-the-meantime circumstances who get to the place where they’re able and willing to receive their circumstances, their afflictions, their illnesses, their losses, and their disabilities as coming from the hand of their heavenly Father. How do these people maintain extraordinary faith despite extraordinarily difficult circumstances? Where do they find the peace that characterizes their lives?

What do we do when our circumstances are so challenging there’s no way forward and no way out? We have problems for which there seem to be no solutions. We have questions without answers. During times like these, we’re tempted to run or give up. We’re tempted to give in to jealousy, resentment, and anger . . . especially anger toward God. That’s because when life gets hard, it feels like God is absent, apathetic, or angry. But what if he isn’t? Is it possible to hang on to joy, hope, and patience in the meantime?

Inconceivable

The Church is remarkable. And against all odds, it changed the world. There is still a great deal that needs changing. By God’s grace and with your help, perhaps we can be a small part of bringing about that change.

Following Jesus’s crucifixion, his followers expected what anyone expects after someone dies—that they would remain that way. But one of Jesus’s followers, John, gave an eyewitness account that summarized the main event surrounding Christianity: Jesus rose from the dead. In this seventh and final sign John documents, he makes the case that Jesus is exactly who he claimed to be.

At different points in our lives, many of us wonder why a good God would allow bad things to happen. And without a clear response, that dilemma could cause us to question God’s existence altogether. The gospel writer John documented an occasion where Jesus not only brought his friend Lazarus back to life, but demonstrated how God can exist in the midst of a world of evil and suffering.

There are many products we buy, use, and put our confidence in without having all the information or fully understanding how they work. In the Gospel of John, we see a man begin to follow Jesus based on limited information. This man, who was born blind, said he only knew one main thing—and that one thing was enough to make him curious about who Jesus really was.

Perhaps one of the most famous signs performed by Jesus is feeding over 5000+ people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Those that followed Jesus thought he was finally getting to the point of what he could do for them. They were more enamored with the signs instead of what the signs were pointing to.

Just outside of Jerusalem, Jesus performed a miracle that changed a man’s life forever. For 38 years, this man was unable to walk. But when Jesus said, “Get up,” the man was healed. However, it’s what Jesus said next that made this miracle a clear sign of who Jesus really was.

In order to demonstrate who he was, Jesus performed a number of miracles—which the apostle John referred to as “signs.” The first of those signs was at a joyous occasion where Jesus turned water into wine. The second sign was in the midst of a heartbreaking circumstance in which a father desperately asks Jesus to heal his dying son.

The first of Jesus' miracles that John documents is when Jesus–with a nudge from his mother—attended a wedding and turned water into wine. It was the first sign of many that gives evidence of who Jesus is.

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