WOW! What a beautiful message and reminder of how God always answers our prayers and we owe everything to Him.
Lois Evans, the founder of Pastors’ Wives Ministry and wife of famed pastor and author Tony Evans, died on Dec. 30, 2019. She is also the mother of Priscilla Shirer, one of my favorite Bible teachers. On Jan. 6, 2020, her family held a celebration of her life and legacy, at which her son Jonathan delivered a sermon eulogizing his mother and expressing how he “wrestled with God” over her death. A clip of this part of his sermon has gone viral. Below is what he said.
The words of Jonathan Evans, son of Tony & Lois Evans at his mother’s celebration of life:
I was wrestling with God because I said, “If we have victory in Your name, didn’t You hear us when we were praying? Didn’t You see the cancer? … Didn’t You hear us? Why didn’t You do what we were asking of You? Because your Word says, ‘If we abide in You and Your Word abides in us we can ask whatever we will and it will be given to us’? Your Word tells us that if we ask according to Your will that You hear us. Your Word is telling us in Mark 11 that ‘if you pray believing you will receive.’ ‘To be anxious for nothing, but through prayer and supplication make your request known.’ Where are You?”
I was wrestling with God the last few days because “this was a great opportunity that we can tangibly see Your glory.”
“Everybody was praying, not only in Dallas, but around the country and around the world. People were watching. Where are You? This was an opportunity to see Your glory.”
And as I was wrestling with God, He answered. And He said,
“Number 1, You don’t understand the nature of My victory because just because I didn’t answer your prayer your way doesn’t mean that I haven’t already answered your prayer anyway. Because victory was already given to your mom. You don’t understand because of the victory that I have given you.
There was always only two answers to your prayers—
Either she was going to be healed or she was going to be healed.
Either she was going to live or she was going to live.
Either she was going to be with family or she was going to be with family.
Either she was going to be well taken care of or she was going to be well taken care of.
Victory belongs to Me because of what I’ve already done for you.
The two answers to your prayer are yes and yes. Because victory belongs to Jesus.”
Then He said to me,
“You need to understand that I am God and I am sovereign. And My game plan is bigger than any one player on the field.
“So you need to trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on you, but lean on Me because I have the ability to make this crooked situation straight. I am the sovereign God. That’s why they say that I am that I am.
“As higher as the heavens are above the earth are My ways from your ways and My thoughts from your thoughts. We don’t think the same. P.S. Don’t tell me how to get my glory.”
And finally He just let me know, ‘I appreciate your prayers and your trust in Me, but the way that you are coming to Me now is a sense of entitlement like I owe you something.
“You can’t tell me what I’m supposed to do. I’m God. You can’t say, ‘Well it should’ve been this way.’
“You can’t tell me, ‘Well as much as she served you, You should’ve done it this way. As much as my dad has done in ministry and as much as we’ve done in ministry and how faithful this family is, it should be this way.’
“Don’t come to me with that entitlement. Because without My victory and what I have done all of You would be on the doorsteps of hell.
“I don’t owe you anything. You owe me everything.
“And I know that it was hard for you to sit there and watch your mom die, but don’t let that belittle the fact of how hard it was for Me to watch my Son die so she could live. So back up off me with your entitlement.
“There were always two answers to your question—yes and yes—because of My grace being sufficient.”
Thank You Lord.
The video of the celebration of Lois Evans’ life and legacy is below, with Jonathan’s eulogy beginning around the 3:40 mark: