The following Scriptural Nugget is the second in a mini-series based on John 11. “When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.'” (John 11:4-5) Jesus, in Galilee, has just been informed that one of His very best friends, Lazarus, is deathly ill. This, in and of itself, was a horrible thing, for the death of someone we are close to is always hard to bear, and Jesus was, indeed, close to Lazarus (John 11:5-6: “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.”) But what made it doubly hard was the fact that Lazarus was the sole provider for his two sisters. If he were to die, Mary and Martha would be left with nothing, no income, no social security, no survivor’s pensions, no life insurance. Nothing! Jesus wouldn’t have wanted this for His best friends, either! With this in mind, Jesus’ response when He hears the news of Lazarus’ illness is rather interesting: “. . . it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it”! Something as horrible to Lazarus, Mary, and Martha as Lazarus’ death, and all Jesus says is, “It is for God’s glory that God’s Son may be glorified”! And to make matters even more interesting, this isn’t the only time Jesus says something of this nature (see verses 15 and 40-42)! Here they are, in the midst of the most horrible time in the lives of these two sisters, and Jesus’ response is to say that he thanks God for this trouble, then He proceeds to stay where He was for two more days (John 11:6)! Of course, we’ve all read John 11:44, so we know that Jesus was planning on performing a miracle that far out-did any miracle He has performed up to that time: Raising Lazarus from the dead! But poor Mary and Martha didn’t have John 11:44. Neither did His disciples, or any of Lazarus’ friends! They were all living in John 11: 1-43 — the part where Lazarus got sick and died! Try to imagine what they must have felt like, not knowing John 11:44! For all appearances, Jesus had abandoned His dear friend. Jesus, who could have stopped the death, didn’t even seem to care! Haven’t you ever been in the same boat as Mary and Martha? Living in the middle of John 11:1-43–the circumstance–and all the while not knowing John 11:44–the final outcome? Haven’t you ever been tempted to feel let down by Jesus? Abandoned? Like perhaps He doesn’t care for you anymore? After all, He has the power to remove your bad circumstances, doesn’t He? If He really cared He would just do it! My friends, Jesus never abandons His children! He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:6,8, Josh 1:5), and He has promised to be with us, even unto the end of the world (Matt. 28:20)! And God keeps all of His promises. But if this is true, why hasn’t He healed you? Why hasn’t He gotten you out of this financial bind? Why hasn’t He healed your relationship with your spouse? Why? Because you haven’t quite reached John 11:44 in your circumstance, my friend! Whatever the reason for God’s delay, it will ultimately be, just as in Lazarus’ day, “for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it”! It will be “so that you may believe.” (John 11:15) God is preparing a miracle tailor-made for your circumstances and situation, and when the timing is right so that “God’s Son may be glorified through it” and “so that you may believe”, your “Lazarus” will “rise from the dead”! Your problems will be solved! Father God, help me remember to always look beyond my circumstances, ever praising you in advance for the miracle you are about to perform, never doubting that as surely as you raised Lazarus from the dead, my problems will be solved!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets ( www.scripturalnuggets.org ), Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org
(To access the entire “Lazarus is Dead!” mini-series, please click here.)