“This will not lead to death but to God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified in it.”
That’s about all I need to say today. But I’ll offer just a little more. We get so caught up in trials. We allow the hard parts of our lives to define us. We allow our view of God to be shaped and changed because of the trials we go through. What we don’t realize is that we go through trials for reasons.
Some of them we go through because we made bad decisions and we have something we need to learn to do or not to do. Sometimes the only way to learn is the hard way.
Other times we go through trials because of bad decisions others have made, and because of our connection to them, we have to go through their trial. We go through their trial with them so we can help them through it, help them learn from it and bring them to a place of submission with God in it.
Then there are trials that seem to come at us from no where. It wasn’t anything we did or didn’t do, it wasn’t anything someone around us did or didn’t do, they just come at us. These are the ones, the particular ones that God seems to use for his glory. Sometimes people get sick, sometimes people die. But God wants to do something that only He can do and only He can take the credit for – so he allows some stuff to happen to us.
We can get confused and think that God doesn’t love us because we’re going through a hard time, in fact, quite the opposite is true. Jesus loved Lazarus and his family very much. And he allowed Lazarus to die. But he had a reason – to bring glory to himself – to do something only He could do and only He could take the credit for.
The Death of Lazarus
11 Now a certain man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2 (Now it was Mary who anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and wiped his feet dry with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, look, the one you love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not lead to death, but to God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 (Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.)
6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he remained in the place where he was for two more days. 7 Then after this, he said to his disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples replied, “Rabbi, the Jewish leaders were just now trying to stone you to death! Are you going there again?” 9 Jesus replied, “Are there not twelve hours in a day? If anyone walks around in the daytime, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks around at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
11 After he said this, he added, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. But I am going there to awaken him.” 12 Then the disciples replied, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 (Now Jesus had been talking about his death, but they thought he had been talking about real sleep.)
14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and I am glad for your sake that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas (called Didymus) said to his fellow disciples, “Let us go too, so that we may die with him.”
Speaking with Martha and Mary
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days already. 18 (Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 so many of the Jewish people of the region had come to Martha and Mary to console them over the loss of their brother.) 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will grant you.”
23 Jesus replied, “Your brother will come back to life again.” 24 Martha said, “I know that he will come back to life again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, 26 and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who comes into the world.”
28 And when she had said this, Martha went and called her sister Mary, saying privately, “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.” 29 So when Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 (Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still in the place where Martha had come out to meet him.) 31 Then the people who were with Mary in the house consoling her saw her get up quickly and go out. They followed her, because they thought she was going to the tomb to weep there.
32 Now when Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the people who had come with her weeping, he was intensely moved in spirit and greatly distressed. 34 He asked, “Where have you laid him?” They replied, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 Thus the people who had come to mourn said, “Look how much he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “This is the man who caused the blind man to see! Couldn’t he have done something to keep Lazarus from dying?”
Lazarus Raised from the Dead
38 Jesus, intensely moved again, came to the tomb. (Now it was a cave, and a stone was placed across it.) 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, replied, “Lord, by this time the body will have a bad smell, because he has been buried four days.” 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you that you have listened to me. 42 I knew that you always listen to me, but I said this for the sake of the crowd standing around here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he shouted in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The one who had died came out, his feet and hands tied up with strips of cloth, and a cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”
Ask God to show you what He might be trying to teach you through this or your most recent trial. Ask God to show up in a big way, then make sure to give Him all the credit and all the glory for what He does!