John 11:14-15 (The Voice)
14 Then Jesus spoke plainly.
Jesus: Lazarus is dead, 15 and I am grateful for your sakes that I was not there when he died. Now you will see and believe. Gather yourselves, and let’s go to him.
Picture poor Lazarus. He’s sick, very sick, even sick unto death. Yet he is a close friend of Jesus Christ. Surely Jesus will come; surely Jesus will speak the word that will bring an end to the severe sickness and restore the bloom of health and vibrancy. Surely he will…
But alas, this does not happen. Matter of fact, Jesus stayed away on purpose. To compound the confusion, Jesus was glad Lazarus died.
Put that in your proverbial pipe and smoke it.
OK, let’s do the math…
First, we know from experience and the writings of Holy Scripture that Jesus is the epitome of goodness, kindness, and mercy. (That must color everything about this account.)
Next we note that Jesus is “glad for your sake.”
In other words, Jesus found no delight in Lazarus’ suffering and death. Matter of fact, he wept publically at the graveside (John 11:35). But he was glad that he was going to be able to use Lazarus’ situation to teach all of his disciples (including you and me) that he has power over the worst of our enemies—death. He was going to be able to demonstrate to the world that He is truly the Resurrection and the Life.
So what’s the one thing for today?
- The ONE THING: Sometimes God asks you to take one for the team.
Remember, life is not always about you. Sometimes God asks you to bear a burden, endure a trial, and go through a test so that others can be taught and blessed.
Like Lazarus, you may be going through something right now that makes no sense to you. This is where, like a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3), you must bear bravely the fiery ordeal that God has asked you to go through: (1) trusting in his goodness and (2) knowing that he finds no delight in your ordeal and (3) is not punishing you but (4) is using you for the greater good…and (5) also knowing that when the time is right, like with Lazarus, he will come to you and bring you out.
Hebrews 10:36-37 (NKJV)
36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
37 “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
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