A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” 4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” 5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days. 7 Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” 8 But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?” 9 Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. 10 But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” 11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” 12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” 13 They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died. 14 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.” 16 Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”
When Jesus journeyed to the cross he crossed paths with one who was blind and another who was bound up in his belongings as well as one who was buried. You see the first man went from seeking to sight, the second went from seeking to sorrow, and today we see those who go from sorrow to serving. The story in John 11 starts with a:
1. Crisis vs 1-3
Many of us get mad at God when we have to go through challenging times. Especially when those challenges involve the loss of a loved one. But challenges are an opportunity for us to call out to the Lord and lean on Him. What we all want is to pursue a problem free life but one thing this pandemic has taught us is that’s just not realistic. In this life we will have problems and it’s here that we learn our first valuable lesson, bring your crisis to Christ. Mary and Martha took their problem to Jesus. What about you who are you taking your problems to? Are you taking your cares to Christ? Many of us are tempted to turn to other things as we look for a feel good instead of looking to God the Father? But it’s here that we discover the second truth, not only are we to petition God but we are to be patience with our petitions. Because it’s here in the midst of the crisis that we discover a:
A. Delay – Vs 4-6
How do you respond when your desires meet with delay? Delays can cause us to question God’s love instead of lean on His love. But we need to remember that when God lingers it doesn’t lessen His love. The challenge is that we live in an instant gratification culture, so instead of waiting we tend to whine. Not only does waiting tend to lead to whining but delays often lead to demanding. Instead of resting we become restless and often resentful. Instead of waiting we worry which leads to us trying instead of trusting. Do you treasure God’s timing? God has gracious intentions even in seeming delays. Sometimes what seems like procrastination is actually preparation. Jesus was preparing them to experience God’s glory and sometimes we have to go through the groaning to get to the glory. Are you willing to let God use your pain to proclaim His power? Why do Saints suffer, sometimes so others can see the Savior. Are you willing to let God use your wounds to witness to a watching world? Are you going to trust His timing or throw a temper tantrum? Sometimes we want a solution to our suffering more than we want the Savior. But it’s in our pain that we see God’s promises and power. If you are going challenging times keep looking to God. Don’t let delay dictate your day instead let God’s past faithfulness guide you.