“Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. ( It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.”
Have you ever walked into a dark room and discovered that someone else was there? As you walked about in this dark room you discovered that you couldn’t see but they could. Walking into this type of environment is not only dangerous but also scary. However, it may seem this way to you, but the one that was already in the dark room had been there and knew what types of struggles that you would encounter. They can see the types of obstacles that you would encounter and lead you from them. God sees the obstacles that we would encounter and He makes a way for us to remain safe if we only remain true to Him.
I. Life Struggles
As we look at this passage of scripture, we see that Jesus saw that His close friend was gravely ill and that His closest followers were gravely confused. He saw the struggles but He did not panic; instead He did something that helped Him and others stay focused. What did Jesus do in this highly stressful time?
A. He Got Closer To God – Notice what Jesus did as soon as He heard of this tragic news. “When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.” The disciples didn’t see this as very proper or even nice but what they failed to realize was that Jesus’ purpose was to glorify the Father. Going about His Father’s business was His purpose. In so doing, this brought Him close to God and glorified God. All too often when a stressful ordeal presents itself, we will forget about our relationship with God and sometimes even draw away from Him. In a tough situation, we need to get closer to God and not run from Him.
B. He Gave Others Grace – At no time, that I read, Jesus becoming overly mad at the disciples for believing the way that they did. The disciples and even the messenger that Mary & Martha sent obviously had a difference of opinion of what Jesus should have done. Sometimes in tough times, we are very quick to tell someone else what they should do but aren’t so willing to listen to why they feel that they should allow their course of action. We believe that they are emotionally compromised because they are too close to the situation but sometimes their actions are not only the correct ones but from God. Listen to their points of view!
C. He Gave Them A Glimpse Of His Grief – Sometimes we read passages and miss obviously blaring words. Notice what Jesus said about Lazarus! These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. He referred to this man as “Our Friend”! I believe that Jesus was emotionally attached because we know that He called Him friend. Jesus’ friend was dead and it bothered Jesus greatly. Later in the chapter, we see how much it bothered Him because He wept. He allowed those close to Him to see that He was hurting but He didn’t rub it in their faces. Sometimes when we go through a major ordeal we need to be transparent enough to allow others to be there for in that time. However, we need not be so talkative about it so much that they regret getting involved.
We all have life struggles but the most important thing to know is that God is there waiting for you to call on Him. He has already been there and is waiting to comfort you in your time of need. Trust Him today. In tomorrow’s devotional, we will talk about what happens when you pray and seek God but things get worse. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.