Glory Through Suffering

John 11:14-15
Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

The story of Lazarus’ death illustrates that God’s purposes are more important than our comfort and happiness.  But He is with us in our suffering even if He does not prevent it.  Both Mary and Martha had been followers of Jesus and may have witnessed some of the miracles He’d performed.  They knew He had power over sickness and express to Him with certainty that if He had come, Lazarus wouldn’t have died.

But Jesus had a different purpose for the trial they were going through.  The miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead was a shocking display to the people who witnessed it.  It changed many of them and made them believers in Jesus as the promised Christ.  They finally accepted Him as Lord, and perhaps nothing but that miracle could have changed their minds.

This miracle probably also helped solidify the faith of all of His disciples.  Certainly Mary, Martha, and Lazarus would have been changed.  What growth they probably experienced as they learned to trust God in such a hopeless circumstance.  Jesus’ true power was revealed, and God was glorified through it all.  And all of them would have surely been drawn closer to Jesus by something that was unexpected and unimaginable.

But Jesus still has compassion on us in our trials and difficult circumstances.  He was emotionally affected by Lazarus’ death, and He sympathized with the grieving sisters.  He mourned with them and wept with them.  He sought to comfort them and showed great compassion upon them.  And though He felt their sadness in a very real way, this death was a necessary event in God’s plan.

Sometimes we need a new perspective—not on having a life of ease free from trouble, but that God might use things in our lives for His own glory and so His purposes can be fulfilled.  Sometimes He works in our lives through various trials and hardships for our own benefit, so God may be glorified, and so others might be touched in some way.  Often God’s plans are beyond our scope of understanding.  But we can be assured He is still with us through those trials and we can trust Him.  So let’s seek to glorify God no matter what comes our way.

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