“When Jesus heard that Lazarus was dying, he waited to go because he wanted to do something more glorious,” says Josie, 11.
God may delay, but he’s never late. The death of Lazarus serves as a prime example of God’s delay increasing his glory.
Would God have been glorified if Jesus had healed Lazarus before he died? Absolutely! What the sisters of Lazarus (Mary and Martha) could not foresee is how their brother’s death could result in bringing greater glory to God.
Both Martha and Mary said the same thing when they saw Jesus: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,” (John 11:21 & 32).
Both sisters knew Jesus could heal, but the Lord wanted to take them to a place of greater faith and glory. The lesson Jesus taught by his delay is so clear in his conversation with Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
What brings more glory to God? Healing Lazarus before he died or raising him from the grave? The comparison is not even close. Imparting life into a dead corpse far surpasses all healing miracles. Only God can raise the dead!
“It’s all part of God’s test to see if we have faith and believe in him,” says Kaiden, 11.
God sometimes tests Christians so that their faith in him will grow. He wants us to pass the test so that he can show us more of himself. God tests, but he will never tempt us to sin. Yes, the devil tempts just as he tempted Jesus in the desert to act independently from his Father (Luke 4:1-13).
“God delays because we ask him for the wrong reasons,” says Mackenzie, 11.
Our own lusts or selfish desires drive us into temptation. Many of God’s delays are simply unanswered prayers from either immature Christians or carnal Christians who are filled with themselves instead of God’s Holy Spirit. It’s a merciful act when God refuses to answer these kinds of prayers.
Would you have survived childhood if your parents gave you everything you demanded or requested? I doubt it.
Accepting God’s delays requires faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (Hebrews 11:1).
Live with the hope that one day you will see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face in the glory of his kingdom to come. Let that hope give you a solid confidence that laughs at false hopes offered by advertisers.
When God’s timetable differs from yours, believe that his grace and infinite wisdom know best. Even though you don’t understand or can’t see what he is doing, let faith produce in you a God-induced optimism. Don’t dive into depression when circumstances frustrate your plans. Fix your eyes upon Jesus and trust him for what you can’t control.
Think about this: “There are flowers in my flowerbed that only bloom in the spring. They all take time to bloom. Once they do, they are beautiful,” says Abby, 11.
Memorize this truth: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths,” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Ask these questions: Can you accept God’s delays as part of his providential plan for your life? When evil seems to triumph in your world, can you remain confident that God will eventually right all wrongs?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING