Summary: If you would like to see God working in your life, believe what he says and act upon that belief.
Have you ever wondered why God does not do things the way that you would do them? Why is it that he is never in a hurry or pressed by the urgency of the hour? In this account, Jesus Christ continued about his business after being given the news that his friend Lazarus was very ill. You see, the issue at stake here was not the immediate concern of what men thought needed to happen(the healing of Lazarus), but the greater issue of the glory of God being revealed.
Any trial that a believer may face can ultimately bring glory to God because God can bring good out of any bad circumstance. He meets needs according to his schedule. The great question of the hour is this: will we wait for his perfect timing? Let us take a closer look as this story unfolds.
I. A Distinct Promise Was Given
Jesus in response to Martha’s statement was, "your brother will rise again." (verse 23). Although she understood this to mean at a future time, Jesus was speaking of an immediate occurance which would bring glory to God while they were all there together at the tomb. God always does what he says he will do, in his time, in his way and for his glory. The question to be asked of each one of us is indeed very personal in nature. What has God told you? You see, it is his authority and timing in our lives that always superceeds our own timing. What he says he will do, he will do!
II. The Attention Shifts
Notice what Jesus states in verse 25, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" Christ himself is the living fulfillment of God’s Word! Once again, the opportunity presents itself to take God at his Word. Either he is exactly who he says he is or he is not. When we are confronted with the choice of trusting him completely with things that we are not capable of, the choice although clear, is not always made according to Scripture. Why is this? You see, we still have this desire to figure out things before we will believe them to be so. This is not God’s way as he desires us to accept what he says and have complete trust in him.
When a parent asks a child to completely trust that
parent to take care of any given situation(jumping into their arms, financial provision, etc.), the decision that needs to be made is not necessarily based on that child’s experience. The relationship between that child and that parent will be the true basis for any decision of trust. Is that not the same with our relationship with God?
III. Confession of Faith/A Necessity
After Jesus asked Martha, "Do you believe this?" She stated to Jesus, "Yes Lord." Could we respond back to God in simplicity and faith to any request that he might ask of us? As Martha progressed in her walk with Christ, the expression of her faith would confirm and increase it in the days to follow. Could we be encouraged at this point to put more stock into the One in whom our faith rests, rather than our experience, fears, negative suggestions of others or any other outside influence that would detract us from taking God at his Word?
IV. Compelled To Act On Faith
There comes a time when discussion needs to cease and action must must accompany belief. Jesus compelled Martha to act on the faith that he has instilled in her by allowing bystanders to remove the stone. She protested to his command to take away the stone by saying in verse 39, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." Jesus uses this opportunity to illustrate to her and those around her that this situation would be used for the glory of God. He tells her in verse 40, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" As Jesus commanded Lazarus to come out, all those around would now be compelled to see that God was clearly at work to accomplish his purposes in his timing and for his glory.
Would you see the glory of God? Believe what Jesus says! Act upon that belief! Watch God be glorified as you take him at his Word. I dare you! You will not be disappointed. God is awesome.