December 22, 2019

John 11:1–16 (ESV) — 1 “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ 4 But when Jesus heard it He said, ‘This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that Lazarus was ill, He stayed two days longer in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’ 8 The disciples said to Him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?’ 9 Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.’ 11 After saying these things, He said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.’ 12 The disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.’ 13 Now Jesus had spoken of His death, but they thought that He meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’”

Have you ever felt completely confused about what God is doing? In the biblical passage above, the disciples must have felt this way. Jesus did not have any sense of urgency to go to Lazarus’s side and He delayed His mission to heal him. The disciples must have wondered if Jesus really cared for His good friend. They may have even murmured among themselves, “What does Jesus think He is doing? “

During this time of confusion, Jesus told his disciples that “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there…” On the surface this statement seems cold and cruel. Even when Jesus said that Lazarus’s death would lead to the disciples’ greater belief, they seemed to remain cynical and frustrated. Thomas, apparently irritated with Jesus, said to the other disciples, “Let us go, that we may die with him.”

Little did they know, that they were about to witness Jesus’s greatest miracle up to this point. After four days of Lazarus being dead, Jesus will raise him back to life!

Our lesson is that whenever we feel confused, we have a choice. We can choose to be frustrated at Jesus and question His motives and purposes. The other option is to choose to trust Him in the midst of our confusion. Uncertainty is a means by which we can grow in our faith. When it’s completely dark around us, God calls us to follow the light of His Word. Ask God to increase your belief. When everything around you seems to be coming apart, remember that God is still on the throne and loves you with an everlasting love!

“Father God, Sometimes I don’t know where to turn. I am so filled with confusion I am tempted to doubt Your sovereignty and love over my life. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief! Please give me hope. Draw me to trust in Your infinite wisdom. I may not know the way out of my problem, or a solution to my issue, but I can rest assured that You will guide my steps and teach me the lessons You desire for me. In Jesus name, Amen.”