In John chapter 11 we see the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. It is a chapter full of rich lessons for us as we go through a life riddled with sadness and tragedy. The story can be summed up like this: 1. Lazarus gets very ill. 2. His sisters send a message to Jesus, “Come quick.” 3. Jesus delays for two days. 4. Lazarus dies. 5. When Jesus finally does show up, the sisters are upset because if he had only come earlier… 6. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.
What I want to focus on today is the delay.
Then a seemingly heartless thing that Jesus says to his disciples. Jesus knew the seriousness of the situation, yet he delayed. Why? May I tell you today dear friend, Jesus is never in a hurry, but he is also never late. And he may not come when you want, but it will be in his perfect timing.
After the delay, Jesus tells His men that it is time to go. When they discuss Lazarus current condition, this is what Jesus says: “Lazarus is dead…And I am glad.” John 11:14b-15a. He was glad? His dear friends were going through the most difficult time in their lives, and He was glad? How can this be? Is Jesus heartless? No. we see in verse 35 that Jesus wept (even though he knew what he was about to do.) If you have been a Christian for very long, you have experienced God’s delays. David experienced delays: Psalm 69:3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. God uses his delays to teach us to trust him more fully. We all like to think we’re in control of our circumstances, but reality is, we are not in control! God is in control.
Here is what we must remember in times of divine silence: Jesus was able to see what the sisters and the disciples could not see. He was able to see beyond the crisis of the moment to the glory God would receive thru the crisis. Jesus knew the joy that was on the other side of the pain, the problems and the pressure.
Dear friend, you may be going through some serious heartache at this very moment.
May I encourage you in this: Even if there seems to be a Divine Delay in your life, trust him, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad.” God can only be glad at our suffering if He sees a great victory and blessing that will come from it. Do you not think there was great rejoicing that night in the house of Lazarus? Of course there was. Jesus was glad, not for their trial, but for the future blessing despite the trial. What a joy it is to serve a God that has already seen our future.
Trust his guidance!