So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” John 11:14-15
No one likes to see bad things occur to someone they love. It is painful to see a loved one suffer or to die.
When a loved one is suffering badly and has a great possibility of dying, most people will do whatever they can to prevent the death and alleviate the suffering. All that can be seen is the pain and suffering and that it must be stopped.
Lazarus had been sick and Jesus chose not to go to him. Later Lazarus dies. Jesus was glad He did not go to Lazarus while he was sick, but now goes to him. Jesus had the power to heal Lazarus and prevent death, but was glad that He did not do that. He had something greater in mind.
Humans can only see the here and now, they cannot see the future or even the bigger picture. God is greater than any thing that can come against a person. He can turn around a situation in a moment, but often does not.
The purpose of allowing suffering is to build a person in his faith. Healing a person is a great miracle, but raising one from the dead is even a greater miracle. One builds the faith some, while the other builds it a lot.
There are times God allows a time of pain and suffering to occur to allow a person to draw closer to Him. Believers are to rely completely upon God and trust His way of doing things. As one does this greater things can occur, the dead is raised to life, rather than just another healing.
As you are going through life, there will be times of pain and suffering. As you cry out to God for mercy, do not allow yourself to think that there is only one way to fix the problem. Put your trust in God, His timing and His ways.
God can do things in a greater way than you can imagine. He will do things in a way that will be for your benefit.
Allow Him to build your faith and trust in Him. Believe that God knows what He is doing and will do it in the best way possible.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know you can trust God’s ways of doing things; that your faith in God will grow; and that you will see greater miracles of God being performed.
My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within; my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city. Lamentations 2:11
Death, destruction, sickness bring about weeping to every person. No one likes to see friends and family getting hurt or going through pain for any reason. As loved ones are suffering, a person weeps with them wishing he could make it better or remove the suffering.
Questions are always raised as to why someone must go through suffering and pain. Anger rises because of the suffering and pain, both in the individual going through it and those who love the person.
Jeremiah is watching his nation, his people being destroyed as they are sent into exile. The nation of Israel has been destroyed and overcome by the enemy. The people are suffering and he cannot do anything about it, but weep and mourn for them.
All over the world people are suffering and dying daily for many different things. One of the greatest sufferings is things brought on by sin. Many people suffer because of their own personal sinful choices that they had made. Choices are made that bring on pain, suffering, sickness and death.
The heart of the believer who is seeing this suffering, should be breaking. His heart needs to be like the heart of God. God does not want to see anyone suffer. It is only because of sin that there is suffering, sickness and death.
Nations, cities and communities are filled with people who do not know Jesus as Savior, who do not serve or love God. This should break the heart of the believer. Watching people die daily without God should be one of the greatest torments in the heart and life of a believer. This gives reason for the believer to be a witness for Jesus to this dying world.
As you watch the news or see what is going on around you, what are your thoughts? Do not be like many with a cold heart believing that they got what they deserve. Allow your heart to be broken as Jeremiah’s heart was.
Weep for those who are suffering because of sinful choices. Weep over the sin of people and nations that is being done and promoted.
Be a witness of who Jesus is and the life He offers to everyone. Share the news that God does want to forgive and proved an abundant life.
I pray today that you will see the world as God sees it; that your heart will break for those who do not know Jesus; that you will be a witness of who Jesus is; and that God will change lives through you.
Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back. Isaiah 38:7
Suffering and sickness occur on a regular basis with people all over the entire world. The range of sickness that occurs is extremely wide. Some sickness are of a minor, temporary sort, while others are life-threatening and bring about death.
One of the questions that is commonly asked by most people is why the sickness? Why does one get sick? Why does one recover and another does not? Very rarely does a person look at a sickness or disease as something good or as a benefit.
Hezekiah had followed God faithfully for a time, but then started to walk away from Him. Isaiah comes to him telling him that he will soon die and must get his life in order. After asking for some more time to live, God grants it. Hezekiah realized that the sickness was for his benefit.
There may be times when a sickness is a wakeup call to a person. One can be facing death in the face and has to make a choice as to whom he will serve, self or God.
God has mercy on people and wants everyone to be saved. He may use disasters or sickness to get one’s attention. This is especially true for those who already believe in Him and have been following Him. God can strike a person to get him to get his life in order.
Many people who are facing death suddenly have a different perspective on life. They realize what is really important, and it is not money or positions, but real life. They also begin to realize there is the rest of eternity to deal with.
As a believer, your life should be focused on living for God in every area of your life. This means you will strive to flee sin and be His witness in this world.
Take a look at your life and see how you are doing at truly following God. Does your life show one who loves God from the heart, or one who loves God only in words?
God is giving you a chance today to get your house in order. You may or may not have tomorrow, but you do have today. Don’t make God have to strike you to get your attention. Live for God while you can and receive the gift of eternal life that Jesus promised.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live for God in every area of your life; that you will see God’s hand at work in your life; and that you will trust God with your life.