If you were here?

The Bible says that Jesus received a message that his dear friend Lazarus was very sick (John 11). When Jesus heard the message he made a statement that Lazarus’ sickness would not end in death but that this situation happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God would receive Glory from this.

Lazarus’ situation was an opportunity to show the people a glimpse of what was to come in Jesus’s death and Resurrection and to show them that the power of God can do exceedingly abundantly above anything they can ask, think, or even imagine according to the power that worketh in them. And in this case, the power that worketh in Jesus, the son of God in the Flesh, was a direct testimony of the working and manifestation of that faith.

So Jesus stayed where he was for two more days before heading back to Judea. He told his disciples that Lazarus had died and now is the time for him to go and wake him because now they would really believe. But when Martha met Jesus upon his arrival the first thing she uttered was “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died…”. Jesus reassured her that her brother will rise again but she thought he was making reference to the last day when all the dead in Christ shall rise. Jesus told her that He is the resurrection and the life, and he questioned her on whether she believes.

When the other sister, Mary, went out to meet Jesus, she also said the very same thing, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” And when Jesus saw her and all the others hopelessly weeping the bible says that a deep anger welled up within him and he was deeply troubled. He asked the people where they had put Lazarus and then Jesus wept.

Have you ever been so deeply angry, but because you couldn’t lash out in your anger you became so deeply troubled at the thoughts and beliefs of others, that it almost seemed to strip away the value of truth, as if it held no weight to correct what went wrong?

When the timing of truth appears to arrive too late to prevent an issue from happening or an unfavorable result, faith minimizes as belief and understanding take a back seat and blame and hopelessness creep in. Caught in the midst of this circumstance where there is nothing you could say to help or even change the mindset of those around you, weeping may be the only expression to help release some of the anger from within you so that you don’t act out of character.

Can you imagine how Jesus felt looking at the devastation on everyone’s face, while He who is Life itself stood in their presence? All the miracles he had done, all the signs and wonders they’d seen, and still they thought that he had missed an opportunity to save, because he wasn’t physically there in their time of need. He was preparing to sacrifice his own life, to be publicly crucified, so that he could open the gates of eternity into the Kingdom of Heaven to give life beyond death and the grave, to those who believed. But, here he was in the presence of faces filled with disbelief, doubt, disappointment and hopelessness from the people that followed him, listened to him, and cared for him. At such point with all that welled up within him, all he could do is weep because he couldn’t allow his anger and troubled spirit to allow him to speak and act in a way that would abort the Glory of God and the Glory of the Son, in this moment that was meant to prepare the hearts of the people for his purpose of fulfilling Grace. Grace that is the unmerited favor of God. Grace that actually saves through our faith.

Faith is the assurance (confidence) of things hoped for, the evidence (what is seen, experienced, heard, read, or told that causes one to believe) of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Belief is intertwined within the meaning of Faith bringing to life the acceptance and conviction based on the evidence of the truth that we are sure of. Though they both go hand in hand, God has assigned a measure of Faith that is a result of our belief, and that belief is a result of our encounter. Jesus was called to deliver us from judgement and to give us eternal life, just because of our faith in him, and not because of anything we did to deserve it. But here he was charged with delivering that Grace in this circumstance, not through faith but rather in the challenge of faith and belief.

The bible says in John 11:38-45 NLT [Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.]

Our encounters can cause us to believe, but fear and unsure thoughts can cause us to struggle with our Faith because it eliminates the confidence that faith is. In order to cause our faith to rise above, we must stop questioning God about if was there in the midst of our trauma, disappointment, loss, and pain and what he could have done to yield a different result. Rather our faith should with confidence, assure us that the Lord was and is always with us. Because of our encounters we believe that he is. He has never left us nor forsaken us and therefore, if he does not move on our behalf or when we want him to, we still believe that he sees all things and knows all things and has already gone before us to ensure that all things will work together for our good because we love the Lord and are confident that we are called according to his purpose, and that we will see the power of the Lord move remarkably when we hold an unshakable faith.

Be blessed,


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