“But when Jesus heard about it He said, ‘Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.'” – John 11:4 (NLT)
I love the topic of God’s supernatural, healing power! I myself have experienced it on multiple occasions (both in my personal life and witnessing it in the lives of others). It truly is awesome, and points all glory back to the Lord. But there is a common misconception that many have in their minds concerning healing from God. There are many who believe that healing from God is supposed to always be immediate and in the moment of prayer, but God’s Word paints a different picture for us. Especially with this story! Sadly, many miss this concept and write off the lack of healing as a lack of faith on the part of the one seeking healing. This is not only a misconceived idea that doesn’t line up with the whole of Scripture, but it is also harmful and deceptive.
Jesus could have easily just spoken a word as soon as He received the news concerning Lazarus. He did it on multiple occasions, and what He spoke came to pass without Him being near the recipient of the miracle. However, this is not the story that we get concerning Lazarus. Jesus says that things will not end in death for Lazarus, and He continues on with what He was doing in the moment. In verse 6 we find out that He stayed where He was for 2 more days! And by the time He gets to Bethany, Lazarus had already been dead for 4 days.
“Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.” – John 11:14-15
Jesus’ purpose in not going immediately was to build faith and belief in who He is. It was to build trust that, even if death came in the process, Christ is Lord even of the dead. He can raise them up and restore them to their life. When it seems that there is delay in God’s response, it is not because of any kind of lack of faith, or any kind of sin. The delay is due to God building a new level of faith and trust that will not be easily shaken. This is my story. I suffered with Tourette Syndrome until the age of 21. That was 4 years ago. I have lived more life with Tourettes than I have without. Yet in an instant they were gone, all for the glory of God! After years of struggling and enduring through them, years of learning the lessons through the process, God’s glory showed up in an instant.
Whatever it is you’ve been waiting on God for, whatever miracle or breakthrough you’ve been seeking, don’t get so caught up in the delay that you lose sight of what God is doing in the process. His delay is an opportunity to build faith and trust. What seems to be a lack of motion from Him is actually Him doing a different kind of work in you. So don’t lose heart in the process of the waiting. Everything God does is done in His wisdom. If a guy can press through 21 years of Tourettes Syndrome, something that brought pain in many different forms, you can press through! If the man in Acts 3 who was born lame (and he was alive when Jesus walked the earth) could wait the 40ish years for that one moment, God can do the work in your life as well.
We must break out of this mindset that God won’t let us endure hardship. He most certainly does, because it builds our character and our faith and our trust in Him. So don’t lose heart in the midst of the delay, but seek God and what He is doing/saying through the process.
“Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” – John 11:40