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  • Writer's picturePastor Jason

Do You Want Your Good or God's Great?

John Chapter 11 gives one of my favorite accounts in all of Scripture where we read about the raising of Lazarus from the dead. In this fantastic passage I think we get an insight into the patience of God. Jesus is informed that Lazarus is sick and his sisters are requesting that Jesus come to heal him. Jesus however waits, and his waiting led to Lazarus death. When Jesus does arrive Martha says to Him in verse 22, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Is Martha’s statement true? Probably, if Jesus had arrived before Lazarus died He could’ve prevented the death. Up in verse 32 Martha’s sister Mary makes the same comment, “Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Then again the crowds when they saw Jesus in verse 37 said this, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” Three different times Jesus is questioned and it is pointed out that Jesus could have healed this man and kept him alive.

So often when we pray to God I think we pray way too small. We may ask for healing and we may ask for financial freedom or we may even pray big and pray against an incurable disease or for some other type of miracle, but even then I think we often pray too small and that was the problem for Mary and Martha and the onlookers and even Jesus disciples. They all thought and prayed for Jesus to come and heal Lazarus and that was simply not big enough. We pick up the account in verse 38…

“Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

I think the truth we learn from this is profound. Often times we pray for healing and we don’t get it because a healing is not big enough. Maybe when we pray for a healing God wants to raise the dead! Jesus could have healed Lazarus but instead He raised him from the dead. Maybe you need a healing but the healing is not God’s will but resurrection is. Are we willing to pass on what we think is good to get what God knows is great? Are we willing to go on without the healing in order to get to the resurrection? I believe that for the Christian we always receive healing from God. Maybe not the way WE want to, but we always receive healing from God. Sometimes God chooses to use modern medicine to bring healing. Sometimes God chooses to heal miraculously, I have seen Him do so. Sometime God chooses to let one of His children leave their mortal body behind and receive their resurrection in Christ. That doesn’t make it easier on those of us left behind, but it does not change God’s faithfulness to His people. Please don’t get me wrong we need to pray for God’s healing. But don’t be disappointed that the healing didn’t come when the resurrection is around the corner. Sometimes we have to be willing to let go of what we think is good so we can get what God knows is great. We have to let go of what we want and submit to His will. We have to know that God will always do what’s best for us, even if it is different than what we hoped and prayed for. In the end, we have to trust Him to do what’s right in our lives, and believe that He will always be faithful to us.

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