Read: John 11:1-57
Someone I care about was suffering through a season of loneliness and isolation. It was an extended season that lasted a few years. About the time she was worn out, a lesson came through the book, Overwhelmed by Perry Noble. His teaching was from the story of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego.
These three men were taken from their homeland and brought to Babylon. They were in a foreign land, foreign culture, and a land of idol worship. They were challenged to bow down and worship the king Nebuchadnezzar. They stood firm, and the king’s punishment was severe. They were to be thrown into the fiery furnace. But first, the fire was to be heated to seven times its’ normal temperature.
In our lives, sometimes it has to get seven times hotter before we see the Lord in our circumstances. Sometimes things get worse before they get better.
In John 11, things get worse before they get better. Mary and Martha have a beloved brother named, Lazarus. Lazarus gets sick, and the sister’s call for Jesus to come. He decides to stay put for two days before even beginning to travel to this family.
Let’s imagine we are Mary or Martha. They are close friends of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They know Jesus can heal Lazarus. Martha has probably attended to every need of Lazarus while Mary has cried, fasted, and prayed for her brother.
When Jesus finally arrived, Lazarus has been in the tomb for four days. Martha ran to Jesus and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she told Him. “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
Later that day, Jesus asked that the stone in front of Lazarus’ grave be removed. Martha was worried about the odor from the body. In John 11:40, Jesus said to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
Jesus shouts, “Lazarus, come out!” Lazarus came out of the tomb with his feet, hands, and face wrapped in grave clothes. Jesus said, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Mary and Martha suffered greatly through the illness and death of their brother. Jesus did not arrive on their timetable. But don’t miss this…Jesus had a plan the whole time. He knew exactly what He was doing. He was going to bring the greatest glory to Himself by waiting. A greater miracle was going to occur than just healing Lazarus when he was sick.
After the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, the religious leaders decide the only way to deal with Jesus is to kill Him. They said in John 11:48, “If we let Him go on like this everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” The resurrection of Lazarus was the catalyst for the greater miracle, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The One who raised Lazarus from the dead is on your side. The One who raised Himself from the dead is on your side. Jesus does not always arrive “on time”, but He is at work on your behalf every time.
Jesus asked Martha if she believed that He was the resurrection and the life. Jesus is asking me this same question almost daily, “Amy, do you believe I have the power to raise the dead? Amy, is your faith in the resolution of your circumstances and life without unknowns? Or is your faith in Me?”
Do you believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life for you? Do you believe He can save you from a fiery furnace, raise a dead relationship, a dead body, or a dead end job? Do you believe that He is working on your behalf no matter what your circumstances say today?
And while you wait, pray this prayer, “Jesus, where are you working in all of this? What are you up to?”
In your Going Deeper Participant Guide, let’s look at Day 12 beginning on page 27. Complete Look at the Details and Personal Application sections. Then come back here and share your answer to the following discussion question in the comment section below. (You can find the comment section at the bottom of this message. Just scroll down and you’ll see the words “Post a Comment.” Click there and share your responses.) Or, join the conversation on our Facebook Community Group.
"God can resurrect any situation. Have you seen God resurrect things that looked dead to you?"
I will be posting my responses in the comment section below and on Facebook.
Thanks for going on this journey together! #undividedwomen