When God Doesn't Make Sense
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When therefore He heard that he was sick, He stayed then two days longer in the place where He was. John 11:5-6
The urgent message came to Jesus. His good friend Lazarus was very sick and needed Him ASAP. Surely Jesus, the One who would drop everything to go heal complete strangers, would come running to Lazarus’ town of Bethany to save the day, right? Wrong! When Jesus heard Lazarus was deathly ill, He purposely waited two more days before making the twenty mile journey to Bethany. By the time He finally arrived, Lazarus was stinking dead and in the tomb four days.
Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, both said the same thing when Jesus showed up, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21, 32). Undoubtedly, they were wondering WHY He didn’t come in time. Undoubtedly, they were shell-shocked at the message He sent, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (John 11:4). What in the world could that possibly mean given the fact that Lazarus died the very day Jesus uttered those words? Is this some cruel joke?
To be sure, the Lord wasn’t making much sense to Mary and Martha. Have you ever been there? Have you ever prayed about a problem and believed God for deliverance only to have the problem worsen … even to the point of death, or divorce, or bankruptcy? Have you ever cried out to God in faith and seemingly received nothing from Him to meet your pressing need? I think we can all relate.
Hey, what do you do when God doesn’t make sense?
1. You remember that He loves you. Before the Bible tells us that Jesus purposely waited two more days before coming to Bethany, it emphatically states, “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus” (John 11:4). Just because the Lord does not do things the way you and I think He should, that does not mean the Lord has stopped loving us. God is love and everything He does flows from His great heart of love. When God’s actions and delays don’t make sense to us, we must cling to the fact that He loves us. The Bible declares it again and again, and the blood-stained cross of Christ proves it beyond any shadow of a doubt.
2. You trust that He has a plan. Jesus purposely waited until Lazarus was dead four days before coming to Bethany. Why in the world would He do that? He did it because He was going to perform His greatest miracle of all, the raising of Lazarus from the grave. Jesus had raised two other people from the dead (Jairus’ daughter, freshly dead in her bed and the guy from Nain, hours dead and in a casket on the way to the cemetery), but He never called a four-day-old dead man back to life from the tomb. That miracle proved He was indeed “the resurrection and the life.” It was irrefutable evidence that Jesus was and is God in the flesh.
Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when He delayed His coming. While it would have been a great blessing to have him heal Lazarus from his sick bed, it was a miracle of the highest order to have Him raise decaying Lazarus from the grave.
WHAT ARE YOU FACING TODAY?
Perhaps you are facing great problems today. Although you have been praying, God does not seem to be answering. Your tears are flowing, your faith is fleeing, and you are sitting bewildered at the Lord’s absence. What gives?
Listen, it may be day three for you and your situation. But I have good news: The Lord is on His way with jaw-dropping, miraculous victory in tow. Day four is coming! You see, the greater the problem, the greater the miracle God is getting ready to perform.
Of course He doesn’t make sense to you and me. He is the infinite God who sees all and knows all, from beginning to end.
Whatever the trouble, remember His love and keep trusting Him, regardless of the current circumstances. He knows exactly what He is doing, and He really will work all things together for your good and His glory!
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.