Spiritual Development

When The Words “Trust Me” Have To Be Enough

It must have been hard for the disciples and those who had been following Christ for the previous three years before His death to see their beloved Son, Brother, Friend, and Savior lay buried in the tomb for three days.  The only words left ringing in their ears might have been those distance words from Christ’s mouth.

“Your heart must not be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in Me.”  John 14:1-3

How hard it is for us to trust when in the midst of death, pain, trials, and difficulties.  

To trust the Word of God.  

To trust His promises.  

To trust His plans, purposes, and ways.  

Whether it is the death of a loved one, death through separation or divorce, or a multitude of other types of death one experiences in this life, it is hard to keep believing and trusting in God when the only thing we feel is despair and heartache.  

However, there is hope and as we look at the story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection, may we find encouragement for our hurting hearts and hope for the day ahead.

Jesus Loves Us

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 

So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus

So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more daysand then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”  John 11:1-7

Those around the area well knew Jesus’ love for Lazarus.  When the word is sent to Jesus of Lazarus’ illness, he is identified as the one Jesus loves.  Not only that but after Jesus is given the news that Lazarus is sick and He proclaims it is for God’s glory, Scripture tells us plainly, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.”  

The question immediately floods our mind, “If Jesus loved them then why would he stay an extra two days?  And not only that, but the scripture continues and reveals to us that Jesus was glad he had waited that long.

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 

Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 

So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 

Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” John 11:8-16

Here again, we hear words from Jesus’ mouth that seem so contradictory to His character.  Why would He be glad that His dearly loved friend is dead?  The friend He could have healed right where he was without even traveling to see Lazarus. 

Jesus’ only answer is that his disciples would believe.  He was bringing them to a crisis of belief as He often does for us during our trials.

Jesus Brings Us To A Crisis of Belief

On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 

Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “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. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”  John 11:17-27

Jesus continued to push Martha to press into the faith she has in Christ Jesus.  While not condemning her, Jesus persistently encouraged her to consider where she placed her hope.  

At times of crisis and the death of loved ones, our faith is tested as well.  Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us and walks us through it reminding us to continue to believe.

Jesus Shares Our Sorrows

After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 

When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 

Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 

When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 

“Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 

Jesus wept

Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 

But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” John 11:28-37

Just as Jesus pressed Martha in her faith, so He does with the broken heart of Mary.  Never leaving or forsaking Mary, Jesus walks with Mary to the tomb and cries with her.  

It is tough to keep our eyes and minds focused on Christ during physical, emotional, or even spiritual death of a friend or loved one.  However, just as Jesus was beside Martha cheering her on and beside Mary in her tears, so He is with those who are His children because He knows the purposes He has for each of us.

Jesus Has A Greater Purpose

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 

“Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me

I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:38-42

Jesus once again has to help Martha in her faith and remind her that He is the Messiah, the Son of God.  

Jesus lifts His voice to His Father and gives thanks for He knows the benefits that are about to come to those who hear and see the work He is about to perform.  In addition, He also knows the invitation about to be given to those who are called according to His purpose.

Jesus Invites Us To Share In His Purpose

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 

The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. John 11:43-45

Once Lazarus was restored to life, Jesus called for others to help unwrap him.  The people whom Christ met in the midst of their crisis of belief and heartache are the ones He asked to minister to the one who had come back to life!!

Conclusion

Our difficulties and challenges are not about us.  It has, is, and always will be about God and His glory.  Just as John 11:4 states:

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 

It is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.  

The circumstances surrounding your life right now might be hard and unbearable apart from the saving grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior.  However, we do not have to give in to despair, depression, and defeat.  NO.  We can come before the Lord our God with the prayer, hope, and encouragement of Psalm 62.

“I am at rest in God alone;

my salvation comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold;

I will never be shaken.

Rest in God alone, my soul,

for my hope comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold;

I will not be shaken.

My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock.

My refuge is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;

Pour out your hearts before Him.

God is our refuge.” 

Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8

As you continue your journey on this earth waiting for Christ’s return, remember this:

Jesus loved Lazarus enough to allow Him to die so that he could live. 
Jesus loved Martha enough to allow her faith to be tested so that she would not be shaken.
Jesus loved Mary enough to allow her heart to be broken so that it could be mended.
Jesus loves you enough to do the same.

For His Glory!!

One thought on “When The Words “Trust Me” Have To Be Enough

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