Saturday, 15 October 2011
I wonder if we sometimes get so wrapped up in our situations that we forget who we are walking with on our journey from earth to glory. Martha did when her brother Lazarus got sick. They sent word to Jesus, but He did not come. In fact, He intentionally waited. When He finally came, Lazarus had been dead and in the grave for four days. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died" (John 11:21 ESV).
Like Martha, our faith is tested by what we go through, and there are times when it's easy to loose faith even if it is only briefly. We may question God. Where is He in my time of need? Why is He not answering my prayers? Why do I or those I love have to go through this? Please know today that through it all, and in His grace, mercy and love, Jesus is perfecting your faith.
Martha quickly recovers and in the next breath she says to Jesus, "But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you" (John 11:22 ESV). In all appearances this seemed like a full recovery of her faith. After all, didn't she say the right thing? Maybe she did. Maybe those around heard her comment, and they thought, "What a person of faith!" Sometimes we can say the right words but be dying inside with lack of faith. Despite her words, Martha's faith was still deficient, and Jesus would need to perfect it a bit.
Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:23-26 ESV)
Jesus got right to the point; He wanted Martha to see that no matter how bad the situation, He is the resurrection and the life. Nothing changes that -- absolutely nothing. Jesus spoke a word that day and called her brother out of death and back into life. Lazarus came walking out of the cold, dark tomb in response to Jesus' command. Death was defeated, and life came forth out of the darkness.
Beloved, no matter how dark your situation may be today and no matter how little faith you may have, Jesus is still the resurrection and the life. He walks with us, and He talks with us. He leads us, and He guides us. He is our shepherd, and we know His voice. It's the voice that brings calm in the storm and calls life out of death. May we say as David said, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalms 23:4 ESV)."
Let Jesus bring comfort to you today in the midst of your crises. In His grace, mercy, and love, He is perfecting the faith that He has already deposited within you. He knows just what you need and the time that you need it. He is never late. He is always right in time.
Know that you are loved,
Gregory A. Johnson