These sort of challenges never seem to go away, do they? And it appears that the harder you hit at them , the harder and more often they come back at you. Your belief in Christ does not automatically eliminate challenges from your life; it certainly is more likely to make your life more exciting and full of greater challenges. Out of Christ , problems are more likely to happen to you more randomly, each of them capable of easily destroying you physically as that is all you are worth. The challenge that come to you as a believer are on the other hand calculated to destroy your faith. But with each one that you overcome you get stronger and therefore able to face future ones. It is war out there, brothers and sisters, But without a battle there cant be a victor, right ? Without a problem there cant be a solution. Without an impossible situation there cant be a miracle. It is war out there, brothers and sisters, and only the strong will survive it. How do you know if you are strong ? Think about this : when you are a child in matters of faith, the enemy of your soul needs only to send the minion demons to annoy you; but as your faith and your strength increases he will need to send the stronger baddies, hence bigger challenges. But never fear; when circumstances make you weak and your faith takes a dip; God will always be waiting to rescue you at the right time; His own time.
Lazarus died and was buried . Jesus Christ could have prevented the death, but he saw no need for that. He wanted a testimony on the lips of all that knew Lazarus both in life and death. There are other important lessons that is needed to be learnt from this story.
Jesus knew that there was a problem . He had heard the message that Lazarus was ill, soon enough. But what he said to all that were listening was : The illness is not to end in death; through it Gods glory is to be revealed, and the Son of God glorified, (11:4). Lazarus died nevetheless.
The death could have been averted . Jesus was a mere two miles from Lazarus house, and he could have reached him soon enough . But even though He loved Lazarus family very much, he still stayed in His location for two days .
Jesus knew when to move towards the problem. He certainly knew that Lazarus was dead before He started on His way. First He needed to build up the faith of those that believed already in Him. I am glad for your sake that I was not there, for it will lead you to believe (11:15)
Jesus knew how soon to reach the problem. He was in no haste. He even took another two days to travel the two miles to Lazarus house. That was enough time for mourners to swarm the house; enough time for this event to gather as many witnesses to the coming miracle as possible.
Miracles are primed by faith. In spite of their bereavement, the sisters of Lazarus still maintained their faith, even though it appeared to have slipped a little bit. Martha said to Jesus : I know that my brother will not have died if you had not been here. But even now that you are here, I also know that it is possible for God through you , to raise him from the dead. (11:21)
Jesus also grieves for people . The story has it that He wept. (11:35). Indeed He wept all the way to the cemetery where Lazarus was buried. He wept because he was moved by the agony of those that suffered loss in spite of their belief. He wept because He hated for people that loved Him to suffer distress. This action tells us that to weep does not always indicate weakness, but could also be a show of the strength of love.
Jesus is never too late. God needs witnesses to miracles. First Jesus told the bereaved : Did I not tell you that if you have faith you will see the glory of God?. It was important foor them to see that they had not been punished with a bereavement, but singled out for a great miracle. And , even as He then ordered the dead and stinking corpse back to life He told all that were present :I have spoken for the sake of the people standing around, that they may believe
Whatever that is dead around you, Jesus Christ can similarly bring back to life. If therefore you are perhaps faced with a situation of a dead business, dont lose your faith. It is okay to weep; it is okay to accommodate mourners. Whatever the case however, never take your eyes off Him.
Jesus knows that you have the problem
He is quite able to have averted the problem
He knows when to move towards the problem
He knows how soon to reach the problem
He is also feeling and grieving about the problem
He needs an ambience of faith to prime the miracle that will correct the problem
He will never be too late to resolve the problem.
Hear what He says about Himself: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this ?. (11:25-26)
KEY SCRIPTURE : John:11:21-23: Then said Martha to Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know, that even now, whatever you will ask of God, God will give it to you.Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again.