Why doesn’t God answer our cries for help, deliverance, and healing? Ever ask that question? Why does He sometimes lead us into situations of difficulty and danger?
Why does our knowledge of Scripture and our knowledge of the promises that he’s given us seem inadequate? Why does God seem to ignore our grief, our sorrow, and our pain? Why does He choose to deliver some but not all? Some He heals. Some He doesn’t. And finally, why does He allow evil man to prevail over his children? These six questions are answered in John Chapter Eleven. They’re answered with an ultimate answer, the primary answer. And then there’s a secondary answer that goes along with it. And we’re going to look at these as we go through this chapter, but do hope that you walk away strengthened, encouraged, and nourished.
The focus of the first six verses is the Lord Jesus Himself.
John 11:1 says, “A certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary, and her sister, Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore, the sister sent to him saying, Lord, behold, He whom you love is sick. When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not of the death, but for the glory of God that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Now, Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” Jesus gives us the ultimate answer to all the questions in verse four when He says, “This is for the glory of God.”
I want you to think about your problems, your difficulties, your anxieties, whether personal or national. And I want you to consider that what’s happening is for the glory of God. God permit things to happen in our lives that are not good. God allows people to do things in this world that are not good, that are evil. But we need to understand that He is working in and through all those things for an ultimate purpose.
In John 11:7-16 we see the focus shift to the disciples, and it says, “then after this He said to the disciples, let us go to Judea again.”
This presents a problem for the disciples. “The disciples said to him, Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone you, and you’re going there again?” Are you going to walk right into danger? “And Jesus answered and said, ‘Are there not 12 hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, He does not stumble because He sees the light of this world.’ Have you ever stopped and thought that when you stumble over what’s happening in your life, maybe you’re not walking in the light?
The secondary answer is here: “I am glad, for your sakes, I was not there, that you may believe.” Could I ask you a question? Do you think the disciples were already believers I think they were already believers? Of course, they were. They had already believed in Jesus Christ. They had already believed that He was the Messiah. They believe that He was the one that was promised. Jesus basically tells them that what’s happening is for their benefit. “That you may believe.” Could I suggest to you that though you’re a believer, you need to keep on believing. We need to keep learning and we need to keep growing because salvation faith is not living faith. You trusted Christ at that point where you saw him as the savior of your soul, the savior of the world. You trusted in him. You believed in him. Unfortunately, too many believers think that’s all it takes. But that’s not going to carry you through life. You’re going to have to keep believing and keep believing and constantly be growing.
Why does God lead us into a difficult and dangerous situation? The solution for you and I, the solution for the doubts the fears, the anxieties of the disciples (who have now pretty much resigned themselves to go die with Jesus), are all answered by His word, His plan, and His purpose for our life.