WHEN GOD DOESN’T ANSWER 3
Is God expecting too much of us when He expects us to trust Him, without any word of explanation, when terrible things come into our lives and prayer doesn’t seem to make any difference? What right does Jesus have to ask that of us? What has He ever done for us?
But that’s just it – He has every right to ask us to trust Him because He’s already done the very best thing for us – paid for sins to keep us from hell. So He has every right to expect us to trust Him – and rightly so! He has proven His love and dependability beyond any doubt. He may not do what we want, but He does what He knows is best.
Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael didn’t know if God would keep them from the fiery furnace. They knew He was able, but they didn’t know if He was willing (Daniel 3:18-19). It’s important to always remember that God is always able, and if He isn’t willing it’s because He has a greater plan for us. Our responsibility is to trust Him.
Remember what He has already done for you in the past. Realize He took your eternity in hell because He loves you. He would never hurt you unless there was a greater reason for it.
Jesus had another plan, a greater plan. Part of it was for their growth. God allows these ‘opportunities’ to stretch our faith, to give us an occasion to trust Him when it seems He isn’t there for us. Mary and Martha had probably at one point said to Jesus, Jesus, help my faith to grow.” This is His answer.
Have you ever asked Him to help increase your faith? This is His answer. That’s what happened to Job when his children died, to Abraham when he was told to kill his only son, to Paul and Silas beaten and in prison in Philippi, to Mary and Martha, and to you and to me.
One reason Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus was to stretch Mary and Martha’s faith. He wants our faith to stretch and grow as well. He does have a reason for all He does, even if it is not what we would like. When He says “No,” there must be a greater “Yes” coming in the future.
He does these things for our growth, but also for His glory. He was glorified in the raising of Lazarus. Coming back to life in front of everyone who had showed up for the funeral brought more glory to Jesus than if Jesus would have healed Lazarus months ago during one of His visits to their home. We bring glory to Him when we trust Him even when it doesn’t seem He is answering.
We bring glory to Him when we see how He does eventually provide. And we bring glory to Him when others see us trust Him despite everything going wrong around us.
No doubt Mary, Martha and Lazarus had one time said, “Jesus, use us for your glory in any way you choose.” Now He is doing just that.
Have you ever said that to God? He may be taking you up on it! The raising of Lazarus brought glory to Jesus in many ways. It still brings glory to Him today as we read and think about it. God used this to bring about the crucifixion and resurrection on Passover, just as God had predicted. When the religious rulers saw Lazarus come out of the tomb and the stir it made right outside Jerusalem, they realized they would have to put Him to death quickly to silence His influence. Jesus has many reasons for what He does, or doesn’t do – and they all are for our growth and His glory. Make sure Jesus is glorified in your situation, no matter how bad it seems to you!
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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