Brethren, we all know that life is full of difficulties and trials. We know that sometimes, it gets so difficult that we get overwhelmed. We cry out to God with all our being, but sadly, it seems God isn’t answering our prayers. We asked for help, but it seems no help is in sight. We asked for God’s intervention, but it seems that all things remain the same. There are so many questions but yet, there are no answers.
During this time, we feel like God is indifferent to our pain. We feel like God doesn’t care. We feel like God doesn’t love us anymore. When you are in a situation like this brethren, what should be your attitude? What should we remember? What should we believe?
Today, I want to walk you through the story of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha to show you how Yahweh the Most High and His Son, Yahshua work together to bring us comfort at times of difficulties and sadness.
The purpose of suffering
Let’s start reading John 11:1-3, 5-6, 11:
1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.
11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
Now, here’s the first lesson I want us all to remember. There’s a purpose for our suffering. I think that’s the first thing that we always forget when we go through trials in life.
In the story of Lazarus, we could see that Yahshua has the power to heal Lazarus right there and then. He didn’t need to be physically with Lazarus. All Yahshua needed to do was say the word and Lazarus would be healed.
The problem, at least from our point of view, is that Yahshua didn’t. Instead, he deliberately waited.
Using our suffering for the glory of God
The same is true in our lives. We ask for God’s healing, but there’s no healing. We ask for God’s help, but there’s no help. We ask for God’s intervention, but there’s no intervention. We know that there’s nothing too hard for God. He can heal us. He can help us. He can intervene. But God chose not to.
Why? Because there’s a reason. Yahshua gave us the reason in verses 4 and 15:
4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” John 11:15
Now, there’s a purpose for why we go through life’s difficulties because all these would help us to glorify Yahweh. All these would help us believe and grow in faith.
Imagine, what would happen if God didn’t allow Joseph to be sold into slavery. What would happen if the Israelites didn’t become slaves? What would happen if God didn’t allow the Israelites to end up in the Red Sea? What would happen if God didn’t allow Hannah to be barren? What would happen if God didn’t allow Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego to go through the fiery furnace? What would happen if God didn’t allow David to face Goliath?
Brethren, imagine if God would not allow any difficulties and trials in our life. Imagine if our life is perfect. I will tell you what will happen. We will never grow in faith. We will never know pain and fully appreciate the blessings we receive. We will take for granted the life that we have.
The resurrection, our ultimate hope
Now, let’s proceed to the story in John 11:20-25:
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Isn’t these words familiar, brethren? In times of our suffering, it’s so easy to blame God.
It’s easy to say, “If only…”
But here it is brethren, Yahshua gave us the ultimate hope in verses 25-26: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Brethren, this is our ultimate hope, the resurrection of life. We know that no matter what happens in this life, we will live again. If you’re going through financial trouble, you can say, I will live again. If you’re going through health problems, you can say, I will live again. If you’re going through troubles and hardships, I will live again.
Let’s continue reading John 11:32-35:
Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping… You can sense here that the atmosphere of the place was filled with sadness and grieving. Everyone was weeping. Yahshua groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 35 Yahshua wept.
God and His Son sympathize with us
Why did Yahshua have to cry? He knew very well what would happen next. He has the power to bring Lazarus back to life. He could have simply gone straight to the tomb, and declared to people, “Hey guys, you don’t have to cry. There’s nothing to be sad about. I’m here. I’ll show you what I can do. I’m the Son of God. I will resurrect Lazarus.”
No, what happened was that Yahshua sympathized with the grief and sadness of the people around Him. He was filled with mercy, love, and compassion. He was so overcome with compassion for these people that He literally cried.
I believe that Yahshua and our Father feel the same thing. We often imagine the Father and Yahshua to be so far from us, that they are perpetually in a joyful state, that they are always in a positive mood. No, the Bible tells us that they also feel sadness and when you are sad, they are also sad for us. When we are happy, they are also happy with us.
God cares for you
That’s why, brethren, I want us to remember that when we go through life’s difficulties, don’t think that God doesn’t care. He cares more than you ever know. As our heavenly Father, it hurts Him more than it hurts us. Because of that brethren, we may not be delivered from the difficulties that we’re going through, but I can assure you, Yahweh is with us all through the way and He will give us the strength, the faith, and the comfort for us to go through life’s difficulties.
With that said, brethren, I hope you learned an important lesson from this message. When you experience trials in life, remember the story of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. It is my sincerest hope that you and I would endure and stay faithful until the return of our Savior.
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