“Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
One of the great struggles of life is how to reconcile a loving God with the difficulties of life. Every day, all over the world, people are confronted with tragedies. Difficulties hit like a storm and wreak havoc on their lives. It is not until we find ourself facing one of these trying times, that we are undone by it. It is at that point, we begin to ask, “How could a loving God allow my brother to suffer like that?” or “If God loved me, He would not have taken him from me.”
There is no question we face difficulties, and the illness or loss of a loved one is one of the greatest trials we will ever face. However, these trials are not without purpose. Notice the response of Jesus to the situation His loved ones were facing,
“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Death is not the ultimate purpose of life. We are not here to simply live, work, pay taxes and die. The trials of life have a purpose, and that purpose is the glory of God. One of the most freeing thoughts is realizing that our lives belong to God. He created us, redeemed us, and did so with a distinct purpose in mind. The things we face that are beyond our control, have been designed by God to bring Him glory. If we will stop in the midst of the tragedy, and seek the Lord for His purpose, we will find that our life, like that of Lazarus and his sisters, will be used for the glory of God. Later we read concerning him,
“Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.“
How cool is that! The hardship they faced led many to believe in Christ. We know the result of a person believing in Christ is that their sins are forever forgiven, God takes up residence in their lives, begins to transform them from the inside out, and gives them eternal life. There is no greater reward in life than to be used by God to positively effect someone’s eternity.
Together, let’s live for the glory of God, even in the midst of our difficulties. Life is short, eternity is forever.