Devotion

Look Past the Present

by Greg Laurie on Jun 2, 2020
So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days.
—John 11:5–6
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Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were personal friends of Jesus Christ, and He liked to spend time at their home in Bethany. If they had cell phones in those days, they would have had His number. (And they probably would have had a text thread going.)

So when Lazarus became ill, they sent word to Jesus: “Lord, your dear friend is very sick” (John 11:3 NLT). They didn’t tell Him what to do. They figured He would take care of it. I think they assumed Jesus would heal him.

Mary and Martha probably looked up the road and said to their friends, “Hey, Jesus should be here any second. He’ll come right down that road. He always has those 12 guys with Him, and they kick up a lot of dust. You’ll see.”

But then the story takes an interesting twist: “So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days” (John 11:5–6 NLT).

Now, that doesn’t make any sense to us at all. When hardship hits, we say, “Lord, where were you? Why aren’t you doing something? Why aren’t you engaged here? Don’t you even care?”

Yet God can be glorified through human suffering and bring good out of bad.

Mary and Martha wanted a healing; Jesus wanted a resurrection. He wanted to do more than they wanted Him to do.

We think that all the good times in our lives will bring hope. But in reality, hope grows in the garden of adversity.

We see the small picture, but God sees the big picture. We see the temporal, but He sees the eternal.

All of that will be made clear to us in that final day. But in the meantime, despite the hardships of life, we must remember that God loves us.

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Deep reflection on the fundamental Christian messages of love, compassion, charity, and self-sacrifice are part of Henry “Red” Erwin’s story, as told by his grandson, Jon Erwin .

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