“When he heard this, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it'” (John 11:4, NIV).
When Jesus had heard that his friend, Lazarus, was near death, He did not rush to his side. He lingered two days before going to him. He knew the outcome was life for Lazarus, and a witness to the amazing power of God. At that point others around Him could not see that truth. They just did not understand why Jesus, who had healed so many others, would not rush to heal His friend. Jesus knew it was an opportunity to bring glory to God. Whatever sickness or problem or situation or danger we face, it is also another opportunity to bring glory to God. Jesus lingers sometimes in rescuing us, just as He lingered in rescuing Lazarus, so that we might learn a lesson in the midst of hardship, or grow closer to Him through a prolonged illness, or discover a depth of faith to believe in what we cannot see. He knows our troubles and our illnesses, and He comes when the time is right for deliverance and healing. He does not linger in order to punish us, but to bring greater promise and purpose to our life.
Jesus loves the whole world that He died for. When you accept Him into your heart, and believe He is your Savior, His promises in His Word are true for you. Now here is a promise. “Heal me, Lord,” Jeremiah declared, “and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” (Jeremiah 17:14, NIV). His Word is truth. He does save and He does heal. But His ways and timing are not ours (Isaiah 55:8). It is in His time. One day He will rescue and He will heal. In the midst of your pain and hardship, seek and pray for faith to believe.
“Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, 'Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.' When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!' The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, 'Take off the grave clothes and let him go'” (John 11:40-44, NIV).
If you believe, you shall the glory of God. Believe it, and watch your stone roll away. Don't despair in the midst of your illness or your struggle or your problem or your heartache. Praise Him for His faithfulness to you even when He lingers for your benefit (Hebrews 13:15). He calls forth your healing, your deliverance, and your promise when His time is perfect. He rescues you from what would kill your faith and your spiritual life. You walk forth out of the grave clothes that have held you in bondage into His newness of life (Romans 6:1-4).