Why Does God Sometimes Delay (John 11:1-6)?

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Why Does God Sometimes Delay (John 11:1-6)?

Josie, 11, said: “When Jesus heard that Lazarus was dying, he waited to leave because he wanted to do something more honorable.”

God may be late, but he is never late. Lazarus’ death is a classic example of God’s delay in increasing his glory.

Would God be glorified if Jesus healed Lazarus before dying? Absolutely! What Lazarus’ sisters (Mary and Martha) could not have foreseen was that their brother’s death would bring greater glory to God.

Both Martha and Mary said the same thing when they saw Jesus: “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died,” (John 11:21 and 32).

Both sisters knew that Jesus could heal, but the Lord wanted to take them to a place of greater faith and glory. The lesson Jesus taught because of his delay was so clear in his conversation with Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he dies, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me, shall never die. Do you believe it? (John 11:25-26).

What brings more glory to God? To heal Lazarus before he dies, or to raise him from the grave? The comparison isn’t even close. Giving life to a dead body far outweighs all healing miracles. Only God can raise the dead!

“It’s part of God’s test of whether we have faith in us and believe in Him,” said 11-year-old Kaiden.

God sometimes tests Christians so that their faith in him will grow. He wants us to pass the test so he can show us more of himself. God tests, but he never tempts us to sin. Yes, the devil tempted Jesus just as he tempted Jesus in the desert to act independently of his father (Luke 4:1-13).

“God is delaying because we’re asking him for the wrong reasons,” says 11-year-old MacKenzie.

Our own desires or selfish desires drive us into temptation. Many of God’s delays are simply unanswered prayers of immature Christians or carnal Christians who are filled with themselves instead of God’s Holy Spirit. When God refuses to answer such prayers, it is an act of mercy.

Would you survive childhood if your parents gave you everything you asked for or asked for? I doubt it.

Accepting God’s delay requires faith: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Live in hope that one day you will meet the Lord Jesus Christ face to face in the glory of His coming Kingdom. Let this hope give you the confidence to laugh away at the false hopes offered by advertisers.

When God’s timetable differs from yours, trust His grace and infinite wisdom to know best. Even if you don’t understand or see what He’s doing, let faith generate a God-induced optimism in you. Don’t sink into depression when circumstances get in the way of your plans. Keep your eyes on Jesus and trust Him for things beyond your control.

Think about it: “I have some flowers in my flower beds that only bloom in spring. They all take time to bloom. Once they do, they’re beautiful,” says 11-year-old Abby.

Remember this truth: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Ask these questions: Can you accept God’s delay as part of His plan of care for your life? When evil seems to be triumphant in your world, can you still trust that God will eventually right all wrong?

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