A Heavenly Perspective
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
~ John 16:33 (NIV)
When Mary and Martha found out about how ill their brother, Lazarus, was, they sent word to Jesus and simply said, “Lord, the one you love is sick” (John 11:3). In other words, “Lord, remember us—Mary, Martha, and Lazarus here in Bethany? We’re Your friends. You hang out at our home whenever You’re in town. Remember Martha? She’s the one who makes those killer meals. Mary is the one who sits at Your feet. And Lazarus? He’s Your friend, Lord. Your friend is sick.”
They probably thought Jesus would just speak the word, and Lazarus would be healed instantaneously. Or perhaps He would rush back and lay His hand on Lazarus’ fevered brow.
Instead we read that Jesus delayed His arrival. In fact, when Jesus heard about Lazarus, He 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” (verse 4). Although Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, He stayed where He was for the next two days.
You know the rest of the story. Jesus allowed Lazarus to die, but then He raised him from the dead. The point was that God wanted to bring greater glory to His name.
It is true that God loves us and works all things together for good. But the problem arises with our definition of how God should show that love and what we feel “good” ought to be in our lives. We think that good means no pain, no suffering, no hardship—that it means a problem-free life.
Our definition of good is what benefits us in the here and now, not in the by and by. We are interested in what will benefit us temporarily, but God is interested in what will benefit us eternally.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for my life and everything you have bestowed upon me and upon all people, this day and every day. I thank you for the good and bad, the understanding of forgiveness, and your holy power, without which we would have nothing. I thank you this day for all your blessings, your gifts, your never ending love for us. Although we all are sinners, I ask you to forgive me every day for what I might have done wrong, that I might not have noticed. Even though we all come short of the glory of God, I thank you for the sacrifice of your only son Jesus Christ for all our sins. You and only you know us Father and you know if our hearts are true. So once again, I thank you with all my heart and soul. In the name of Christ I pray, Amen.In Jesus,
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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
We equate good with a problem-free life. But is that reality?