Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Have you ever considered that your suffering is a gift from God to you, “but for the glory of God?” I knew that the suffering of Jesus was a gift to me personally but hadn’t actually thought very long on the idea that my suffering was gifted to me by my Lord and Savior. It is hard to think that suffering is a gift when you are in the midst of the suffering.
Mary and Martha had sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was very sick and in that message they included a word so important to us whom suffer, “he whom thou lovest is sick.” The sister’s of Lazarus were hurting for their brother and wanted Jesus to be there for him. Jesus did not come to Bethany immediately but tarried awhile before coming to them. Mary and Martha both said to Jesus, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
He knew Lazarus was sick and that he had already died before He even came to Bethany. What was His purpose in waiting to come to Lazarus and to Mary and Martha? “But for the glory of God” is what Jesus told His disciples. Jesus allowed Lazarus to die so that God would be glorified in Lazarus’ resurrection from the dead.
What a great gift the Lord gave to them in their suffering. In the sorrow of death, and there is immense sorrow and suffering in death, the Lord, Himself, came to them in love, to whom He loved, and raised Lazarus from the grave.
We may never be healed in this life from our suffering, sickness, financial ruin, or from death but will it be said of you, “They suffered, ‘but for the glory of God’ in their life and in their death?” Is your suffering a gift from God to you to bring glory to His name? Why else are we here, but to glorify Him!