“But for the Glory of God”
John 11:l-4 KJV
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha... 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? I knew the suffering of Jesus was a gift to me, but I hadn’t thought that my suffering was gifted to me by God. 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. In that message, they included an important word to us who 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 waited a while before coming to them. Mary and Martha both said to Jesus, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
Jesus 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.
Suffering for Jesus’ sake comes from a Greek word meaning, gracious gift of God (Philippians 1:29). What an extraordinary gift the Lord gave to Mary and Martha in their time of grief. He showed His deep love for them and raised Lazarus from the grave. We may never be healed in this lifetime from our suffering, but will it be said of you, “They suffered, ‘but for the glory of God’ in their lives here on earth and in their death?”
Lord, I know I am loved in my suffering, may I glorify You in my life and in my death.