John 11:38-44 The bigger the challenge, the greater the grace
John 11:38-44 The bigger the challenge, the greater the grace
So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”
Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone.
Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”
When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
Jesus was faced with immense pressure because many knew that Lazarus had already been dead for four days. However great the pressure, the Father will supply the necessary grace to see Jesus through the miracle.
Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”
There is a stone standing between Jesus and the corpse of Lazarus. We observe Jesus removing the stone before He prayed to the Father; Jesus’ actions revealed His complete trust in the Father’s faithfulness; Lazarus must be raised! God must be glorified! And there was no other way.
Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.
As Jesus called for the stone to be removed, Martha exclaimed that Lazarus had already been dead for four days implying the immense difficulty facing Jesus. Jesus reminded Martha of her earlier confession concerning Him who is the resurrection and the life: “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”. Because it was widely known that Lazarus was already dead for some days and it had started to decompose, this miracle would undoubtedly reveal the glory of God and who Jesus is.
Father, I thank You that You have heard Me
After the stone was removed, Jesus prayed to the Father: “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me.” In fact, Jesus did not actually ask God to raise Lazarus, He merely gave thanks that God has heard His every prayer. Jesus’ prayer revealed His total confidence in the Father in times of need. Jesus’ words, “but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me” revealed a relationship that is based on loyalty and trust. Then, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” And the dead man walked out bound with wrappings.
In all your endeavours, the bigger the challenges, the greater the grace.
When pressures of circumstances rise, do not entertain the thoughts of diversion or possible failure, but put your complete trust in God. Jesus did not entertain the possibility of an unresponsive Lazarus. In fact, it may seem more prudent to call forth Lazarus, then remove the stone after ascertaining his resurrection (a face saving measure, just in case the miracle didn’t work). If we are walking in God’s will, we can be confident of success because God’s grace is always greater than our circumstances. Be committed and single minded in your ministry and career objectives and be dependent on Him.
A bigger challenge may require more faith, but it will also produce a greater glory
Great faith produce great miracles with far-reaching and wide-ranging effects. Despite Lazarus being dead for four days and decomposition had set in, Jesus remained confident that God would raise Lazarus. The greater the difficulty, the greater the glory. Hence, we must not murmur and envy those who seemed to have an easier path of life. Your circumstances will produce in you a legacy of righteousness, perseverance and faith for the generations to follow.
No problem is too big for those who love God and do His will.
For those who love God, mountains shall be removed, seas shall be opened, and storms shall be calmed at their command. If we love God and follow Him wholeheartedly, our lives will be filled with miracles, for nothing can stand in our way. Jesus did not ask the Father to raise Lazarus, He merely gave thanks that God has already heard His prayer. Having obtained this confidence, we no longer need to “pray hard” to get God to answer our prayers. Instead, we focus on aligning our will with His being wholeheartedly committed to do His business.
Do not be presumptuous but enquire of God concerning the matter at hand.
Although Jesus was given authority from the Father, He was not presumptuous but enquired of God. When Jesus said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.” He was given the divine approval to raise Lazarus. People tend to become presumptuous when it comes to praying for the sick or going to certain places to minister in the gospel. They become emotionally attached to people or the work and ceased to discern the will of the Father.
The power of God is activated and set in motion through the declaration of our tongue.
The words of our tongue reveal our faith and set in motion the power of God in the natural. A person’s language and approach to the problems of life will determine if he will be successful in life. Hence, we must always be aware of the our language because it indirectly affects the outcome of our endeavours. Lazarus came forth walking upon the declaration of Jesus’ words. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” If we find ourselves speaking negatively about people and circumstances, we must immediately arrest our mindset and put our trust in God.
1. If you depend on God in the small matters, you will succeed in all matters of life. Start the day in consultation with God even in the smallest of matters, He will give you wisdom and strength for all matters.
2. Do not make a hasty promise, but take time to count the cost and the time needed to complete it. Do not be presumptuous, or make a promise until you are confident that you could deliver on them.
3. Do not focus on formulating solutions to problems, but focus on maintaining a positive mindset towards the goal and a lifestyle of dependence on God’s grace.
Dear Lord, help me to be aware of the power of Christ that is resident within me. I will depend on You for wisdom and strength even in the smallest of matters. I receive from Your Spirit grace and love to succeed and to become a blessing to my world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.