When Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4, esv).
It’s not hard to imagine the desperation of these two biblical sisters, Mary and Martha, who sent a messenger to Jesus, communicating to Him the dire condition of their brother Lazarus. It’s now or never, Lord! You need to get here. One of your best friends is dying!
They knew what they were seeing, feeling, and what everyone around them was saying. The combination of all these things created the filter through which they were processing reality. Lazarus was dying. And then Lazarus was dead. And Jesus, for whatever odd reason, “when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was” (John 11:6), rather than beating it down to Bethany as fast as He could get there.
It was over.
Everything was over.
Right? Wrong. Because nothing is over until Jesus says it’s over.
You probably know what happened with Lazarus—how Jesus, arriving four days after the man’s body had been wrapped in a linen shroud and laid in a tomb, told someone to take away the stone from the cave-like opening. Then He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43, nasb). A dead man came to life that day on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
But do you believe dead things can still come to life, even now, in the place where you live? Because nothing is over till Jesus says it’s over—regardless of what you see, feel, or what everyone is telling you.
I’m in a loveless marriage. I’ve tried everything. It’s over. No, I’ve seen God break through. I’ve seen hearts humbled. I’ve seen things turn completely around. It wasn’t over . . . because Jesus said it wasn’t over.
I’ve made horrible financial decisions. I’m losing everything. It’s over. No, I’ve seen what can happen when people in desperate straits make Christ the head of their finances. I’ve seen it come down to the last minute. But it wasn’t over . . . because Jesus said it wasn’t over.
The illness that Lazarus faced was not going to “end in death,” Jesus said. “No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:5, niv). He didn’t say that Lazarus wasn’t going to die. He just said that in the end, Lazarus wouldn’t be dead. This ordeal that His friends and family were enduring was infused with a higher purpose that would result in God receiving maximum glory.
So hold in your hands today the lifeless remains of whatever situation in your life you’ve concluded is over—something in your family, job, health, or something that keeps hounding you from your past. You know what it is. And you may have convinced yourself that it’s never getting any better.
But not everything that dies ends in death.
It’s not over until Jesus says it’s over. And He never gets over resurrecting things that can bring Him the glory due His name.
Lord, please birth in me an increased level of faith, and help me see the situations in my life through Your eyes and Your authority rather than my own. I believe that through relationship with You, I can resist limiting my vision to what’s right in front of me. Thank You that I’m not relegated merely to what I can see and feel, or what others are saying, or even what I’m thinking. I choose to base my reality on what You’ve said, knowing that You will be faithful to Your promises. You can do anything, Lord. I surrender my situation to Your sovereignty and goodness, trusting that You can do anything and that You will do what’s best. In Jesus’ name, amen.