Journey Group Devotional, 10/29/15
Disappointed with God – John 11
Would a sincere Christian dare to admit disappointment with God? Could a genuine believer feel like God has let them down?
In John 11 we find a situation of questioning and disappointment. It’s the familiar story of the sickness and death of Lazarus. His sisters, Mary and Martha, experienced the deep grief and pain of their brother’s death. On top of that was the hurt of their very close friend who just seemed to let Lazarus die without doing anything at all to help. That close friend was of course, none other than the Lord, Jesus Christ. He could have come back. He had the power to heal Lazarus. He could have prevented the whole situation. Yet, when Jesus heard about Lazarus’ sickness, He stayed right where He was – two more days. Then Lazarus died. And that raises all the Why questions:
- Why did Lazarus have to suffer?
- Why did Jesus just let his friend die?
- Why all the broken hearts?
- Why do bad things happen to good people?
The disappointment, questions, anger and deep hurt comes out with Mary and Martha’s statement, Lord, if You had been here my brother would not have died…, (see John 11:21, 32). Implied are statements like:
- It’s Your fault my brother died.
- Jesus, You didn’t cause this, but You sure didn’t help.
- Where were You when I needed You?
- Lord, I sure am disappointed in You.
God let them down… or so it seemed. Lazarus was dead, but the story was not over. In fact, it was only beginning. You see, Jesus had a plan. He had told His disciples that Lazarus’ sickness was for the glory of God (John 11:4), but they didn’t understand. Certainly Mary and Martha knew nothing about this plan. They just knew their brother was dead, their hearts were broken, and Jesus was not there for them. When Jesus finally arrived He said, I am the resurrection and the life….
Note: Jesus didn’t just say He could give a resurrection, and could give life. He IS the resurrection. He IS life.
The story of Lazarus was not over, friend neither is yours. May you see His resurrection and life today!