Shift Your Perspective
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 NLT)
Believe what exactly? At this point in the narrative, Jesus, Mary, and Martha have gone to the cave where Lazarus is buried. Mary and Martha are still disappointed and wondering how Jesus could possibly do anything about the situation.
When Jesus asks the sisters again if they “believe,” he’s referencing a statement he made earlier in 11:23-25:
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Jesus asked Martha to look beyond her disappointment and be open to possibilities beyond what she could immediately see.
This is the hardest part. It feels good for a while to hold on to disappointment. You get a sense of power from being the victim. God, you let me down when I needed you the most, how could I ever trust you again?
But walking away from faith because you’re disappointed or hurt is based on ego. It’s a sense of entitlement that says “God, if you don’t work in exactly the way I expect, it must mean you don’t love me.”
Jesus called Mary and Martha to shift their perspective on what it means for God to act.
Nobody expected Jesus to raise a man from the dead. They expected him to work while Lazarus was still alive. But Jesus has something else in mind. He chose instead to work when his friends were past all hope, to show them that even when everything seems lost, resurrection is still possible.
So it’s no coincidence that he resurrected Lazarus right before his own death. Who would ever have expected what God was about to do?
Your disappointment is not your destination. Your story isn’t over, and the last word hasn’t been spoken over your life. Faith always calls us forward. We have to be willing to work through our disappointment by releasing how we think God should work, and embrace how he is working.