01 Apr Trusting God’s Timing – Words of Grace – April 1, 2022
One of the most difficult things to trust is that God’s timing is for his glory and our good.
The basis of this trust is the relationship we have with God. By grace through faith in Christ, God is our Father. We are his children. He loves us. This reality is the reason we can trust him.
John 11 is the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus knew Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary. They were friends. He loved them.
By the time Jesus heard that Lazarus was ill, it is likely that he was already dead (this is based on the timeline of John 11 and the travel time of the messengers and Jesus). When Jesus finally arrived at Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. At this point, there would be no mistaking a resurrection for a resuscitation.
Martha and Mary both said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” They don’t seem to be angry with Jesus, but it does appear that they are questioning the timing of these events. Had the timing been different, they think, the outcome would be too.
But Jesus knew what was happening, and why. The timing of the news reaching Jesus, his time of arrival, and the length of time Lazarus was dead all played their role in the work of God to glorify himself, strengthen the faith of his disciples, and bring others to belief in him. Ironically, the resurrection of Lazarus also served to confirm the unbelief of those who conspired to kill Jesus and put the plan to do so in motion in the time ordained by God.
The main message in John 11 is that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Along with this, we are meant to see how God glorifies himself and brings people to faith in times and in ways that are determined by him. Jesus made this clear when he told his disciples that it was best that he was not there when Lazarus died so that they may believe (verse 4). In this final sign when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, we are meant to see him clearly and to learn to trust God completely. His times and ways are always good.
How do we come to trust God’s timing? Like Martha and Mary, we must learn to. We are not born with trusting hearts. Trusting God doesn’t come naturally to us. Our faith is up and down as our emotions vary from moment to moment. We are human. This reality is no reason for shame, it is confirmation that we must learn and grow over years of experience and prayer.
We come to trust God’s timing by remembering that he is our Father. Our Father knows, loves, and works all things for our good.
What situation in your life has you questioning the timing of God, wondering what he is doing and when he will come through? I encourage you not to try to figure that out. Trust that he is working and does have a timing. Focus on what’s at hand. Pray, wait, do the thing he has called you to do. Like Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, you may see it clearly in the “now.” Or some of it may remain hidden until the “not yet.” But this we know, “It is for the glory of God, so that the Son may be glorified through it… so that you may believe.”
Let’s pray for each other this weekend. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.