The Faith of Martha
For the last two weeks I have been teaching out of John 11 - Lazarus' resurrection. Each time I read this chapter, I get something new out of this timeless, miraculous story. From Jesus' deliberate delay to Martha's extraordinary faith, there is so much to learn about our God and how He works in our lives. Often times, we pray and pray and we don't get the answer we prayed for. What do we do then? Do we give up on God? Do we decide He is not trustworthy or do we continue to hold on to Him even though life has gone suddenly awry. Martha and Mary faced the same crossroad in their relationship with Jesus. Jesus was their friend. They knew Him well. They had listened to Him teach. They had eaten with Him. They had sent for Him when their brother got sick, but Jesus, their good friend, didn't come right away. He deliberately waited until Lazarus had been dead for four days before going to Bethany. Did his delay mean he didn't really love Lazarus, Martha, and Mary? No, Scripture is quick to point out to us in John 11:5 that Jesus loved them all. Surely Martha and Mary were upset that Jesus didn't come to their rescue immediately. They watched their brother die without ever seeing Jesus. They buried him and still Jesus did not arrive. Four days after Lazarus' burial Jesus shows up. Martha goes running to meet him declaring, "if you had been here my brother would not have died." What I love about Martha is she doesn't stop there, she goes on to say, "But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." Wow, talk about faith. I don't know if Martha even in her wildest dreams expected Jesus to call Lazarus back to life, but she believed in her friend Jesus. She knew He was "the Christ, the Son of God" (v.27) and just because life hadn't gone as she hoped, she still believed. We could all learn from Martha's example. When you know Jesus, really know him, you will be able to trust Him even when hard times come. Circumstances cannot change who He is. Bad things happen - yes, even to good people, but Jesus is always our ever present help in time of trouble. Take a lesson from Martha - when life goes awry, run to Jesus!