Jn.11:4 – But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.
All of us have stuff that happens that stops us in our tracks. Inevitably we wonder why the Lord allows tragedies and misery in our lives. Why was that baby born premature and not able to live out its life, why was one born with ailments and physical imperfections? Why are there sometimes unexplainable accidents even when all safety precautions were taken? Sorry to say there is not one answer that I can give that will answer all of our questions. This story today, the one about Jesus’s friend Lazarus, gives a glimpse into why tragedy often strikes. Jesus said it clearly, this sickness and apparent death in the case of Lazarus would not end in death. This circumstance came about for an opportunity for the Lord to display His glory. This was one of the great miracles in the ministry of Jesus. After four days in the tomb, Lazarus was raised up for the glory of God. Here is how Bishop Ellicott explains this event.
“This sickness is not unto death— will not have death as its final result.”
the Son of God might be glorified thereby.—This furtherance of the glory of God with the purpose of glorifying the Son carries us back to the oneness of the work of the Father and Son which has been made prominent in our Lord’s words. But the words seem to carry us forwards as well as backwards. In the next chapter (John 11:23) our Lord says. “The hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified,” and the reference is to His death. Is that thought absent from the words here? The sickness of Lazarus would not indeed issue in death, though it would end in what men call death, and would be the immediate cause leading to the death of the Son of Man. The one would be as a sleep from which he would awake, the other should be the glorifying the Son of God, which would issue in the life of the world.”
Could it be that the troubles that you are facing are just that, an opportunity for God to be glorified? I believe they are. The Lord will be glorified as the people around you see the way you look to God and trust Him in your struggles. They will be stopped in their tracks when the Lord shows up outside your tomb calling out your name.