John 11:40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
Here Jesus continues His dialog about faith with Martha. She began (this time around at least) by stating, in verse 22, that Jesus was greater than any circumstances. Jesus responded to that in agreement, including verses 25 and 26 that are used at most Christian funerals. It is interesting that here He says, “Did I not tell you,” but if he had said these exact words to her it wasn’t at this time. What He had said to her was, “Your brother will rise again.” (verse 23) God speaks to us again and again about faith, about trusting Him more than we trust our own senses or intellect, but He has to repeat Himself because we are so slow to listen. Our faith tends to be weak for any of a number of reasons – or all of them. We are prone to ask for things without checking with Him first, so we end up asking for what won’t be good for us. We ask with a specific time frame in mind, and when He doesn’t meet our schedule, we give up. We ask for entirely selfish motives. The list could go on and on. Hebrews 11:39-40 makes it clear that the reward for faith may well not come in this life, but it is absolutely certain. When requests are always answered promptly and affirmatively, you end up with presumption and entitlement rather than faith. God is a better Father than that! We need to rest in the assurance that He will do what is best for us, regardless of what it looks like to our natural selves.
We are in a continuing lesson in this very area. We have felt like God was telling us He would give us the land next to the church building, but then our plans fell through and it was sold to a developer. Then the Lord renewed the assurance of His plans to my heart just a few days ago. Last night in the middle of the night Cathy was up but hadn’t turned on any lights, and she saw a light moving around on the property next door. We cannot predict how, but we are being affirmed that God is going to manifest His glory by giving us that land. The point now is to keep praying, keep believing, and keep praising Him.
Father, I hesitate even to write this, because it seems so absurd to my human intellect. Thank You that You aren’t limited to what I can figure out, not now any more than You were in Bethany 2000 years ago. Help me walk in faith and obedience whatever my senses, my mind, and especially the world, are telling me, so that Your will may be done on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!