When it comes to Kingdom living, circumstances can make it difficult to see clearly, speak freely, and walk progressively toward God-size living.
God calls us by name to follow Him, and yet, salvation is not the end of our journey–it’s the beginning. The journey can be bumpy with twists and turns–even road blocks! Jesus understands, and He can use your circumstance to help you find your brave.
Lazarus of Bethany
I recently pondered the Biblical story of Lazarus resurrection. As you may recall, Lazarus and Jesus were close friends. When Jesus visited the town of Bethany, He spent time with Lazarus and his two sisters Martha and Mary. When Jesus was away, Lazarus became ill and died.
Jesus had delayed long enough, and He told His disciples they needed to return to the town of Bethany to resurrect his friend, Lazarus. The disciples thought Jesus was talking about sleep, not death.
At Bethany, Lazarus’ sisters and friends mourned his death. Jesus tried to explain that Lazarus would rise again—literally. However, his sisters couldn’t see beyond their pain to consider a miracle.
Scripture tells us that Jesus wept. I used to think it was because He grieved the loss of his friend. But wait a minute, Jesus knew Lazarus was dead. Lazarus death was not a surprise or obstacle for Jesus–yet, He wept. I pondered this rhetorical question, “Did Jesus weep because no one considered He could do the impossible?” Was His deepest desire untethered trust?
I thought, “Lord, do I grieve your heart when I accept circumstances rather than God-size living?
Jesus is the resurrection. In Greek, resurrection means “standing up again” and figuratively “recovery of spiritual truth.”
I realized how often I forget Jesus is the resurrection (present tense), and I need “recovery of spiritual truth” to find my “brave.”
The Need for Community
Lazarus resurrection was a miracle that showed God’s divine power. Jesus didn’t need help, but Jesus chose to involve people throughout the process. Notice Jesus’ responses and the subtle spiritual truths they propose.
“Where have you laid him?” – John 11:34
Every difficult circumstance requires us to bring Jesus to the scene.
“Remove the stone,” – John 11:39
Every difficult circumstance has an obstacle that Jesus wants to remove.
“Lazarus, come forth,” – John 11: 43
Every difficult circumstance is a potential miracle.
“Unbind him, and let him go,” – John 11:44
Every difficult circumstance needs community support.
Jesus brings freedom, but He has chosen us as partners. What a glorious privilege.
Find Your Brave
Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the grave. He could have healed Lazarus while He was out of town by simply saying, “You’re completely healed, Lazarus!”
Jesus had a greater plan in mind. Jesus is the resurrection—the one who brings recovery of spiritual truth. Jesus engaged Lazarus family and friends to partner with Him in ministry.
Yes, we need Jesus, but we also need community. We need to surround ourselves with friends that keep us accountable, provoke us to good works, and offer encouragement during meltdowns.
Throughout the process, you will find your brave.
Have a blessed weekend.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update . (1995). . LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
Strong, J. (1996). The New Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.