What do you do when it seems like death has eaten up your promise?
I believe that many of us are familiar with the story of Lazarus found in the Gospel according to John, chapter 11: He was sick … His sisters called for Jesus … Jesus tarried … Lazarus died … He was buried … Four days later, Jesus finally arrived and raised him from the dead.
There is something about this story, though, that I would like to draw attention to.
When Jesus received news that his friend Lazarus was sick, He said,
“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:5 NIV
Jesus said that Lazarus’ sickness would not end in death, yet Lazarus died. If many of us were in this position, in the middle of the process when our promise died, we may have labeled Jesus a liar and a false prophet.
However, let us take a closer look at what He said; “This sickness will not END in death.” Death will not be the end of the story. Death will not bring down the curtains. Nonetheless, He did not say that Lazarus will not die. He did not exclude death from the process. Jesus revealed the end of the situation while keeping the process of getting there concealed. Many times the LORD does that to us. He shows us the end of our promise but not the process of getting us to that promise.
How then can we survive the process? Apostle Paul gives us in the answer in
Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in your troubles, and continue steadfastly in prayer.”
When God gives us a promise, it is exciting! But the process can be long, hard, trying and tiring; anything but exciting. However, what we do during that process to persevere and push through is to simply exercise our faith. And the way we exercise our faith is to do three (3) things:
1. Rejoice in our hope
We tap into the joy of the LORD, which is our strength. We rejoice knowing we have Ruach HaKodesh to keep us through the process. We have joy knowing that our trust is in the God who cannot and will not lie; and that if He said it, He will do it. We choose to have joy because when we allow ourselves to start becoming depressed, we begin to lose hope and when we lose hope we begin to lose life.
2. Being patient in our troubles
We must be patient knowing that the troubles, challenges, delays, and disappointments are only for a season, they will not last forever. When we understand this, we are able to endure the process. We push through, we persevere – knowing that every season has an end.
3. Continue steadfastly in prayer
Oh, how I struggle with this one! We must not cease to pray. Praying keeps us connected to our Source. We draw the joy, faith, and strength we need to press on. We receive downloads of information to guide us, encourage us, inspire us, strengthen us through the process.
Making it through the the process is not easy but it is possible!
So what do you do when it seems like death has eaten up your promise? What do you do when it seems like it is the end before it even had a chance to begin? The answer has much to do with our faith and believing the word of the LORD despite what we are seeing in front of us.
Habukkuk 2:3 CJB “For the vision is meant for its appointed time; it speaks of the end, and it does not lie. It may take a while, but wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.”
When we find ourselves in this position we need to realign our faith to triumph over our fears, believe the word the LORD spoke to us, wait for our expected end and hold fast to our promise knowing that it shall come to pass.
– Believing the Report of the LORD