It happened for the glory of God so that the Son
of God will receive glory from this (v.4).
When my friend Jimmy’s cancer returned for
the fourth time, he made a choice. Though
he knew the path ahead would be difficult
(another invasive, painful surgery inside his lung), he
strove to bring glory to God. So during his week-long,
post-operative stay in the hospital, he greeted the doctors
and nurses (and anyone who entered his room) with a
smile and ever-ready discussions of God and faith. Then,
when he began to mend, he walked the halls and poked
his head into patients’ rooms, ministering to them. He
spread “Jimmy joy” wherever he went.
Jimmy’s journey through cancer has been inspiring
to me. He’s lived out what Jesus taught us through the
sickness of one of his friends. Although Lazarus was
“very sick,” Jesus told those near to Him that some good
would come from the illness. There was purpose in His
friend’s pain. In fact, Jesus said, “[Lazarus’ sickness]
happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God
will receive glory from this” (John 11:4).
When Jesus later entered Bethany (v.17), the people
were grieving. But Jesus pushed them toward believing.
He asked Lazarus’ sister Martha if she truly believed that
He had power to raise her brother back to life and to
provide eternal life to those who trust in Him (vv.23-26).
She replied, “Lord, I have always believed You.”
Then, just moments before raising Lazarus back to life,
Jesus proclaimed, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see
God’s glory if you believe?” (v.40). It takes true belief to
bring glory to God in your sickness and pain.
Will you choose to spread some “Jimmy joy” as you deal with the difficult
things God is allowing you to go through? If so, you’ll bring glory to Him and be
a blessing to others! —Tom Felten
Check out Philippians
2:6-11 to see the glory
that Jesus received due to
His pain and suffering on
What makes it hard
to bring God glory
when you’re dealing
with personal pain and
sickness? How will you
strive to glorify God
through a current trial in