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Thu, Sep 03 2009 - 07:30 PM

The Power of If

Then, Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God? (John NIV)


Here is the setting of the story:  Lazarus has been dead and the tomb for 4 days.  Jesus has arrived “late on the scene” or so everyone thinks.  He asked for the stone to be rolled away from the tomb.


You can imagine the reaction of Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus.  It would be similar to our reaction if Jesus came along and asked us to dig up the grave of our loved one and open the casket!


Martha, said, “But Jesus, it has been 4 days, the smell will be awful!”


I like the translation of Jesus’ response as it appears in The Message:  Jesus looked her in the eye and said, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 

It kind of reminds me of a parent that makes the kid look him in the eye to be sure he understands.  It says the parent is serious—loving but firm.  It implies this conversation really isn’t up for debate. 


Or, maybe it was a very gentle gesture.  Perhaps Jesus gently lifted Martha’s chin so that she was looking at Him and said with a soft, “everything is going to be okay” voice, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 


Martha did the only thing she could.  She moved aside and let them move the stone.  What happened next is one of the most talked about miracles in the Bible.  Jesus called to Lazarus and commanded him to come out of the tomb and Lazarus did just that! 


Jesus was not “late on the scene” after all.    Many who witnessed and heard about this miracle became believers.  Had Jesus arrived before Lazarus died and healed him, it would have been easy just to say that Lazarus got better on his own.  The impact would not have been the same.  God was glorified because Lazarus died.


I believe that God will never allow us to experience pain, trials, sufferings and struggles unless He can ultimately use it for His glory.  There is a requirement, though.  That requirement lies in the power of “if”.


Never thought of “if” as being a powerful word?  Think about these things:


The oven will only bake the pie IF you turn it on.  I can put a pie in the oven and leave it for days on end, but it will never bake my pie unless I turn that oven on.


The car will only drive IF you start the engine.  I can get into the driver’s seat, watch out the window, press down on the gas and turn the steering wheel all I want but the car won’t drive me anywhere unless I start the engine.


The scripture above says something very important.  It says that you will see the glory of God IF you believe.  In the midst of sadness, difficulties, struggles, trials and suffering, we will only see the glory of God IF we believe.


What if Mary and Martha had not believed?  Would they have still seen the glory of God?  Would Jesus still have raised Lazarus?  We don’t know.  What we do know is that Mary and Martha did believe.  They believed that Jesus was who He said He was and they trusted Him.


The promise in today’s version holds true for us today.  When times are tough, when things are hard, when nothing seems to be going right, when you need the impossible to happen, Jesus is saying to you…..


“Didn’t I tell you that you would see the glory of God IF you believed?”(I think He might also add:  So, what’s it going to be?  Do you believe or not?)


I believe that God is in control of all things.  There is sin in the world and bad things will always happen, but God “allows” those things to happen because ultimately that “bad thing” will glorify Him…. If we just trust and believe.   


It is all in the power of “if”……..


Lord, please help it to never be a question of “if” I believe….regardless of the situation.  Help me to trust You without hesitation or delay.  Teach me to rely on Your Word and to stand firm on Your promises—no ifs about it!  .

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Name: worknmom

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About: I am a married, working mother with 2 children a daughter age 17 and a son age 14. I have a passion for writing and feel led to work with pre-teen girls. I blog mostly about my spiritual journey as I seek God's perfect will for my life.

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