In John, chapter 11, is a well-known passage of Jesus raising his friend, Lazarus, from the dead. It’s an incredible, miraculous story. If you haven’t read it, you should. This idea that we serve a God who brings dead things back to life inspires us to ask Jesus to do the impossible.

Zooming into the story a little closer, we also see the process of faith and the complexities of the story.

Lazarus got sick, and Jesus received word of it. In verses 4 and 5, Jesus told them not to worry; the sickness would not end in death. Then Jesus continued to minister in the town He was in for two more days.

The frustrating thing about these verses is that we don’t see Jesus in a hurry or worried that his friend is dying! In verse 17, we read., “On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.” What!?!? Didn’t Jesus say this sickness wouldn’t end in death?

How would you feel if you got a word from the Lord and the very opposite happened, and the cherry on top was that He was late to the party?

Rightly so, Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, were devastated and pretty hurt. When both went out to meet Jesus, they reminded Him that this wouldn’t have happened to their brother if He had been there.

In the middle of this tragedy, Martha responds in faith. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now, God will give you whatever you ask.”

Wow! Her response is inspiring. “But I know even now…”. After everything that has happened and in the middle of the confusion, I know you can do it, Jesus!

Being in the middle of God’s promise and faced with current reality is where faith matures.

In this story, Jesus was late on purpose. In John 11:14, Jesus, talking to his disciples, said, So then He told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and for your sake, I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’”

Jesus’ delay set the stage for God to do something far greater than expected. Healing is remarkable, but raising the dead is on another level!

Martha’s faith was strengthened because Jesus’ delay solidified in her heart who Jesus was to her. The disappointment of the unanswered request didn’t cause her to question the character of Jesus.

Faith is matured in the middle. When we can’t see the end of our current situation, will we continue to trust in Him or allow the circumstances to cause us to question, doubt, or leave Him?

We can trust Jesus, even in the middle.


Chad Fagundes is Men’s and Outreach Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. He can be reached at or 559-582-1528.