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In Health Or In Sickness

"...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 11:4

Lazarus, who apparently was a close friend to Jesus was sick, very sick. He was so sick that he died. Jesus was told of his illness yet did not seem in any hurry to run to his side.

Even though Jesus was very touched, even unto the point of tears, He was not moved to perform out of the pressure of the moment. Instead of going to visit Lazarus while he was still living he said that "this sickness would not end in death but be to God's glory." Yet Lazarus ended up dead and buried for four days before Jesus got to him.

We all know the story. Jesus did not act out of pressure to see Lazarus immediately, He was moved out of love, faith, and a sense of security, knowing that He could perform a miracle at any time. So he did. He raised Lazarus from the dead, glorifying God His Father.

In this situation God was glorified through such a miracle.  Now let me show you how God was glorified in similar situation but with much different results.  For this we turn to Galatian 4:13-14 which reads, "as you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you.  Even though my illness was a trial to you ...you welcomed me...as if I were Christ Jesus Himself."

We do not know what Paul's illness was. We do not know how he got better. We do not know if he even got better; we only assume that he did. We know from scripture, as it says, he was ill, and that his illness was a trial to these people. They put up with Paul and his sickness. They more than put up with him, they welcomed him as if he were Christ Himself. As a result Paul was able to preach the gospel to them and it is obvious that they believed what Paul preached.

In this instance Paul's illness was unto the glory of God. God's glory was not seen in the healing of Paul, as far as we know. His glory was seen in the fact that these people met the Lord Himself in a life changing way because of Paul's illness.

Does this mean that God can be glorified in "health and in sickness"? Does this speak to some of our concepts concerning "healing on demand"? Can we look for Christ to be seen in our illnesses and all of our unpleasant situations?


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