When The Lord Makes No Sense
by Doug Pierce
Published on May 27, 2022
Categories: Spiritual Growth


By Doug Pierce

“Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.” John 11:5-6

An urgent message came to Jesus. His good friend Lazarus was very sick and needed Him ASAP. Surely Jesus, the One who had on many occasions dropped everything to go heal complete strangers, would come running to Lazarus’ town of Bethany to save the day, right? Wrong! When Jesus heard Lazarus was deathly ill, He purposely waited two more days before making the twenty-mile journey to Bethany. By the time He finally got there, Lazarus had died and lay in the tomb for four days. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, both said the same thing when Jesus finally showed up, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21, 32). Undoubtedly, they were wondering WHY He didn’t come in time. Undoubtedly, they were shell-shocked at the message He sent, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (John 11:4). What in the world could that possibly mean given the fact that Lazarus died the very day Jesus spoke those words? They might have have even been thinking, “Is this some cruel joke?” Without any doubt, the Lord wasn’t making much sense to Mary and Martha. Have you ever been there? Have you ever prayed about a problem and believed God for an answer, only to have the problem worsen … even to the point of death, or divorce, or becoming bankrupt? Have you ever cried out to God in prayer and seemingly received nothing from Him to meet your pressing need? I think we can all relate.


  1. YOU REMEMBER THAT HE LOVES YOU. Before the Bible tells us that Jesus purposely waited two more days before coming to Bethany, it clearly states, “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus” (John 11:4). Just because the Lord does not do things the way you and I think He should or when we think He should, that does not mean the Lord has stopped loving us. God is love and everything He does flows from His great heart of love. When God’s actions and delays don’t make sense to us, we must cling to the fact that He loves us. The Bible declares it again and again, and the blood-stained cross of Christ proves it beyond any shadow of a doubt.
  1. YOU MUST TRUST THAT HE HAS A BETTER PLAN. Jesus purposely waited until Lazarus was dead four days before coming to Bethany. Why in the world would He do that? He did it because He was going to perform His greatest miracle of all, the raising of Lazarus from the grave. Jesus had raised two other people from the dead (Jairus’ daughter, freshly dead in her bed and the guy from Nain, hours dead and in a casket on the way to the cemetery), but He had never called a man who had been dead four days back to life from the tomb. That miracle proved He was indeed the resurrection and the life.” It was irrefutable evidence that Jesus was and is God in the flesh. Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when He delayed His coming. While it would have been a great blessing to have him heal Lazarus from his sick bed, it was a much more amazing miracle to have Him raise the decaying Lazarus’ body from the grave.


Perhaps you are facing great problems today. Although you have been praying, God does not seem to be answering. Your tears are flowing, your faith is floundering, and like Martha and Mary, you are sitting there puzzled that the Lord hasn’t shown up yet. You’re asking, “What’s the deal, Lord?” Listen, it may be day three for you and your situation. But I have good news: If you will keep trusting Him, the Lord is on His way with a jaw-dropping, mind-boggling miracle!

Day four is coming! You see, the greater the problem, the greater the miracle God is getting ready to perform.

Of course, He doesn’t make sense to you and me. The same Words He spake through Jeremiah long ago He speaks to your heart and mine today, “…as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (see 55:9). He is the infinite God who sees all and knows all, from beginning to end.

Whatever the trouble, remember His love and keep trusting Him, regardless of the current circumstances. He knows exactly what He is doing, and He really will work all things together for your good and His glory! Keep trusting Him when it doesn’t make sense to. As Warren Weirsbe says, “God’s people live by promises, not explanations.”


Think it over…


Doug Pierce is a Church planter and a pastor. In 2003 he started, and continues to pastor First Independent Methodist Church in Madison, Mississippi. His #1 priority is to glorify God in all aspects of ministry. He does this through teaching his congregation to Love God, Love One Another, and Love Others to God. Prayer, outreach, and church growth through evangelism are vital parts of his ministry. He and his wife Suzanne live in Madison, Mississippi where they also enjoy their children and grandchildren.

To find out more about Doug and his ministry visit the FIMC Website


Photo is graciously contributed with permission by Dorothée QUENNESSON


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