Jesus knew what he was going to do in Bethany before he did it. His goal was to use the death and resurrection of Lazarus, with all of its accompanying pain and chaos, as a way to grow the faith, trust, and confidence in all who saw and heard.
Jesus was showing here what James 1.2-4 really looked like: trials test our faith. This testing leads to perseverance. When perseverance is complete, we will be spiritually mature and possess all we need to live a life pleasing to God.
But notice this: it all begins with trials, pain, and suffering. It all begins “in the waiting room.” There’s just no way around it; the lessons God desires to teach—particularly relating to trust—only come as we travel this difficult road. While we often wish it was different, it isn’t.
Today, write down and memorize James 1.2-4. Refer to it frequently in 2016, as you face these trials, to remind you of God’s continuing work in your life.