Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
When the Mars rover Perseverance landed on that red planet on February 18, 2021, those monitoring its arrival endured “seven minutes of terror.” As the spacecraft ended its 292-million-mile journey, it went through a complex landing procedure it had to do on its own. Signals from Mars to Earth take several minutes, so NASA couldn’t hear from Perseverance during the landing. Not being in contact was frightening for the team who had put so much effort and resources into the mission.
Sometimes we may experience our own times of fear when we feel we’re not hearing from God—we pray but we don’t get answers. In Scripture, we find people getting answers to prayer quickly (see Daniel 9:20–23) and those not getting answers for a long time (see Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel 1:10–20). Perhaps the most poignant example of a delayed answer—one that surely struck terror in the hearts of Mary and Martha—was when they asked Jesus to help their sick brother Lazarus (John 11:3). Jesus delayed, and their brother died (vv. 6–7, 14–15). Yet four days later, Christ answered by resurrecting Lazarus (vv. 43–44).
Waiting for answers to our prayers can be difficult. But God can comfort and help as we “approach [His] throne of grace with confidence, . . . [that] we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
What are you praying for, but the answer doesn’t seem to be coming? How can God increase your faith as you wait on Him?
Loving God, You know what’s on my heart. Please help me trust You as I await Your answer.
In the gospel of John, Jesus begins His ministry with the miraculous sign of turning water into wine. As the book progresses, Jesus continues to validate His message with miracles—the last of which is raising Lazarus from the dead.
The author of John argues throughout his gospel that Jesus is the only way to life (see 1:4; 14:6). And here, He proves it inescapably by returning His friend to the land of the living (11:38–44). Ironically, Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead sets off the chain of events that would result in Christ’s own death. But it’s that very death and later resurrection that would secure life for not just Lazarus but all who believe in Jesus. As John states, “By believing you may have life in his name” (20:31).