Dead Not Dead: What Makes God Glad?

“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.’ ” (John 11:14-15)

What does God feel? What makes him happy or sad or angry? It’s always worth slowing down for a second when the Bible mentions God’s emotions. In a few verses, we’ll see Jesus weep. In today’s passage, he says he’s glad.

deadnot_350Why? It sounds cruel, at first. He’s glad he wasn’t there to heal Lazarus before he died. He waited on purpose. How many people down through history have thought God cruel when he didn’t use his unlimited power to keep a loved one from dying?

But God cares about something much more important than the moment of our physical deaths in this life. He cares about our faith in him. Jesus isn’t glad for Lazarus’ death or the pain that will come from it. He’s glad that his disciples are about to believe in him in a way they never have before.

Are you getting this? God responds emotionally to our increased trust in him. It makes him happy. Because God loves us so much, we have the ability to impact him on an emotional level. That idea doesn’t fit inside my head.

Think: How many people in your life actually care whether you trust them or not? Would it be fair to say that the people who care the most about you trusting them are the ones that care the most about you? Who loves you more than God does?

Pray: Thank God that it makes him happy when you believe him. Ask him to help you to trust him more.

Do: Read (and memorize?) Hebrews 11:6.