Advent Devotionals

Advent Daily Devotional - Finding Light in Your Grief

Day 12

Anne Marie Winz

Day 12 – Thursday, December 14


Key Verse:

“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?’”  — John 11:25-26, New Living Translation

Today’s Reading: John 11

Listen to today's reading on her.BIBLE®


Jesus had three dear friends: Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Martha, the planner, cooked for Jesus and His friends whenever he visited them. Curious Mary listened to and learned from Jesus. Lazarus, their brother, often invited Him to their home. 

When Lazarus became ill, the sisters sent for Jesus. Certainly, He could heal Lazarus.

After hearing the news, Jesus delayed leaving for two days. As the sisters waited impatiently for Jesus to arrive, Lazarus died. They were stunned, and grief’s darkness descended into their lives. 

Finally, Jesus and His disciples arrived. Martha saw Him first. Feeling the pain of Jesus’ absence, she said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She truly believed Jesus could have healed Lazarus. 

To comfort Martha, Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” 

Martha believed Jesus’ words. “Yes,” she said. “He will rise again, in the resurrection on the last day.”

Challenging Martha to think in the present, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” 

Clinging desperately to her faith, she said, “Yes, Lord; I have always believed that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” 

Afterward, Mary met Jesus. “Lord, if only You had been here,” she said, “my brother would not have died.” 

Jesus wept when He saw Martha and Mary and the crowd grieving for Lazarus. Some were touched. Others wondered why He waited. It seemed like He arrived too late. 

In an awkward moment, Jesus said, “Roll the stone aside.” The crowd watched and wondered. Lazarus had died. His life was finished.

Martha responded logically, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” 

Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see the glory of God if you believe?” 

Praying loudly enough for everyone to hear, Jesus thanked His father for granting His request. Then He shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” Lazarus walked out of the tomb, alive, wrapped in grave clothes. 

To the shocked crowd, Jesus said, “Unwrap him and let him go.” Many of the Jews believed Jesus was the Son of God. 

Sometimes Jesus seems to show up at the right moment. Other times, He seems absent. Jesus could have met you at the bedside of a loved one and performed a miracle. He could have met you in a crisis and kept you from harm. He could have restored a broken relationship. Instead, He seems absent. 

Even when darkness descends, Jesus can give you hope. In Romans 8:28 (NLT), the apostle Paul writes, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

Invite Jesus to show you His goodness even when life hurts. Trust Him to be your resurrection and your life.  



How are you waiting for God to show you His goodness today?

How can you trust Jesus to fill you with hope even as you wait? 


Jesus, thank You for being my resurrection and my life. Thank You that You are good and that You are working all of the events in my life together for good. Comfort my heart and cause me to trust You. 

A Deeper Dive

How can God meet you in your grief this season? Read one woman’s journey to find hope in the midst of despair.

Anne Marie Winz has been a staff member with Cru for a long time. She enjoys drinking coffee, reading good books and talking with her girlfriends. She’s married to the amazing Mark Winz.

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