“This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (John 11:4)
The Bible repeatedly teaches us that God is to be glorified in everything in our lives (I Corinthians 10:31 et al). Here Jesus indicates that He is to glorified even in our infirmities.
He said that Lazarus’ sickness was “SO THAT (indicating the purpose) the Son of God may be glorified by it.” This sickness was for the purpose of His glory. In THIS particular illness, Jesus was glorified by raising Lazarus from the dead after he expired due to it. Other times in scripture, Jesus was glorified by healing the person while they still lived. While there are abundant examples of this, many wrongly believe that physical healing is the only way that God can be glorified through our illnesses, but this is an errant belief.
The Lord may also glorified in sickness through the patient suffering of His child which testifies to the presence of His Spirit in their heart; through the testimony of faith they maintain for Him while they are sick; as well as through the power that He may pour through a weak child despite their physical weakness (Paul in II Corinthians 12:7-9 for example). It is our responsibility, during whatever time of illness the Lord might allow for us, to glorify God in whichever of these ways He chooses to honor Himself:
— Glorify Him if this is the illness through which He will ultimately call you to Himself, by courageously facing death, and confidently sharing your faith in eternal life with your Heavenly Father.
— Glorify Him if He chooses to heal you of your illness, and let many others know of His goodness to you.
— Glorify Him if He allows you to continue in an illness without healing, by sharing the lessons you have learned in the refining fire of suffering, and by letting Him use you to minister to others in the powerful way which only His Holy Spirit can through a surrendered vessel.
Whichever of these God may allot to us, this verse is a great reminder that our purpose in life is for God to be glorified in EVERYTHING — and that even includes our sicknesses and infirmities.