If It Brings You Glory
There are so many times in our lives when we come to the brink of this song. Such times are often our Gethsemane Moments, when we are faced with choices. The first choice is, do we face the suffering or run? The second choice is (especially if the hardship is unavoidable), how do we accept the suffering? Willingly? Bitterly? Kicking and screaming?
How often, when trials come our way, do we stop to consider how the difficulty might be used for God’s glory? Don’t we most often look for the nearest or quickest way out of the situation? We take a pill, or call a doctor, or leave a relationship, or pull out the credit card… The methods of attempted escape are numerous.
If praying is part of our lives we are probably asking God to “fix it” or “end it” as soon as possible. We generally aren’t praying, “Lord, show me how I can glorify You in this circumstance.” But this anthem reminds us that we should be looking beyond the quick fix or even the stiff upper lip when we are facing trial. We should have the attitude of, “Lord, if I have to face this, enable me to shine for You. Give me the grace to bear it, to encourage others in the process, to walk humbly and dependently on You, and above all else, bring You glory.”
Too often when things go wrong in our lives we wonder what we did wrong, or where God is. I mean, if He’s God, why does He let these hard things get through the protective filter that supposed to be on the lives of all His children? How could He let these things happen?
Hello! Have we been reading the Bible? What one of His saints made it through life without some heartache or trial? In fact, most of the most prominent biblical characters had lives of intense struggle. Infertility, human trafficking, death of a child, murder, torture, enslavement, rape, imprisonment, shipwreck, being eaten by a huge fish…death on a cross. Do we really expect to make it through life unscathed? Jesus tells us plainly that in this world we will have trouble. And Peter tells us not to be surprised by the fiery ordeals we face. So why are we often so blindsided when we have troubles come upon us?
Revelation tells us that Heaven is populated by overcomers. How do we become overcomers? Don’t we have to have something to overcome? If we have no illness, how do we see Jesus as healer? Or if He doesn’t heal the illness, do we find Him to be our sustainer in weakness? If we have no wants, how do we see Him as our provider? If we have no heartache, how do we see Him as comforter? If we are never in bondage, how do we know Him as our Redeemer? Of course, the list is a long as the sorrows in our lives, and His sufficiency to meet us in each of these situations is even greater than that.
But this song takes us beyond just passively allowing God to meet us at our place of need and enabling us to endure. It declares that these situations have the potential of actually magnifying the Lord, allowing His glory to be displayed in and through our lives. We see this brilliantly displayed in the life of Jesus. When the thief on the cross and the centurion witnessed the manner in which He suffered and died, they knew who He was. His glory, God’s glory, was displayed even in His agony.
I’ve known several saints over the years, who, while battling ill health, even deadly diseases, at the very front of their minds was, “How can I use this to glorify God?” Their hospital room becomes a chapel, where people are encouraged, prayed for, witnessed to. People who come to visit leave feeling like they are the one who has been lifted up, instead of the one whom they came to encourage.
What is your hardship right now? Illness? Financial reversal? Bad work environment? Difficult family relationships? Ask the Lord right now, “Use this to glorify Yourself. Show me how I can bring You glory—what attitudes I need to have, what circumstances I need to face, whatever is necessary to honor Your name—do it in me. And give me the strength and perspective I need to honor You in this.”
And one more thing to pray—ask Him to show you how to encourage someone you know who is trying to go through difficult times in a God-glorifying way. Your prayers for strength or words of encouragement or hot meal might be God’s way of glorifying Himself to them.
Let us arise every morning, and when we are struggling or not at the moment give our day to Him saying, “If it brings You glory, Lord—whatever is in my day, may it bring You glory.”
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries