But when Jesus heard it He said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that Lazarus was ill, He stayed two days longer in the place where He was. (John 11.4-6)
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Ten Ways: Worship in Trial
You want to see God work? You want to know God in a deeper way than you ever have before? Then you need to see the glory of God!
One final way that the glory of God can be seen in your life is if you worship God during hard times. If you rejoice in the Lord, singing praises to Him--when life is tough--you will see the glory of God.
It should be relatively easy for a child of God to praise his or her Father in good times. When you meet someone you love, and you get married. When you want to get pregnant, and you have a child. When you're short on funds, and money shows up. When you want to do things, and your health is good. When you feel down, and friends show up.
It can be harder, however, for a believer to worship God when he or she is in trial, in suffering, or in difficulty. Maybe the last thing you feel like singing about is God's love, when you feel rejected. Or God's sovereignty, when life seems to be swirling out of control. Or God's holiness, when sin around you seems so prevalent.
God calls us to know Him and be close to Him. He is sovereign. He is in complete control. He knows everything. He is all-powerful. And He loves us. He is working all things for good. He lives for His glory (which is our joy).
The above story illustrates this so clearly. Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. A lot. Strikingly to us, when He hears that Lazarus is sick, He doesn't rush to Lazarus' side to heal him. Rather He lets Lazarus die (v. 6), for the glory of God (v. 4).
He loves Mary, Martha, and Lazarus so much that He lets Lazarus die--so that God would be glorified. This is hard for me to understand. Piper helps when he says: "Love is doing whatever you need to do to help people see and savor the glory of God in Christ forever."
Jesus was working so that God would be glorified, so that the three siblings would love Jesus even more, and so that even greater good would come.
Rather than complain, whine, despair, and get frustrated at God for our misunderstandings of what He is doing, we ought to be trusting our God and worshipping Him, even when we can't see the outcome.
God calls His people to a life of faith. (Understatement coming...) God has a good track record. He keeps His Word.
Even if we never received one more good gift from God for the rest of our earthly life, we would still have enough (in Christ) to worship, rejoice, and love God forever.
Worshipping God in trial is the mark of a believer. He gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.