All Glory to God

‘For you have been given…the privilege of suffering for him.’  – Philippians 1:29 NLT
How do you live for God’s glory when you’re in severe pain? Think of Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus Himself wrestled with the will of God, saying ‘Take this cup from me’ (Mark 14:36NIV). He was talking about the cup of God’s anger. Jesus knew He’d have to drink it to the dregs. But before He did, He asked His Father if He could take it away, if there was any other way to accomplish God’s plan. Then He ended with total surrender: ‘Not My will, but Yours, be done’ (Luke 22:42 NKJV). Our prayers tend to focus on external circumstances – what’s around us that’s bothering us – more than internal attitudes – who we’re becoming through the situation. We’d rather have God change our circumstances than change us. It’s a lot easier that way. But we miss the point altogether. It’s the worst of circumstances that often brings out the best in us. And if it’s the bad things that bring out the good things, then maybe those bad things are good things when you look back on them. It’s only when you’ve been tested that you have a story to share with others. Yes, you can be saved without suffering, but you can’t mature, or serve well, without it. That doesn’t mean you seek it out, but it does mean you see it for what it is – an opportunity to glorify God. Paul, who suffered a lot, writes, ‘For you have been given…the privilege of suffering for him.’ Where did Paul find that kind of strength? ‘I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ (Romans 8:18 NKJV). There’s loads of glory coming our way. But first, we need to do the work God’s given us, even in painful moments.

What Now?

Ask yourself, ‘What is pain producing in my life?’ Despair and sadness, as if God didn’t exist beyond the pain? Or hope that God is alive and well, can deliver you, and has something for you to learn in the pain?STAY BLESSED

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