The Purposes of God
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”
Focus on Christ
Are you willing to endure any trial? What kind of trouble do you like? Your normal human response to trouble is probably, “Lord, save me!” Sometimes it may be, “Lord, get me out of this trouble!” What if the trouble is the exact event that needs to happen to fulfill God’s Purpose and to glorify His name? The response of Jesus was “…not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).
Jesus knew His Purpose and was willing to walk through the trouble with His Father in order to glorify His name. This did not come without pain and suffering. Often the pain is for a short time. You cannot cause pain and suffering to disappear, but you can walk through it with the Power of Christ in your life. Christ was willing to bear any trouble, discomfort, or pain, for one reason–Love. Love carries you through difficulty.
Are you willing to endure trouble for the glory of the Lord? That is a difficult question to answer. Yet, you know that suffering brings you closer to God. While you will not choose suffering, you learn how to depend on God even more through suffering. When you truly suffer for righteousness sake, you discover an incredible joy that could not be experienced any other way. In Christ, trouble is turned to joy when you know He is walking with you through the difficulty and will sustain you through the trouble.
Jesus asked, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say?” He approached this moment in His humanness. You ask questions when trouble arises. “God, will you take this away? Why do I have to go through this? What are you trying to teach me?” By asking these questions, you find a way to think through the situation with God and by His Word. Only when you hear from God about your troubles will you set your mind to do the right thing–because you know the final outcome.
This brings childbirth to mind. Nine months of a baby growing in a woman’s body ends in the painful birthing of the child. During childbirth women may yell, “It hurts!” or “Get it out of me!” But a mom, eager to meet her child, will endure the pain for the blessing of the baby.
Jesus endured the pain and agony of the cross for the blessing that was poured on every believer who places their life in Christ. What if Jesus decided not to obey? This is hard to process. Christians disobey all the time with no real understanding of what that means not only for them but also for the entire church. Obedience during suffering results in all glory going to God. The glory is not toward the believer. When others see you respond in obedience to Christ in the midst of trouble, they will give glory to God for He is the only One Who could take you through the trouble.
Focus on Self
Self does not believe in personal suffering but seeks to find a way out of suffering and troubles. When you obey Christ in the midst of suffering, you learn that God will grant you grace enough to go through the trial. You also learn that your sufferings honor God. Whatever you do for His sake brings honor and glory to His Name. Believers live to honor God not to indulge selfishness.
*Taken from Gifts from God by Kerry Skinner and Alison Veazey. Click here to order your copy.
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