Friday, October 27, 2006

Asking the Right Question

Sometimes we ask the wrong questions.

When things go wrong in our life, or get tough for us, we often ask "How did I get into this mess and what can I do to get myself out," or "How quickly can I solve this problem," or "Why did this happen to me?"

As tempted as we may be to pose these questions, the best question is "How can God be glorified in this situation?" That changes our perspective. "The sorest afflictions," said Brother Lawrence, "never appear to be intolerable, except when we see them in the wrong light." If we see our trials in light of how God may be glorified through them, we'll see things in the proper light.

Three episodes in the life of Jesus illustrate this principle. In John 9, the disciples of Jesus asked about a man born blind -"who sinned, this man or his parents?" (9:2). Jesus told them that they had missed the point entirely. He said, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him" (9:3), or that God might be glorified in him. In John 11, Jesus stated that the sickness and subsequent death of Lazarus was "for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it" (11:4). The turning point of John's gospel is the twelfth chapter because it's here that Jesus' ministry moves from public to private. He begins to talk more and more of His upcoming death. In 12:27-28, He said, "Now My soul has become 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 out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." Jesus understood that the right question is "How can God be glorified in this situation?"

J. Hudson Taylor said, "I know He tries me only to increase my faith, and that is all in love. Well, if He is glorified, I am content."


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