Friday, April 04, 2014

Can sickness serve God's glory?

"Jesus Comes to Bethany"
Artist unknown - Illustrator of 
Jerome Nadal's 'Evangelicae Historiae
Imagines', 1593

TODAY'S SPECIAL: John 11:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "When Jesus heard that (Lazarus was sick), He said, 'This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.' " John 11:4.

Are we hearing Jesus say that sickness can sometimes be a means of glorifying God? Sickness, indeed everything that we experience as "bad," is a stumbling block for many to believe in a God whom the Bible describes as both sovereign and good. They ask, how can a God who allows bad things to happen be both all good and all powerful?

But this question is based on a wrong presupposition—that God's goodness is evidenced only in our well-being. That's not what the Bible says. Paul, in Romans, points out a different main purpose for God's goodness—indeed for everything:

Everything comes from God alone.
Everything lives by His power
And everything is for His glory." Romans 11:36 (The Living Bible).

Rick Warren, in The Purpose-Driven Life says:

"It's all for him.

The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God. It is the reason for everything that exists, including you. God made it all for his glory. Without God's glory, there would be nothing.

What is the glory of God? It is who God is. It is the essence of his nature, the weight of his importance, the radiance of his splendour, the demonstration of his power, and the atmosphere of his presence. God's glory is the expression of his goodness and all his other intrinsic qualities" - p. 53.

One way we serve this "goal" is to worship Him, even in the midst of bad things happening to us. Job did that. After he lost everything, he "tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped" - Job 1:20.

That's not to say we don't also pray to be healed (James 5:14-15). But if God does not heal, that doesn't necessarily mean that we don't have enough faith, or that there is too much sin in our lives, or that God doesn't like us. Even Paul asked for his "thorn" to be removed, and it wasn't.

In times of sickness (and for some, a lifetime of sickness) may our trusting faith that God knows what He is doing (and that declares with Job "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him,") only add to His glory.

PRAYER: Dear God, I defer to You in the area of how my life will best bring glory to You. Help me to view all of life through the lens of glorifying You. Amen.

MORE: Food for thought

 A bow-and-arrow life:
"A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says - "I cannot stand any more." God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands. For what have you need of patience just now? Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. "Though He slay me, yet will I wait for Him." 

Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. You cannot see Him just now, you cannot understand what He is doing, but you know Him. Shipwreck occurs where there is not that mental poise which comes from being established on the eternal truth that God is holy love. Faith is the heroic effort of your life, you fling yourself in reckless confidence on God" - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest - May 8th reading (emphasis added).


"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." - John Piper

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scriptures marked The Living Bible (or TLB) copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. The Living Bible, TLB, and the The Living Bible logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers.

Bookmark and Share


  1. The title of your blog caught my eye -I need that "Other Food" from His Word daily! Blessings!

  2. Thank you so much, Esther Joy, for coming by and leaving a comment! Hope the word was satisfying :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...