Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For the Glory of it All
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Being away from many good friends and family members as well as being away from my native land during Christmas is never a fun thing. However, I am sure that there are many things in all of our lives that aren't necessarily fun!

Tragedies, hard-times, and afflictions of many forms and degrees abound in this imperfect world.

Lately, I have been studying Lazarus from John 11. Jesus loved Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. They were his good friends. However, when word was sent that Lazarus was sick, Jesus stayed two more days where He was. The actual word there is "SO... he stayed two days longer where he was." (v. 6)! Why would a loving God PURPOSEFULLY allow pain into the lives of His beloved? Of course the answer is that He has a good purpose and a plan! Jesus stated that purpose very clearly to his disciples: "This illness does not lead to death. (though death did come at one point) It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified in it." (v. 4)

Most people don't like the sound of God-centered love. We want God to make everything nice right now, or else! Jesus realizes that the greatest blessing is not in receiving material/ physical comfort now, it is in knowing God and in seeing His glory, even if that means hardship. This is exactly the path that Jesus Himself took.

Of course when we get down and discouraged we want to know that God is not standing there coldly saying, "This is for my glory, so deal with it!" The truth is is that Jesus weeps. He mourns in our losses, and He has suffered such that He can understand our deep pain. A little further in ch. 11 is the shortest verse in the Bible. It says, "Jesus wept." Jesus wept with his friends in their great grief. He hated the pain, he despised the cross too and did not want to go there, nor does he wish any to perish. (Ez. 18:23) But above all of that, He has a plan through pain. Jesus wants to bring us into the greatest story and the greatest climax ever imagined: the revelation of God's glory - and the complete and eternal joy of His children in it.

Just like Lazarus we will see the living Christ standing over us saying, "LIVE!" and "Come out of death" again. We will live a full life with Him forever and ever and all our tears will be dried away - if we belong to Him by faith. But if we simply live for today, we will never know the amazing glory of God and the realization of our complete joy in Him.

The David Crowder Band song, "For the Glory of it All" sums all this up very well for me:

All is lost
find him there, find him there
After night
Dawn is there, Dawn is there

After all falls apart
he repairs he repairs

Oh the Glory of it all is:
he came here
for the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all

oh he is here
for redemption from the fall
that we may live
for the glory of it all
oh the glory of it all
the glory of it all
oh the glory of it all

After night
comes the light
dawn is here
dawn is here
it’s a new day
it’s a new day
everything will change
things will never be the same
we will never be the same
we will never be the same
we will never be the same
we will never be the same

Oh, The glory of it all is
you came here
for the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all

Oh you are here
with redemption for us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all
for the glory of it all
oh the glory of it all

from the "Remedy" album - by David Crowder Band

2 comments:

Doug said...

Mark, right before I left I checked the blog and I'm so glad you wrote what you did. It's a needed message during this time of the year. May God truly be the "remedy" of our hearts when all hope seems gone because He is there and He is coming again!

Mark and Maki said...

Thanks for your encouragement, Doug. I pray that we can be encouragements in many ways to many people this year. There are so many people who are struggling much more than I am! Talk to you on the 23rd!