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How Is God Glorified In Our Suffering? | Living For The Glory Of God #6

Suffering often seems pointless. But we, like many of God’s people in Scripture, can glorify the Lord not only by winning but also by losing. Pastor Lutzer explains three responses to suffering from the long-range point of view. What if we prayed for a fresh vision of God in the midst of our greatest wounds and losses? 

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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” This is the last in a series, entitled, “Living For the Glory of God.” And if you miss some of these episodes, I hope that you go back and listen to all of them because I’ve discovered in life that living for the glory of God, or at least our desire to, makes us much more focused. It helps us to be able to accept the disappointments of life because it isn’t really about us, it’s about God and His glory. And how important that is. 

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Well, today, as we conclude, I want to talk briefly about the glory of God in our suffering. How does our suffering bring glory to God? 

Well, first of all, suffering reveals our sin, doesn’t it? I’m thinking for example of Job. Job was a man who was righteous and God tested him severely with the death of his children, but even Job, in his suffering, realized that he had been self-righteous. It made him deeply repent. Because suffering always should drive us to God and realign our priorities, that it is about God and not about us. 

I think also that suffering reveals our need, doesn’t it? You know, when you stop to think of it, oftentimes we don’t pray, and God puts us in a situation where we pray. And when we pray, we finally begin to realize that the real issue isn’t whether or not God answers our prayers the way in which we’ve prayed them, the real issue comes down to this: Is God glorified? I think of Jesus, for example, suffering In The Garden of Gethsemane. “Father, if it be Thy will, remove this cup. Nevertheless, not as I will but as You will.” Wow, if only we could pray that more often. We would be pushed deeply into God and always be reminded that life is about Him and not about us. 

Now, there’s something else I want to say. You and I actually suffer oftentimes for future generations and God is glorified in that. Oh, I have to summarize the story of Naomi in the Old Testament. You remember how she and her husband left, and her two sons, they left Bethlehem and they went into Moab. There her husband died, her sons died, she came back with her daughter-in-law Ruth. And what did name Naomi say? She said, “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara. (“Bitter”.) God has dealt harshly with me.” Could that be you? You feel as if everyone else is getting a break in life but God has dealt harshly with you? 

Now to summarize the story, you know that Ruth ended up marrying Boaz and they had a son and Naomi finally was happy because she was a grandma and they named him Obed. And this is what really excites me, they named him Obed, and Obed is the father of Jesse, and Jesse of course was the father of David. And you have the whole line of Jesus Christ. 

Now, as we talk about God and His glory, I want to remind you of this, that you and I will die without knowing all the good that God has done through us. God shields us from knowing all the good that we do, but in the end we are going to be discovering that our purpose—that I should say we are going to discover that our suffering had a purpose and that purpose was to further God’s purposes and to bring Him glory. 

So always remember, my dear friend, as I conclude, we can glorify God, not just by winning but we can also glorify Him by losing. Sometimes in the greatest losses of life, we can bring glory to God. Why? Because we look at life from the long-range point of view. 

As I’ve emphasized in every one of these episodes and we’ll do so again. Remember this. Pray every morning, “Oh God, glorify Yourself in my life today at my expense.” It helps me to get off in the morning with my perspective and to know that today, by God’s grace, it’s not going to be about me. It’s going to be about God. And remember when all of life falls apart nothing else really matters except the the glory of God. 

Thank you so much for joining us. God bless you and as for today, in a brand new way, in faith and in hope, and as a desire, as someone who desires God’s glory, you just go with God.

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