We can glorify God by believing God when our faith is tried. That brings great glory to God. Romans 4:19-21, Remember Abraham, he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief but what grew strong in faith, giving glory to God that what He had promised, He was able also to perform. It glorifies God when we continue to trust Him, even when our faith is being sorely tried.
Now, I want to take a little time here just to read a testimony from a brother. I can’t mention his name because of the type of work that he’s involved in, but he came down with a severe debilitating pain in his joints. And it was almost to the point of having to be in a wheelchair and nobody could figure it out, the doctors couldn’t figure out what it was; But he said this, “In November” I read this to you because it’s the best thing I have ever seen on this subject. “In November, early one evening, my friend and I went out to witness and knocked on a door.” Now he’s out witnessing. His joints are hurting so bad he can hardly walk. They think he’ll have to be in a wheelchair, but they went out to witness.
“An elderly man opened the door and invited us in, at which point we were also greeted by his wife. We sat down. This was during the time I had unbearable pain in my joints.” It’s a muslin family. “Soon after I sat down, while I was unaware, the lady had noticed I was rocking back and forth because of the intensity of the pain.” She asked, “what was wrong?” I told her about my illness. After a bit of discussion and an offer of herbal tea to perhaps help the pain, she asked, “If God is who you claim Him to be why does He permit this?” “Why would a loving God do such a dreadful thing to someone if He loves us?” I answered that after twenty-seven years of walking with Christ I have learned not to ask such questions since they presuppose ideas about my heavenly Father which I know to be false.”
You know? If we won’t bring our thought life into conformity to what we know is true we’re going to be miserable. And we’re not going to glorify God. He says,” I have learned not to ask such questions. As soon as you say “why?” they pre-suppose ideas about my heavenly Father which I know to be false.” I told her that amid suffering our temptation is to ask,” Why?” Why me? Why now? Why this? But when we ask, “why?” underneath the question lies misgivings about God’s holy and pristine character. Doubts about His power, goodness, wisdom and justice. And uncertainty about His faithfulness to His promises. Isn’t that true? We attribute to God what is completely untrue of Him just by asking the question.
“I told her that I had been taught by the Holy Spirit that we should always, in all circumstances of life, especially amidst adversity, give thanks to God and trust Him. I have learned from the Savior that instead of protesting I should be praising God for the very experience I find so painful and unpleasant. When we thank God in health, peace, and prosperity what achievement is that? Any sensible person would do that. But when we offer praise and thanksgiving to the Lord while our world is crumbling around us that is an act of true worship. I told her that I had learned from my heavenly Father that thanksgiving and praise is the key to deliverance and it opens the flood gates of God’s blessings upon us and brings healing into our hearts.
As I was talking, tears were streaming from their eyes. Then she discreetly got up, came over to where I was sitting, sat down next to me, and held my hand. I told her that as a Christian I had come to learn that God allows suffering primarily for two reasons; as a warning to those who heedlessly abide in sin to change course, or as an affirmation of His great love toward those whose hearts are unshakably devoted to Him. An affirmation of His great love Those who truly love and respect Him He uses affliction in their lives as the refiners fire out of which he brings forth pure gems, purified hearts which reflect the face of God. Suffering brings lovers of God into conformity to the character of God. The pains of this life also prepare Christians to leave this mortal transient world for their heavenly eternal home. At times we become too comfortable, too attached to this temporal decaying world as though we will be here forever. Suffering loosens our grip upon this world, and compels us to look beyond into the world to come. However, it ever so pleases the Lord that when amidst our anguish we open our mouths to bless him, to praise him, to thank him, rather than question him.
When I stopped she said that it was God’s providence which had brought us to their door. She explained that she and her husband had lost their son in a tragic accident and they had been asking, “Why? Why?” But now she said, “I feel this evening at last peace has come” Now this is a Muslim family. That evening my friend and I were kept for supper. The following week I went back to see them. They both gave their hearts to the Lord. But what is that? That’s a testimony of the opportunity to glorify God by faith in the midst of adversity and trial; believing God when everything seems to be going against you.
That’s one, you know, when people talk about the thief on the cross, they say “Well he didn’t have any fruit in his life.” He had tremendous fruit. He confessed Christ as Lord at the time when he looked the least like the Lord that he ever did in his whole earthly ministry.