Be encouraged this morning to seek and find truth in Jesus. We’re preparing for an upcoming fundraiser to raise money to help a few families and meet the needs of our nonprofit. I’ve recently gone through a tough season of questioning God why and wondering what He’s doing. In my questioning I’m reminded of who He is, and how he calls us to glorify Him. But what does that mean?
It’s not hard to look around, and see that our world is inundated with illness and hardship. Why does God allow all of that to happen? Scripture acknowledges repeatedly that trouble will occur, but to take heart because God has overcome the world! (John 16:33) Our society pushes achievements, quick fixes, convenience, and gets uncomfortable when we speak of our troubles. Although, I’ve yet to meet someone whose life was without hardship. Pain, illness and disease are reminders of how temporary this life is and how fragile each day is. When the call comes to suffer, it shakes our comfortable patterns into what can seem like chaos. Yet, God isn’t a God of chaos. He’s a creator of order. (1 Cor 40:43) That’s what gives us the ability trust Him.
“This momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Cor. 4:17)
The Hebrew word for glory is “kabod” meaning “weight or heaviness”. Glory = value or worth. Glory is also defined in English as: honor, respect, distinction and importance. The glory of God is 'the worth of God' in our lives. Every grief, sadness, physical or mental pain we carry is endured not for the now, but for what’s to come.
We often ask God in prayer that He be glorified in our lives. This petition is claiming the importance of Christ in our everyday. His weight in our lives causes us to want to honor him through obedience and reverence. Our posture, not just in suffering but in joy as well, accepts what God has for us today (because we’re asked not to worry about tomorrow, Matt 6:25-34) and allow our suffering to produce in us a perseverance that sustains us.
“We should therefore set the glory of God as the goal, an overarching emphasis on our lives. Whatever we lose for the sake of making the Lord’s glory known will be worth it when we see the dazzling light and beauty of the divine glory (Rev. 1:23). We are ascribing worth to Him. We are telling others of His value and unsurpassed worth. This in turn should shape what we do for Him*.”
This should also shape how we suffer for Him.
“In 2 Cor. 4:16, Paul addresses the fact that all of us suffer and feel the power of death as we exist in mortal bodies. “Therefore, do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” In this present life believers live in a paradoxical state. We have the Holy Spirit living inside us as a “deposit guaranteeing our inheritance,” (Eph 1:14), giving us hope and many spiritual blessings. At the same time, our physical bodies are decaying… we are wasting away and being renewed all at once. Outwardly we belong to the physical realm, which is passing away, but inwardly we belong to the eternal age to come*.”
God calls us forward. He calls us heavenward. He gives and takes away, and he wants us to be inclined to him, not our experiences or our emotions. Not because he’s mean, but because he’s good and he knows what’s best. He also knows what’s ahead that we can’t see yet. This kind of posture is called “faith”. If you’re festering about the past or holding on to bits of life that are hard, ask the Lord to soften those areas so you can learn to trust Him. Lean in, stretch your neck forward because what awaits, whether it’s now or in eternity, is God who always keeps his promises, is so near to you, knows you and wants the best for you.
There’s a greek term “apokaradokia” mentioned only once in the Bible. It means: to watch with one's head erect or outstretched and so to direct attention, with intense expectation and earnest watching. We use this term when we think about how Danie’s Heart began, because Dan exemplified these qualities when fighting his illness. In Philippians 1, Paul, in prison, recounts his goal in Christ. Paul is confident despite his situation, to see God’s promises unfold. He’s not regretful of the gospel, bearing it with, “Eager expectation and hope that I (we) will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in (our) body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:20-21)
In Christ, and because of his death on the cross for us, we’re able to sit in our suffering knowing that as we fight the battle for our health everyday or manage every situation that comes at us with perseverance in faith, God is being glorified in and through us. This happens as we faithfully wait for a prognosis, clean and feed the body of our loved one, manage the details of our homes and children, all the while accepting the next step that God has for us. Even if that step is to do nothing but wait. Answers from God come as we eagerly direct our attention heavenward and watch for what God is doing here and now. If answers don’t come, we can see the questions as worthless, because when we step over and meet Jesus face to face, we can in fact “count it all nothing” compared to Him.
Beloved, if you are not confident you have an assurance of faith, please reach out to us. We’d feel honored to share the goodness of Christ with you, pray over you and encourage you as you keep your head stretched forward, all for the glory of God. In short, God’s worth in our lives is above everything else. And he’s calling us home with him one day; so let his name be praised!
Thank you for you continued support! We're excited to see what God does with our upcoming fundraiser. We feel humbled to walk alongside families in some of their hardest moments. Be sure to follow us on instagram!
- Sara, For Daniel's Heart
*ligonier.org Dec. 6, 2017
*gotquestions.org Jan 4, 2022