As Long As You Are Glorified

God has used the circumstances of dear friends in the Lord to push my thinking in regards to God glorifying Himself through our sufferings. Unfortunately so many Christians believe that Jesus came to die only for an example and to give us a prosperous life. It is true that Christ proclaimed that he came “to give life, and to give it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). However Christ later in John’s gospel also states that there will be tribulations and persecutions. The apostle Paul also states in Romans 8 that sufferings are not just a little possibility or for just those “who have not followed Christ the way they should” as some would say. Paul proclaims the joy and praise to God through sufferings that WILL face the life of every true believer, but Paul states that, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” 

What is this glory? God’s amazing love and grace that before the foundation of the world, He called us to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1). But wait it gets better! Romans 8:30, “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Our future glorification, the promise of 1 John 3 that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is! Hallelujah! 

To this Paul asks, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Sufferings are a wondrous part of the Christian life. Why? Because they point us to what we have waiting for us!
But what about those we love who are without Christ and are suffering? What is our response? “All things work together for good,” does not apply here as it is only true to those who, “love God and are the called according to His purpose.” Our response must be to love them as Christ did in Matthew 9:36-38, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” We must have a Christlike compassion that desires them to be reconciled to God. Take to them the wonderful gospel and allow God to sovereignly show them the truths of salvation in Christ. Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

As Long As You Are Glorified by Mark Altrogge

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled
Are You King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)