This is the final devotional in a series of God’s glory. Click here to revisit last week’s message from John.
“God causes all things to work together for His good, even our sin.” -St. Augustine
We’ve talked a lot about God’s glory and how it operates for our greatest good. I want us to take a little more time to think about that truth and stories that exemplify it in the Scriptures.
When Paul was in prison, he was able to say, “As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.” -Philippians 1:13-14
Among Macedonian believers, a spirit of generosity swelled up so that they wanted to give beyond their means. God took their deep poverty and leveraged it for His glory. The Jerusalem Christians received their support and worshipped God (2 Corinthians 8).
Another example of this is Stephen’s sermon and death (Acts 7).
Stephen witnessed Peter preach a message, and 3,000 came to Christ. When his time came to preach, he received a completely different response as 3,000 stones were thrown on top of him. But God used his death by letting Stephen see Jesus standing at His right hand as Saul of Tarsus watched his radical response to persecution.
When God appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, he said, “Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:5). And Paul knew exactly who He was! He had already encountered Him in the death of Stephen.
In John 9, we meet a blind man whose condition was blamed on the sins of his parents. Jesus responded with, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned ... but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3).
I hope it’s clear now that over and over again the Bible shows this principle. God leverages the choices we make for His glory.
It’s important that we ask “What is our Savior asking of us in a broken world filled with broken people?”
I think it’s pretty simple.
“[P]ray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” to the glory of God (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.