The Choice to Glorify God

Life is full of choices isn’t it?  Literally, every day, sometimes down to the hour or minute, we have a multitude of choices to make.  Some are so miniscule that they barely affect our daily routine.  Others are so profound that they help shape our future for years to come.  Our choice to glorify God is exactly that…a choice.  It is not contingent on our circumstances but on our response to those circumstances.

Paul, in the book of Philippians, said, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).  What’s so amazing about his statement was that Paul truly had dealt with some dire circumstances in his life.  This particular letter to the church in Philippi was composed while Paul was in prison which leads us to believe that Paul really had learned to be content and glorify God in whatever circumstance he found himself in.  If you read Romans 8, you can see Paul convincing his readers that we have already conquered all that the world can throw at us (Romans 8:28-39).  We have no other choice but to glorify God in any and every situation.

All this still doesn’t make focusing on God in times of distress easy.  In fact, glorifying God doesn’t always lead to success or to a rich, abundant life as some would have you to believe.  The writer of Hebrews informs us that while some were successful in their service to God, others faced harsh persecution and even death.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

(Hebrews 11:32-38)

The first part of this passage details some of the successful ways these biblical characters were able to glorify God.  The second part of the passage shows that there may be a great physical cost for following God.  Yet, these faithful Christians were still able to glorify God through their obedience and dedication.  Which side do you want to be on?  Are you willing to glorify God no matter the cost?  I ask because even Jesus warned that faithfully following him would be difficult.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.”

(John 15:18-20)

It seems to me that the entire Bible is very clear about the costs of following Christ.  Our reward is not found here (Matthew 5:11-12).  The cost is literally paid on a daily basis (Luke 9:23).  We will absolutely face trials and difficulties (James 1:2-4).  But the choice is ours.  No matter the temptations, no matter the adversity, no matter the persecution, we can always choose to glorify God in everything we do.

-Joe

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “The Choice to Glorify God

    1. Joe Butler

      Haven’t you noticed that those who choose joy seem unaffected by difficulties? I don’t mean they don’t suffer or grieve, but most joyful people are able to look at just about any circumstance and still find blessings from God.

  1. Excellent post. We all need to try as hard as me can to make the right choices. We are not promised riches nor an easy life, but God gives us love and an eternal life if we do his will.

    1. Joe Butler

      A quick study of the faithful in the Bible shows that life will most definitely not be easy. Not if we give our lives to Christ. With that in mind, we can use as a barometer, the way we deal with everyday trials and difficulties to be sure that we remain faithful ourselves.

      1. I have endured tremendous trials for several years. God has always been there with me through those stressful times. God/Jesus have been my comforters throughout my life.

    1. Joe Butler

      It’s definitely not easy to find that contentment. There are so many distractions pulling us every which way that it’s hard sometimes to see all that God has already given us. Sometimes I spend time in prayer only giving thanks and not petitioning for anything just so I can keep in mind all that I am already blessed with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s