I don’t know, and I don’t believe that the Bible teaches us that we can command God to glorify Himself by acquiescing to our will. In this, as in all things, we must embrace the superiority of His wisdom and say, “Lord, you alone know best how to glorify yourself. Please do so.* John Calvin, Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin on the Psalms (Philliipsburg, N.J.: P&R, 1999), p 141.
It’s that prayer and the confident knowledge that He will always glorify Himself that can bring to us great courage and consolation. But in praying that God would glorify Himself, we can also be sure that we aren’t praying against our own best interests. We are praying for them. God, we pray, glorify yourself, and we know that in doing so, you’ll also accomplish our greatest good. John Calvin wrote* that it is no “small comfort to consider that God, in appearing for the help of His people, at the same time advances His own glory.”
We can have hope—hope that this trial is for our good, will result in His glory, and will one day end. We can know Him, that He is filled with compassion and mercy for us, and that He will not allow this affliction to continue one second longer than is necessary for our good.
The writers of the Heidelberg Catechism formulated this comforting answer to the question that we all ask, especially during our times of trial: "What is thy only comfort in life and death?" ...
That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
A Steadfast Heart
I am totally hooked on re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia and am currently in The Silver Chair (and they are so very edifying!). However, I have also just finished reading, on bus trips here and there, another book I discovered on my gifted Kindle called A Steadfast Heart – Experiencing God’s Comfort in Life’s Storms, by Elyse Fitzpatrick. It has been very timely to a number of situations, and I have been encouraged and challenged (I hung a question mark over one or two things, though I can’t now remember what they were). The book is based on Psalm 57 and there is much goodness in it, but for today here is a little piece from the final chapter, called Be Exalted, O God!, based on Psalm 57:5: