God is Glorified in Everything

Reformed Alert

God is in control. Most Christians believe that. We praise God for when he delivers us from something bad happening. (Or when an athlete wins the competition). “Praise God”. God gets the glory. But so often God is ignored when bad things happen, as if he didn’t have a thing to do with it. Or the people who weren’t shot talk about how God’s angels were there to protect them. So how do the one who were injured or killed or their loved ones feel about that? It’s as if God is the cleanup guy, as if Romans 8:28 is the only Scripture that applies. But God has plans (Genesis 50:20). He doesn’t author evil, but he has planned everything to work for his glory, for our good (Romans 8:28-29), because he is good (Nahum 1:7), just as he is love (1 John 4:16), and Spirit and everything else. We say we give God [all of] the glory, but so many of us don’t when bad things happen.

It has taken a lot of suffering, along with a change in theology I’ll admit, for me to come to believe this, and yet I’m still not the best at articulating or understanding the doctrinal (teachings) aspects of it. (See the links below.) Some won’t go that far doctrinally and none of us will fully comprehend how or why God works this way (Isaiah 55:8-9) until we’re with God face to face. But what a great thing to know that God has a plan and a purpose for everything. For us who do believe God is that sovereign and his providence works to that degree, let’s remember to give God the glory in all things.

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.
Ecclesiastes 7:14

Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?
Lamentations 3:37-38 [deals more specifically with punishment of Israel]

The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Exodus 4:11

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
John 9:1-3

In all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11c NIV

Also see:
Is God Always in Control?
God’s Providence by James Montgomery Boice

when we get to heaven we shall see the right side of God’s dealings; and when we do we shall say., “Lord, how wonderful are thy works: in wisdom thou hast made them all: glorious are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.” You have been puzzled sometimes to think why that friend was brought into the grave. You have said, Why was I made sick at such a time? Why that trouble and that calamity? That is no business of yours. It is yours to believe that all things work together for one great purpose: that one thing never crosses another. But you must not expect to see it so just yet. Here on earth the machine appears to be broken into pieces, and we can only see it in confusion: but in heaven we shall see it all put together.

–C. H. SPURGEON, God’s Providence, A Sermon Published on Thursday, October 15th, 1908

6 Responses to “God is Glorified in Everything”

  1. 1 Nikki

    Well said! To Him be the glory forevermore.

  2. 2 Eric

    Great quote from Spurgeon! Calamities are so difficult to understand. I’ve noticed recently that I’m arbitrary on my views of how “bad” a tragedy is. For instance, if a child suffers & dies from cancer, that’s the worst & I get angry with God. But, say, there’s a fatal car accident, I accept that as just part of life. They’re BOTH tragic. I’m not even consistent in my reactions to tragedies, but somehow I think I know better than God or I’m somehow more merciful. I’m rambling…suffice it to say, I see through a glass, darkly. Eric

  3. 3 Scripture Zealot

    Thank you Nikki. Amen.

    Eric, I thought about you when writing this. I thought this may be a part of Reformed theology, or just something, you would agree with. (Bad sentence) In addition to what you’re saying, are all trials and tribulations and illnesses ‘bad’? Does God give us bad gifts? Are they gifts? LLet me know what you think if it isn’t too much stress to think about. !

  4. 4 Eric

    Those are good questions. No, I don’t think God gives us bad gifts. And, no, I’m not sure I would consider those things (calamities) gifts from God, but rather they occur because (1) they’re ultimately for our good & His glory or (2) they are the unfortunate consequences of living in a fallen, sinful world and He doesn’t create them but does allow them. I tend to favor #2, but have a sneaking suspicion that both 1 & 2 are true, along with a 3rd option I haven’t even thought of. (I do feel Spurgeon’s probably correct here. I’m just honestly not there yet.)

  5. 5 Nikki

    This may or may not help, but I read this on Joni and Friends blog. Some seemingly “bad” things turn out to not be bad, but for our good…blessings in disguise. God has eyes to see what we can’t. And aren’t we glad He does? He knows how to keep us…even if it means a “bad” situation temporally. Knowing that, our souls should rejoice in Him in good times and in “bad”.

    “”The Hedge, A Thorn in One’s Side, But a Barrier of Protection”
    Therefore I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ Hosea 2:6-7

    ‘When I was a little girl, my mother would take me to Grandmother’s every Wednesday morning. While she cleaned house, Mother gave me free range in the spacious backyard which was lined with a tall thick hedge. I had plenty of room in which to play. I didn’t know what was on the other side of the hedge, but I wasn’t about to trespass beyond the watchful eye of Mom. Who knew what dangers lurked beyond the safe, secure wall of thorny leaves that defined my family’s property?

    I often think of Grandmother’s hedge when I look at my wheelchair. It may be a thorn in my side, but it is God’s barrier; otherwise, I would be reaching for and running toward a lot of wrong things! I thank my wise God for placing this hedge in my life. It may hurt and sometimes humiliate me, but it keeps me within the safe, secure boundaries of God’s protection and provision. It keeps me out of the worse kind of danger: moral trouble.

    Today’s verse describes a rebellious, headstrong person who is ruled by desire, a person who looks for ways to trespass God’s boundaries of safety and borders of protection. Don’t invite the Lord to block your path with a taller, thornier hedge. Be content within the confines of his commands. The Bible’s precepts give you room enough in which to grow. What hedges has God placed in your life? How has “hedging in” helped you?

    Lord Jesus, I desire to trust and obey you with a willing and contented spirit. I am thankful for the hedges you place in my life.'”

  6. 6 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks both for your comments and quotes.

    People have misused that “hedge of protection”. Nice to see it used in context.

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