Glorifying God in the Good or Bad

Nick Foles, the Jacksonville Jaguar quarterback, returned to the starting lineup two weeks ago, after being sidelined since he injured his shoulder in the opening week of the season.

It’s been a tough season for Foles who won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles and signed a four-year contract with the Jags in May.

When asked about dealing with the injury Foles said that it has made him a better person. Taught him to have joy even during a difficult situation. And helped him grow in his faith.

Foles said he told God, “If this is the journey you want me to go on, I’m going to glorify you in every action, good or bad.”

Known as an outspoken believer in Jesus, the quarterback referred to his Super Bowl win when he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, “In that moment I realized I didn’t need that trophy to define who I was because it was already in Christ.”

I don’t know Nick Foles’ religious affiliation, but I know he’s right about two things: (1) We can glorify God even in tough times; and (2) Our achievements, awards, and accolades don’t define who we are. The Christian’s identity is in Christ.

In Psalm 50, Jehovah, speaking through Asaph declared, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Normally we don’t think about glorifying God during our difficulties. We give glory to God for our blessings. Our successes. Our material abundance. Our spiritual victories.

Yet, the Bible is filled with commands and examples reminding us that life is not a beautiful bouquet of roses without the thorns. We all experience trials, troubles, and tribulations.

When Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned for preaching Christ, they sang, prayed and gloried God. Not softly or faintly, but loudly enough the other prisoners heard them (Acts 16:25).

While suffering his “thorn in the flesh,” Paul prayed to God three times for its removal. God’s answer? “My grace is sufficient for you.” The thorn remained. But Paul didn’t pout. Rather he glorified God and responded with faith, hope and courageous determination.

“I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

When Paul was confined to a Roman prison, he wrote the Philippian letter and spoke of the “joy of faith.” He viewed his imprisonment as an opportunity to “preach Christ,” as the gospel message spread even to the Emperor’s palace. His motto and message was “rejoice in the Lord.”

James reminds us that even when “we face trials of various kinds” that we can “count it all joy” (Jas 1:3). The experience he affirms makes us better. Stronger. More complete in Christ.

It’s well to be reminded in an era of unparalleled prosperity that we don’t thank and glorify God just because of what He’s given us. But because of who HE IS.

The Psalmist affirmed, “I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore” (Ps 86:12).

When? It good times and tough times. In sickness and in health. In joy and in sorrow. In abundance and in scarcity. And in triumph and in defeat.

Why? Because God is worthy to be praised. He is our Creator. All-knowing. All-wise. Ever present. And He will provide. In His time.

I’m reminded of the words of the poet and songwriter, Annie Flint Johnson, who experienced many sorrows in life, yet was strong and faithful.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions, He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

To God be the glory. In good times or bad.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

1 Comment

Filed under Adversity

One response to “Glorifying God in the Good or Bad

  1. Christians can learn much from the quarrel between Paul and Barn-abbas. In Acts 14, Paul was hailed as Hermes and Barn-abbas was hailed as the Father of the Greek God Zeus and the Roman God Jupiter. So the other day I asked myself. Why then did Paul and Barn-abbas separate and Paul take on a new travelling mate?

    Surely, when a man loves a woman and takes her for his wife, he becomes her new mate and where she goes he goes and where he goes she goes. They travel the miles of life together. Scripture says Paul was in chains for Christ. So I thought to myself, surely Paul and Barn-abbas were destined to travel together to complete the mission of the Gospel.

    The day before you posted this post Ken, when I woke up the quarrel of Paul and Barnabas was on my mind. When I went into my den with my morning coffee, I noticed I had left my Zondervan Greek/English New Testament on my desk. Before putting it away, I wanted to check to see how Jesus handled Peter’s denial, his disowning of Jesus. I wanted to read the passage of John where Jesus says. “Peter do you love me?”

    To my wondering eyes, when I opened the Zondervan New Testament, it opened up to the quarrel of Paul and Barnabbas, to the very page. It did not open to the passage in John. So I then spotted the key words…Cyprus, John Mark and Silas.

    I then did a little investigation and discovered CYPRUS was the Greek word for HENNA TREE and SILAS was the Greek word for WOOD.

    And then it was as if cataracts suddenly fell from my eyes. It suddenly occurred to me. In Eastern Cultures, Henna is what a bride marks herself with after she takes a milk bath and reds herself up to stand before the Rabbi. Right! And it was John the Rabbi… who marked the way for Christ and who marked, delineated Christ as the Bride who belongs to the Bridegroom (John 3:29).

    So from there it was easy then to see the significance of Silas the Greek word for WOOD.

    From there, I could see their quarrel with the light of Cephas’ disowning of Jesus as his JO, his Bride. I could see Barn-abbas and Paul reconciled and I could clearly see Barn-abbas solely and physically committed to his dearly beloved HENNA TREE and becoming SILAS…A WOODY HUSBAND and FATHER ready to raise a divine everlasting family.

    Thank you KEN for including Paul and Silas in this post and reminding me that when Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned for preaching Christ, they sang, prayed and gloried God. Not softly or faintly, but loudly enough the other prisoners heard them (Acts 16:25).

    Ken, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your many posts that have strengthened me. May you and Norma Jean and your family and friends here in the “cloud” that read your posts have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

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