God Glorified by Sickness
James Smith, 1842
"This sickness is for the glory of God!" John 11:4
Believer, you have often prayed that God may be glorified in you and by you? He is now taking you at your word. His glory and your well-being are united together by His sovereign purpose; and in aiming at the one — He produces the other. He glorifies . . .
his bounty in giving to you;
his grace in justifying you; and
his strength in supporting you.
His strength is made perfect in weakness. He is glorified . . .
when you calmly submit to His sovereign will;
when you surrender cheerfully what you value at His call;
when you place yourself at His disposal, and heartily say,
"Here am I, Lord, do with me as seems you good."
A patient sufferer, glorifies a gracious God. He who is willing to suffer — that God may be glorified. The glory of God is the great end of our . . .
The glory of God is the end proposed in all our trials, troubles, and distresses!
He intends but to crucify the old man, and conform you to the image of His Son — do you not wish to be like Jesus? Are you not praying for this? Well, this is the very object which your heavenly Father has in view. And if you suffer with Christ, and are conformed to His image here — you will be glorified with Him in a brighter, better world.
Can God get glory by this sickness of yours — and are you unwilling to be sick? Did the Lord Jesus come down from Heaven, and suffer, bleed, and die, that God may be glorified in your eternal salvation; and are you not willing to suffer, a few days or weeks, a few trials from which Jesus has extracted the curse, and in which He has deposited a blessing — that your Father may be glorified?
But perhaps you are ready to ask, "Can God be glorified by my sickness?" Yes, in many ways, perhaps, of which we have no conception at present. He is glorified . . .
by your resignation;
by your patience;
by your prayerfulness;
by your jealously of self, and
by your fear lest you should dishonor Him.
He is glorified also . . .
by the testimony you bear to His truth, love, and faithfulness;
by your trust in His promises;
by your reliance on His providential care;
by your surrender of all things into His hands;
by your aiming in all things to please Him, and adorn your profession of His holy gospel.
Let this then be the object of your prayers — that the Lord may be glorified in your body, whether it be by life or by death. Seek grace that you may serve Him in your present affliction. Benefit those with whom your are immediately connected; and in some way promote His cause. Be not too much taken up with yourself, or your worldly concerns; but remember the Lord has said, "Those who honor me, I will honor; and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed." Let your constant aim be to please God, to glorify Him, and to magnify the riches of His grace. Then if you live — you will live unto the Lord; or if you die — you will die unto the Lord; living or dying you will be the Lord's.
Happy Christian, who aims at the honor of God in all things, and at all times! He may safely leave all things in the hands of God, and say with the Apostle in every trial, "This also shall turn to my salvation!" All things must work together for His good, and end in His eternal happiness! While he sojourns on earth, His conversation is in Heaven; and while laboring or suffering he sings: "Whatever I say or do — Your glory be my aim!"