OUR MISERY AND GOD’S GLORY
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
Our testimony, many times, starts in the most painful and embarrassing moments of our lives. Things like substance abuse, broken relationships, betrayals, run-ins with the law, or an endless list of painful circumstances brought on by stupid decisions and even stupider (is that a word?) actions. In our worst moments, Christ has a habit of showing up and bringing change into our lives. He loves finding us at our worst, this is where He is seen at His best. He has been doing this for a very long time, thankfully, His work of redemption continues today. Jonathan Edwards preached often about God’s Glory being put on display in our misery, listen carefully to his powerful words.
“We may here observe the marvellous wisdom of God, in the work of redemption. God hath made man’s emptiness and misery, his low, lost, and ruined state, into which he sunk by the fall, an occasion of the greater advancement of his own glory, as in other ways, so particularly in this, that there is now much more universal and apparent dependence of man on God. Though God be pleased to lift man out of that dismal abyss of sin and woe into which he was fallen, and exceedingly to exalt him in excellency and honour, and to a high pitch of glory and blessedness, yet the creature hath nothing in any respect to glory of; all the glory evidently belongs to God, all is in a mere, and most absolute, and divine dependence on the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
No wonder the redeemed are singing in heaven. Like us, Christ found them in their sinful circumstances, forgave them, restored them, and gave them a life of joy in God that only increased throughout their lives and multiplied by infinity as they stepped into eternity. For us, His story becomes our story as our misery gets swallowed up in His love. This is what your life has been about all along, redemption. Jesus came into the world to save sinners, not only for our sake, but for all those who will glimpse His grace in our story.