“Your trial is not about the trial. It’s about Jesus showing His love to you and Him being glorified.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 17, 2023
But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
I was recently diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Of course, it was a painful discovery and a shock, but after the doctors in the U.S. didn’t give us any options for treatment, my husband and I opted to travel to Oasis of Hope, a world-renowned cancer clinic in Mexico. After a few days of checking in, I ran into Pouran, a cancer survivor in the hospital hallway. She was there helping Anna, another cancer patient, navigate her journey with courage.
Pouran put her hands on my shoulders, looked into my eyes and spoke life-giving words to me.
“You are on a journey with Jesus. This is not about cancer. It’s about something else God is doing in and through you. We all have things the Lord wants to shave off, places where He wants to reveal more of Himself to us, places where He wants to show us more of His love—and yes, it can really hurt.”
I don’t believe God gave me cancer. He is not the author of evil, instead, everything He touches is made whole. But I do believe Romans 8:28, that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.
As I lay in my hospital bed, I thought about Pouran’s words: “This is not about the cancer.” But sometimes it feels like it’s all about the cancer. Kill the cancer! Get rid of the cancer! Fight the cancer! Overcome cancer so I can get on with life! But Pouran is right. It’s not about the cancer because life is never just about our trials. It’s always about what God is doing in our lives through them.
When Joseph was thrown into prison, it wasn’t about prison. Prison was simply a vehicle God used to reveal His faithfulness, glory, and love to Joseph, his brothers, Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s people and even you and me as we read this life-giving story from the Bible.
When the children of Israel were pinned between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army, it wasn’t about their enemies. It was about the Lord revealing His faithfulness to His people. It was about God using their trouble to show them how good and mighty He is and how much He loves them. That’s why they sang a song declaring, “Jehovah, He is God!” when God delivered them from their predicament.
When Lazarus died, it wasn’t about his death; it was about how Christ wanted to glorify Himself to Lazarus’s sisters and those who witnessed his resurrection. His suffering happened so the glory of God would be revealed. Our trials are never about the trials. They are always about Jesus and His love for us and about us knowing—and experiencing—both more fully.
My trial is not about cancer. It’s not even about God delivering me from cancer, although I believe He will do that and when He does, I will tell everyone what He has done! Cancer is not the star of the show. Jesus is. This journey is about God revealing Himself to me and those around me. It’s about Jesus being glorified. It’s about Him becoming greater in my life and I pray in the lives who watch how He is working in my life.
As for me, I believe the Lord wants to show me more of His love. He wants to reveal the depth of His kindness to me, the tenderness of His mercy, and that I am a precious daughter, seen, and never a beggar before the Almighty.
My journey isn’t about the hideousness or evil of cancer. But it IS about liberty. It’s about being set free because Jesus is only and always about light, love, and goodness.
It’s pretty amazing how He can take the most horrible things and use them to bring us greater, abundant life.
Sounds kind of like the cross, doesn’t it?
“Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but it was so that the works of God might be displayed and illustrated in him’” (John 9:3, AMP).
Lord, I choose to focus on you and what you are doing rather than my trial. I trust you, knowing that you are working all things together for my good and for your glory. I wait on you with a hopeful heart knowing that you have my best interest in mind. I love you, Lord. Amen.
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Darwin Hobbs: Glorify Him
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