Ah, the eternal question.  From the time that we start talking, that one word seems to dominate the conversation down the path of enlightenment (as we perceive it).  Many Christians are always asking “Why?”, seeking answers to questions which seem to have no answer.  Life is made up of situations and events which cry out for explanation yet that explanation eludes us to our never-ending frustration.

Most of us view ourselves as modern peoples who, for the most part, are educated and perceptive.  We inundate ourselves with 24 hour news channels, radio talk shows, Internet postings and discussion boards, newspaper articles and other assorted information sources, ad nauseum, in our eternal search for knowledge and understanding.  We are no longer part of the Industrial Age which brought about major societal and economic advancements; we are now in the Information Age where information is valued above all.  Information or knowledge is power; it is a commodity in this day and age and is bought and traded on the open market.  Despite the vast resources at our disposal which make the ability to reference information more important that actually knowing that information, we still do not understand many of the same questions that befuddled our ancestors.  One of those questions that still plagues us today is simply, “Why?”

Why do I face challenges that others do not?  Why do I suffer?  Why have I been blessed the way that I have been blessed?  Why do I have certain talents that others do not?  Why do I not have certain abilities that others seem to enjoy?  Why do I seem to struggle so often as a Christian?  Why am I here?  Why is my life the way it is?  Why?  Why?  Why? 

There is an answer to each of these questions and that answer is the same.  However, before you read on, please let me tell you that you may not like the answer I have come up with and you may vehemently disagree with my conclusion.  That being said, let me also state that this answer is the only rational explanation that I can understand and can accept for my own peace of mind.

Commencing in Chapter 19, the Psalmist begins the answer this question.  Looking over His handiwork evidenced by creation, God begins to outline the answer to our inquiry.


Psalms 19:1-4

** New International Version

King James Version

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they display knowledge.

3 There is no speech or language

where their voice is not heard.  

4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.


1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,



There is a key phrase contained within this passage that appears throughout the pages of the Bible.  This phrase is one that we forget in our day-to-day lives.  We tend to ignore it as we are swept along with the pace of life.  That phrase is the “glory of God” or “God’s glory.”  Keep your eye on it as we examine this topic.

In this instance David states that the works of God Himself declare His glory.  The heavens and skies provide evidence of the wondrous majesty of God in creation.  Their cry is never- ending; it is always heard to the entire ends of the earth.  The purpose of this declaration is simply to glorify God.

Later, in the New Testament, we are introduced to what appears to be a tragic situation involving Mary, Martha and their brother, Lazarus.  Jesus had evidently spent much time with these siblings and loved them as family.  However, in the 11th Chapter of the Book of John, Lazarus has become quite ill and is near the point of death when Jesus is told of his condition.  To the astonishment of His followers, Jesus tarries and only begins to make His journey to Bethany when Lazarus has already died.  However, this theme of “glory to God” once again arises when people are looking for a purpose to one of life’s most troubling questions.  In this instance, that question was, “Why did Lazarus have to die?”

John 11:1-6, 35-44

** New International Version

King James Version

1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."  4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

* * *

35 Jesus wept.  36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" 37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?" 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 "Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."

40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.


1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

2(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

* * *

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. 40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.



Jesus was clear in verses 4 and 40 of this situation involving Lazarus – it was all for the glory of God.  Lazarus died when Jesus could have healed him of his illness.  Lazarus evidently died in the prime of his life.  Lazarus died leaving two sisters who desperately needed and depended on him.  And in the shortest verse in the Bible, Jesus wept even when He knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead.  However, everything about the death and resurrection of Lazarus was not about Mary, Martha or even Lazarus himself; it was all about God’s glorification and the witness it provided to the people.


The resurrection of Lazarus was a dramatic event that brought many Jews to faith in Jesus (v. 45); however, it was also an event that galvanized the ruling class of the chief priests and Pharisees to plot the death of Jesus (v. 53).  This ruling class was not only interested in the death of Jesus but they also planned to take the life of Lazarus due to the fact that his resurrection had brought many to faith in Christ (John 12:10-11).  Ultimately, despite the planning of the chief priests and Pharisees, God was glorified through it all, especially in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus on the cross at Calvary.


Later, in the Book of Romans, Paul addresses the role of faith in life and what it produces in the Christian.  This faith, displayed as a decision to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, results in justification so that we can stand before God.


Romans 5:1-5

** New International Version

King James Version

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.



In this passage we see that our joy is in the hope of the glory of God.  Through it all, we should be able to rejoice in the trials which assault us throughout life.  These trials then urge us down a path which should result in spiritual growth.  The progression, as noted above, is suffering resulting in perseverance which produces character which then gives rise to hope.  That hope is manifested in us by the Holy Spirit and will finally result in standing in the presence of God and His glory.  Through it all, however, in every trial, every tribulation, every affliction, we should keep our eyes upon the goal; that goal is the glory of God.  Consequently, your response to your experiences will evidence your faith and will either glorify God or it will not.


Everything you do should be for the glory of God.  Given its plain meaning, the word “everything” means just that.  Everything in life should be directed to glorify God.


1 Corinthians 10:31

** New International Version

King James Version

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.




In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul differentiates between the temporal and the eternal and the role of faith.  Our belief results in our testimony with the grace of God extending to more and more people.  The result is thanksgiving to the glory of God. 


2 Corinthians 4:13-18

** New International Version

King James Version

13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.



Finally, if we as believers become more and more like Christ, confessing that Jesus is Lord, that too results in the glory of God.


Philippians 2:5-11

** New International Version

King James Version

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.



The bottom line is that it is not all about you.  It is not all about me.  It is all about God.  The reason why is that He deserves it.  He is God.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  Everything we do, everything about us should be to the glory of God.  That should be our perspective and while there will be those who will think it isn’t fair, it doesn’t matter.  God made the rules.  While God is loving and merciful, overflowing with love and grace, He is also a jealous god.  He provides ample evidence throughout the pages of the Bible that He will not be denied His glory that He rightfully deserves.  We need to keep this in mind.  It would make life a lot more understandable (and bearable).


** A modern language quote is provided for readability together with the accompanying KJV version which is believed by many to be a more accurate representation of the original scripture.

Comments or questions may be directed to the author at info@rapturenext.com.