April 24, 2024

Good afternoon Church family,

In 2 Peter 3:8, Peter addresses the Church as “beloved.” And although I honestly don’t feel comfortable addressing you on Sunday mornings or in person as “my beloved,” I could and I do agree with that statement. You are all “beloved” to me, which is a term of affection. I love you all greatly as I want & pray for the best in Christ for you. 

To follow up Sunday’s message on praying for God’s glory with absolute certainty that Jesus will grant our requests (John 14:13-14), I want to reiterate the signature definition for what it means to pray for God’s glory that Jesus exemplified for us. 

In John 12:27-28, Jesus prayed for God’s glory and it applied to the Cross. 

He said, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” 

I love this prayer of Jesus because it teaches us how to pray well for God’s glory in a complete Christ centered way (“in His name” as Jesus says in John 14:13, which He will grant us – v14!).

And I just love how realistic and relatable Jesus’ prayer is for us. 

Basically, Jesus is saying (paraphrased): “Should I pray, save me from this hour, God? Should I pray for the comfortable situation? No. I need to pray that you would glorify Your name in this pain because it’s Your will to help others through it.”

Jesus is asking God if He should even pray that God would deliver Him from an incredibly horrifying situation. In Matthew 26, we know that Jesus does ask God for the comfortable route (“if possible, remove this cup from me”). But in John 12 it’s like Jesus is externally processing what He prayed in Matthew 26: “if possible, remove this cup from me.” 

I’ve noticed that in Scripture, God never tells us not to ask for healing or for physical comfort. Even Jesus asked for the more comfortable circumstance. So did Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 as he pleaded with God 3 times to remove a thorn in his flesh. However, God answered with pain instead of comfort alongside of His sustaining grace. And in Christ’s sake, God answered Him the same way as Paul: “no” to His first request for alleviation, but “yes” to the glory of God displayed through pain.   

This meets us all very intimately because the truth is that we all have prayers for healing and pleasure that God has not answered the way we want, that is, the first way that we want. 

Neither did God grant Jesus His human request, the first way He prayed, but He did answer Him the second way which was Christ’s greater desire: “God glorify your name” which would happen through the Cross.

In praying, we always need to get to that point: “God, glorify Your name in a way that is so hard for me to accept because it’s not what I want naturally!” We need to pray in a greater way for God’s glory to be manifested through our life in whatever way He wishes.

And I always think, ‘praise the Lord that He doesn’t answer us exactly the way that we intend every time, otherwise He would be my servant, pet, or genie, but He is none of those things. He is my God, my Lord, my Father and my eternal Creator Whose ways far surpass my little tiny brain.’ 

And I think,  “wow, if God the Father did not answer Jesus Christ’s request the first way, but the second way, then I should expect the same thing quite often for myself. God won’t grant me what I always want for myself, but He will grant me what I want for Him & what He wants for others (God answered Christ’s prayer for the good of us, and God has a way of answering our prayers for the good of others too!)” 

A few years ago, my wife was experiencing excruciating pain that doctors prematurely diagnosed as some kind of terribly painful lifelong incurable disease. And I remember my wife’s theme verse during that time was John 12:27-28, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” 

We both asked the Lord to deliver her from the situation but then asked the Lord to glorify Himself in the tenacity,  love, joy, and selflessness she could exhibit to our sons as they grow and saw her love for Jesus and enduring strength and serene spirit (as opposed to bitter spirit) in the midst of pain. 

We, at the time, had heard about a person whose chronic pain level had made her bitter and grumpy which her kids could see, and my wife realized, ‘God will be so glorified if my kids can witness a mom in pain but a mom whose still joyful by the grace of God.’ It was a prayer of,  “God glorify your name” and “your grace is sufficient for Your power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9). 

May God give you strength and direction to pray for His glory, accepting His answers not as silence or displeasure or indifference, but as Christ glorifying and greatly humbling responses to your soul that will receive benefit from this challenging situation that you would not have otherwise experienced without the great trial (Cross) in your life. 

And may other people see the grace of God in your life through a difficult situation and give glory to God. 

Sincerely love, 


“P.S. I think that this song really accurately describes what I just wrote about: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIu-2P39_DU “

From Pastor Aaron

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