In talking to a friend this week who is going through some trying circumstances, the questions came up--how did I get into this situation, why is this happening to me and how quickly can I solve these problems? I've asked them before myself on quite a few occasions. But let's turn the tables a bit and see a totally different perspective with spiritual eyes. Instead of asking "How can I get out of this mess?", ask this question, "How can God be glorified in this situation?"
Bear with me on this because I've found something new in the Word that I've never seen before. I'm about to share several examples of why we should be asking the latter question instead of the first.
In reading more about the children of Israel and their march to the Red Sea, notice Exodus 14:3-4, "Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, 'They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.' Then I will harden Pharaoh's heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord." God deliberately orchestrated these events as a chance to demonstrate His authority over His enemies and the natural. God basically said, "I'm going to allow this to happen so that I will get the glory. No one will be able to take credit for this one!"
But this isn't the only example. In John 9, we read the story of the blind man. The disciples asked Jesus what the man had done to have been born blind. Did his parents sin? Why was he born this way? Jesus told the disciples the man was born blind so that the power of God could be displayed in his life. Then, he place mud over the man's eyes, had him wash in the pool of Siloam, and the man could see again.
In John 11, Mary and Martha were upset their brother Lazarus was on his death bed and asked for Jesus to come quickly, but he didn't. Lazarus died and the sisters weren't happy that Jesus wasn't moving fast enough and even chastised the Lord. But Jesus told them that Lazarus passed away so God could be glorified. Then, He raised Lazarus from the dead.
As you can see, God doesn't waste our suffering. If He has lead you into an impossible spot, He will deliver you in His own time, in His own way and for His name's sake. What should be our response? Dear God, get the glory through my heart ache! Psalm 115:1 says, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory." Perhaps the children of Israel should have stopped asking, "How did we get into this mess?" and should have instead asked, "How will God gain glory through this situation?"
We can view our problem as an opportunity for God to work His marvelous wonders as others watch.