When You Don’t Understand Your Difficult Circumstances—Ask THIS

Out of the blue—just 2 months prior to my greatly anticipated hiking trip to Utah—my excruciating sciatica pain was back! “It can’t be,” I agonized! “I don’t understand!”

That was 2 ½ years ago. Not being able to stand or walk for more than a few minutes without overwhelming pain is hard for anyone, especially one with a type A personality!

The return of another bout with my back produced additional anxiety. Would I have to leave my much-loved home and garden because of the inability to maintain them?

I was not a happy camper and I didn’t respond well to this recurring issue. I wasn’t able to shake my negative attitude and found myself often in a state of discontentment and complaint. I couldn’t (rather wouldn’t) accept my circumstances.

Finally, unable to stand my misery any longer, I knew what I needed to do: stop fighting God and surrender. My prayer changed from…

“Please heal me!”


“Please help me to endure this pain. Use it somehow for Your glory. Don’t let me waste the pain.”

Immediately my joy and peace were restored!

You see, I had remembered a lesson learned 9 years ago. I had to grapple with the fact that my husband’s cancer had metastasized. While trying to accept the bad news, God led me to ask this question, “What would give God the greatest glory—healing Ed or sustaining us with unexplainable joy and peace?” The answer became immediately obvious—the latter.

So I surrendered and…

I have seen God use it for His glory in many ways these last 9 years!

We would prefer to see God display His glory by answering our prayer our way. But suppose God wants to display His glory in a different way—one that doesn’t make sense to us?

The Bible tells us we were created for His glory and pleasure.

“Bring all who claim me as their God,
    for I have made them for my glory.” (Is 43:7)

Our main purpose in life is to demonstrate God’s glory; to make Him known to a hurting, dark world.

Therefore, when dealing with baffling circumstances, ask yourself the same question God posed to me 9 years ago:

Which would be a greater manifestation of God’s glory? Which miracle would:

  • Lead more people to Christ?
  • Make me or others more like Christ?
  • Grow my faith more?
  • Show God’s love, care, or power more?

With this in mind, it’ll be easier to accept whatever God may allow. Whether it’s cancer, a recurring health issue, a wayward child, or an extreme emotional hurt, God will use it for His glory and greater purposes.

Don’t miss the blessing and stay miserable with a hard, unaccepting heart!

God could be setting Himself up to show off—to display His great power and glory to the world through you. Cooperate with Him. It’ll be worth it!

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Rev 4:11 KJV)

So my friends, the next time you are dealing with some difficult circumstance, ask this question:

“What would give God the greatest glory here?”
and then respond accordingly!


New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.