IIT UBF - University Bible Fellowship at IIT

For the Glory of God

Date: Feb. 15, 2012

Author: Dan Bockenfeld

This past Sunday's sermon dealt with the thought that our lives should give glory to God. In John 9, there is a man who was born blind and Jesus said that he was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him. Many times our hardships cause us to cry out to God in deliverance, but sometimes God wants to use those hardships to give glory to him. Below are five people, who have had hard lives, yet give glory to God.

Fanny Crosby1 Francis Jane Crosby was born in 1820.  When she was two months old, she became ill, and a man pretending to be a doctor prescribed that something be put on her eyes as a cure.  That cure blinded her and a few months later he father died, leaving her mother to raise her.  She had a lot to be pitied over.  One pastor remarked later in her life, I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when he showered so many other gifts upon you.  But Crosby, who had written over 9000 hymns, immediately replied, Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind?  Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.

Crosby's condition did not dictate her mood.  She was not resentful for her blindness, but she brought so much joy and hope even today. She wrote so many hymns that she wrote some of them under a pen name so that hymn books would not be filled with her name. Some of her popular hymns are To God Be the GloryI Am Thine O Lord, and Rescue the Perishing

Richard Wurmbrand2 Richard Wurmbrand was a pastor in Romania who witnessed the horrors of Nazi and Soviet occupation. In 1945, Richard and his wife Sabina attend the Congress of Cults. As many religious leaders come forward to swear loyalty to the new communist regime, Sabina tells her husband to wipe the shame from the face of Jesus. Richard, knowing the cost, steps forward and tells 4,000 delegates that their duty as Christians is to glorify God and Christ alone.

On February 29, 1948, as he was walking to church, the secret police seized Richard and placed him in solitary confinement. Richard is released after serving eight and a half years in prison. He endured horrific tortures and was warned to never preach again, but he resumes his ministry. Richard is turned in to the authorities by one of his own associates in the underground church. In 1959, he is arrested again and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Richard is released in 1964 from prison and resumes his work. Two Westerners cautiously make their way to the attic home of the Wurmbrands to see if the stories of Christians being imprisoned under communism are true. This is the first contact the Wurmbrands have with outside missionaries since their arrests.

In the following year, the Wurmbrand family is ransomed from Romania for $10,000 and the secret police tell Richard to remain silent about his experiences. In May of 1966, he testifies in Washington, D.C., before the Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee. His story spreads rapidly across the U.S. and the world. In 1967, Richard founds what would become The Voice of the Martyrs, and organization whose purpose is to support persecuted Christians around the world.

Joni Eareckson Tada3 A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, unable to use her hands.After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations. During her rehabilitation, Joni spent long months learning how to paint with a brush between her teeth.

Despite her seemingly difficult condition, Joni is a sought after painter, an established author with over 70 book and numerous magazine articles, hosts a daily radio show heard on a 1000 different stations, and has an award winning television series. All along the way, Joni has attributed her success to Jesus and wrote a number of books on the subject such as When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty and A Lifetime of Wisdom: Embracing the Way God Heals You

Chuck Colson4 Chuck Colson was the White House "hatchet man" during is four years serving under President Nixon. He was a man feared by even the most powerful politicians. The media of the mid-1970s referred to him as "incapable of humanitarian thought".

In 1973 word leaked that Chuck became a Christian and he admitted he was guilty of political "dirty tricks" and willing to do almost anything for the cause of his president and his party. In 1974, Colson entered a plea of guilty to Watergate-related charges; although not implicated in the Watergate burglary, he voluntarily pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the Daniel Ellsberg case. He entered Alabama's Maxwell Prison in 1974 as a new Christian and as the first member of the Nixon administration to be incarcerated for Watergate-related charges.

He served seven months of a one-to-three year sentence before being released. But Colson never really left prison. Haunted by the desperation and hopelessness he saw behind bars, Colson knew he had to do something to help the men he left behind. in 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship®, which, together with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families, with ministry taking place in 113 countries around the globe.

Christopher Duffley Christopher is a blind, autistic boy with a wonderful singing voice who loves to sing about God. His story and him singing is in a video below.

If you know anyone else who lives a life that glorifies God especially in tough times, feel free to write about it in the comments below.

  1. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/131christians/poets/crosby.html
  2. http://torturedforchrist.com/timeline-html/
  3. http://www.joniandfriends.org/jonis-corner/jonis-bio/
  4. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/why-pf/why-does-pf-exist/297
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