“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” (John 12:27-28).
Have you ever had a prayer that comes up over and over again throughout your life? For me one of those prayers is this; that Jesus Christ would be glorified in and through my life.
It's what I prayed when I graduated high school.
It's what I prayed as I entered into ministry.
It's what I prayed when I got married.
It's what I prayed when my daughter was born.
It's something that I pray almost every day.
As I thought about this prayer that I so often come back to, I found it interesting that my desire to glorify the Lord is as strong as it is. But as I did a little digging, it started to make sense.
Our purpose in life is to glorify God.
Isaiah 43:7 says, "Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them" (NLT, emphasis mine).
Colossians 1:16 says, "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him" (emphasis mine).
C.S. Lewis puts our desire to glorify God this way:
"I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is... The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him" (C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms).
As we long to glorify God we are simply longing to express our life's purpose.
Jesus had a purpose when He came into this world. It was to go to the cross in order to redeem us, and He had a goal to glorify the Father's name. What comfort it must have been in that hour for Jesus to hear God's confirmation in saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again"?
This is a prayer that will be answered "yes." Always.
As Jesus was troubled in the garden, thinking on the cross, we too will be troubled in this life. Let us follow Christ's example to pray and focus our minds on the ultimate goal: to glorify God's name.
Our comfort can be found in God's response: "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again" (John 12:28b). He has worked in our lives, He is working in our lives, and He is going to work in our lives again.