"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again". (John 12:27-28).
In the above passage, we are allowed an inspiring glimpse into the thoughts of the Master. He was thinking about the cross – the horrible and agonizing death to save humanity from their sins. His heart was troubled by the visions of pain and torture that passed through.
When I came across this incident recently, I was overwhelmed by emotion at the sudden realization that Jesus was thinking out loud here, just for our sake. I’m so thankful for that; and He did it to show us how to respond to the anxious and terrifying thoughts that pass through out hearts every now and then.
As those pictures coursed through His heart, he wondered out loud, “What shall I say?”
First, He considered praying for deliverance, “Father, save me from this hour?”
Now think: What would have happened to humanity if He had said that? I’m certain you would agree that if He had said that, you and I would have been lost forever. Nevertheless, that was an option that passed through His heart as the visions of horror passed through; but He rejected it.
He recoiled from that particular thought as it violated His Father’s will.
“No,” He said, “it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”
Then, Jesus Christ, full of absolute faith in His Father, and sacrificial love for us, opted for praise. He chose a prayer of praise – Father, glorify your name – rather than one of deliverance – Father, save me from this hour. He regarded the glory of God as of greater value than His own personal deliverance.
You may not have the prospects of crucifixion on the cross by Roman soldiers weighing heavily upon your heart right now, but you are probably confronted with challenges that literally fill your heart with terror at the mere thought of them.
In those moments that our hearts are troubled and overwhelmed by visions of sorrows and pains, what should we say? The example of Jesus Christ teaches us at such times not to panic, and not to worry; instead, at those moments, we should opt for praise and worship.
Now, because you are a life-giver – 1 Corinthians 15:45, what you say in response to the challenges before you is extremely important. God has vested creative powers in you and you unleash them through what you say. Your tongue has the power of life and death – Proverbs 18:21; so, like Jesus Christ, think before you talk! Train yourself not to speak impulsively.
What do you say in the midst of trials and temptations?
What do you say when experiencing delays?
What do you say in response to disappointments?
What do you say in the face of crises?
Father, glorify your name!
Is your heart troubled? Don’t panic. Praise.
Is your heart overwhelmed? Don’t worry. Worship.
When your heart is troubled and overwhelmed, when you don’t know what to do or say, then like Jesus, shout Father, glorify your name!
Opt for praise.
God invites in Psalm 50:15 to “call upon me in the day of trouble.”
What’s your call?
Will it be ‘Father deliver me’ or ‘Father, glorify your name’?
Praise and thanksgiving transform our focus, lifting our hearts to brood on the bigness of our God rather than worry about the magnitude of our problems.
The gospels are replete with many instances where Jesus gave thanks and belittled the challenge before Him.
When He was handed only five loaves and two fishes to feed a crowd of more than five thousand in the desert, he simply lifted up His eyes and said ‘Father I thank you’. – Matthew 14:19
When He learnt about Lazarus illness, He said it was for God’s glory; and later, when He arrived at the tomb of Lazarus to raise him from the dead, He was not intimidated by the grave clothes or by the fact that Lazarus had been dead for four days. He merely lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you.” (John 11:41)
A time of crisis is not a time to apportion blame or speak negatively; it is not a time to allow unwholesome talk out of your mouth – rather, it is a time to praise.
Praise introduces God into the equation, and transforms the tests of life into testimonies. God is enthroned in the praises of His people. When you praise Him, His glory is made manifest, His power is revealed, and your earthly realities change.
What then shall we say to these things? Father, glorify your name!
Praise the Lord in spite of what’s going on. Worship Him in the middle of the delays and disappointments.
Here’s how not to let your heart be troubled: Just say, Father, glorify your name!
We may say ‘Father save me from this hour,’ and that will be just fine. But I’ve got a feeling that we should rather go for Father, glorify your name!
Yes, because when Jesus said ‘Thank You Father,’ five loaves and two fishes fed thousands, Lazarus walked out of His grave, and death was swallowed up in victory; and when Paul and Silas chose praise and worship over panic and worry, their chains came loose and the prison doors opened!
What shall I say?
Father, glorify your name!