The previous post in this series may be found here
It can easily become a mere slogan among a certain kind of Christian that he only seeks to “glorify God”. It is a sort of magic wand which okays anything and makes all decisions “godly”.
It is precisely at this point that Brooks raises a test: What do you do when you face affliction? Humility is a necessary strand in godliness, and without humility there can be no glorifying God. Affliction proves humility true.
Where does your intention lie when affliction comes? Would you rather get out of the affliction or glorify God in the affliction? It is all very good to glorify God when it just happens to be your greatest ease. But what if the apparent tack to glorify God will bring on affliction or continue affliction?
Jesus may just ask a death defying humility when it comes to God’s glory. After his resurrection, the Lord said to Peter:
18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21:18–19 (ESV)
Would you follow Jesus if just said he was leading you to be crucified — because such would glorify God?
Oh! but when a proud man is under troubles and afflictions, his head and heart are full of plots and projects how to get off his chains, and to get out of the furnace, &c. A proud heart will say anything, and do anything, and be anything, to free himself from the burdens that press him, as you see in Pharaoh, &c.; but an humble soul is willing to bear the cross as long as he can get strength from heaven to kiss the cross, to bless God for the cross, and to glorify God under the cross, &c., John 1:20, 21.
Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 3 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 21.