Glory Ahead

Michael Beck

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.” (John 21:18,19)

There are places we have to go to; people we have to see; things we have to do, that we would rather just not. We are all remarkably similar – we move in the direction of what brings us pleasure, and away from what brings us pain. Peter not only told Jesus to forego any ideas about the cross, he dreaded the prospect of his own.

The cross that Jesus envisioned for Peter was like His own in that evil men would hoist him on to it; but the attitude that belonged to Christ in facing the cross had yet to be formed in His servant. Later in life, the more mature disciple would write: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind” (1 Peter 4:1) What would change? Did Peter become someone who liked the idea of suffering? Did he become a masochist in his old age? No. Far from it. He learned that suffering preceded glory when found on the path of obedience.

There is a shameful death we can experience by continuing down an evil road: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12) But there is also a death that can glorify God. Yes, it could mean the end of our dreams; but if God is calling us to deny ourselves, and lay down our life for His sake, it will be the beginning of a better, more beautiful life than any we could ever have imagined.

Don’t be afraid of the suffering you may discover on the road of obedience to God. Be afraid of living a life that failed to glorify God. Go where He wants you to go. Do what He wants you to do. Follow your Lord to Calvary. There is glory ahead.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.