Words of Hope: TGBTG

Dad loved acronyms. He had a million different ones he used often. My newest favorite is from my brother Jay. He texted a response TGBTG which stands for To God Be The Glory.  

I find it easy to say TGBTG when life is easy, camps are full, and life is abundant. I find it difficult to say when life is hard.  

We recently listened to one of the top evangelists in the nation on the topic of how an all-loving God could allow suffering.  

The speaker asked, “Assume suffering and hardship were eliminated. Imagine everyone is beautiful, powerful, self-sufficient. There are no needs, there are no reasons to offer aid or care. Would humanity be truly happy and content or would people continue to strive for more than someone else?”  

He posited that our needs, challenges, and difficulties require us to seek community. They force us to ask for help and to give help. Are we more loving by being self-reliant or does compassion come from providing for the needs of others? 

Our speaker shared how he had slowly lost his sight over many years. He said at first, he felt angry at God for making him blind. Then he totally reversed his attitude and began to say, “TGBTG for my blindness.” Without blindness he believes he never would have to humble himself to ask for assistance. He never would have been reliant on one other person.  

The speaker found out that his needs made him compassionate and humble. His needs required him to step into community. His needs may have brought him closer to God than his intellect and strength. As he began to thank God for the sufferings and difficulties of his life, his story began to become redefined. What previously had felt unloving became understood from a broader view seen through the lens of love and resurrection. God placing us in situations that requires us to depend on others, to enter into service, community, and compassion. All these hardships are reason to say TGBTG. 

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. – Romans 5:3-5