I often get introduced at different places where I speak at conferences and retreats on The Cup and the Glory
as someone who studies suffering. I lovingly correct them in the sessions that I actually do not study suffering; I study the Glory of God. It was an intense segment of suffering that compelled me to go to God’s Word to find answers as to what was happening. As I have written many times elsewhere, I did not set out to write a book—I set out to find hope in God’s Word. The end result was The Cup and the Glory
. I did not know I was studying God’s Glory at the time; God alone did. Once I finished what became the book, I was a different person in what God had brought me through and had patiently taught me, but I had no “Let’s do another one!” mentality. I figured The Cup and the Glory was pretty much all that I would write because I had found the answers that I was looking for and that God had already “perfected, confirmed, strengthened and established” me (1 Pet. 5:10).
What became The Darkness and the Glory
differed in that for the weeks I wrestled with the two questions of why Satan would use Peter to attempt to keep Jesus from going to the cross (Matt. 16:22-23) and then do what seemed a one-hundred and eighty degrees difference in using Judas to help bring about the crucifixion (Luke 22:3). You can read more about this in “The Writing of The Darkness and the Glory
” in the study guide. As you will see, it was an absurd time—humanly speaking—to write the first part of the book in that I was in the midst of an intense and mentally draining summer school class. Yet I would get up and often write the entire night before class because that is when God had determined that the part about the crucifixion would be written.
In writing The Darkness and the Glory
, I had already gone through the process of writing a book, so I had a better idea of the overall process. For me personally, the book is written better because of that. I tell people with The Cup and the Glory
, if there is any logical arrangement of the material (which there is), God brought it about because, as before, I did not realize it would be a book. With The Darkness and the Glory
, I knew it was a book before I typed the first word.
Also, in the section “The Writing of The Darkness and the Glory
” in the study guide, you will see that the “His Cup—The Beginning” was actually the last chapter written. For years I thought the books were mildly related but not really that much. It was only after interacting with so many people that I began to see the connection between the two books. Once I realized that The Cup and the Glory
was about our cup as disciples of Jesus, I started to study the cup that Jesus drank and understood in a childlike manner how vastly His cup was beyond all of ours put together. Thus, the subtitle “His Cup and the Glory from Gethsemane to the Ascension” became the core of the book, and The Darkness and the Glory
became the connected sequel.
As The Cup and the Glory
is not about suffering as much as it is the cost of discipleship and God’s glory and how God often uses suffering to accomplish this, The Darkness and the Glory
is not only about the crucifixion, although obviously the crucifixion factors greatly into the book. The book is another view of the Glory of God that ends with the Ascension of Jesus being raised in glory, not dead on the cross.
I love all the chapters, and writing the ones about His cup affected me greatly and made me abhor my sin, but the last three chapters are such “victory lap” chapters that I found wonderfully encouraging and worshipful as they again put the focus on His Glory. I hope that you will as well.