So the order of transforms of opengl is actually resversed.
Rather than thinking backwards, I'd prefer to think in terms of object space, which means that everything in OpenGL is perfectly logical and forward. All transformations are based on your current local coordinate system. A rotation will obviously rotate your coordinate system. x might not align with the global x anymore, but it will always be your objects "right". It also means that all rotations will always happen around your local origin, which also causes a lot less headache than trying to rotate an object around itself from a "world perspective".
Unless dealing with "outside influence" on your object, thinking in local coordinates is almost always more convenient and easier to reason about. It also means that nothing is actually happening "backwards".