Bask in the Glory.
We bubble with joy and excitement when we accomplish big goals. We are delighted and proud of achievements, because they are well deserved. Great milestones and accomplishments should be celebrated, and those who have made great strides should bask in the honor. Sacrifices are made along the way, and hardship is par for the course to succeed. After a while, trophies and awards begin to collect dust, as we carry on with other responsibilities. As time marches on, the glory of success begins to fade away.
23 Thus says The Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches. 24 But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me; That I am The Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says The Lord (Jeremiah 9).
The Lord delights in those who have known Him and understood what pleases Him. Worldly accomplishments are of little value to Him. Those who consider themselves wise should not be arrogant. Those with a strong stature should not be vain, because of their physical appearance. Those who have wealth should not put their confidence in their riches, or be full of their own importance. All these are considered exceptional by worldly standards. But God is nonplussed by the vanities of this life. God is impressed with those who are proud of their knowledge of Him. God delights in those who use their achievements for His Glory; for righteousness, justice, and expressing love and kindness to others. We should glory in those things that please God, by using His blessings to meet the needs of others. Wisdom, strength, power, beauty, and riches can cause one to be puffed up with pride, and be detestable to God.
17 But “he who glories, let him glory in The Lord.” 18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom The Lord commends (2 Corinthians 10).
God’s approval far exceeds what others tell us or what we tell ourselves about our accomplishments or performance. Having a high regard for oneself, doesn’t mean God is equally impressed. Whatever is pleasing to God should be the yardstick to measure our performance. Even if we do what is acceptable to God, we should not glory in ourselves. It is God who motivates us to strive for high standards. He should get the glory for any decisions or achievements we make. His Ways are our inspiration and impetus to get it right. Glory in God and you won’t need to glory in yourself. Exalt the Name of God and suppress the urge to magnify yourself.
1 I will extol The Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. 2 I will glory in The Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His Name together (Psalm 34).
When we are in the doldrums, there’s little to be joyful about. But praising God should not hinge on our circumstances. In praise we boast of God’s Greatness. When we extol God, we are elated with Who He is. Praise should be at all times—in afflictions and prosperity. As the afflicted hear of God’s exaltation and rejoice in Him, they will be imbued with an aura of God’s Goodness. He is worthy of all praise and glory at all times. Let His praise be on your lips; then you will find solace in exalting Him above all your hardship and trials.
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted as a loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the Power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3).
All that we have gained in this world; accomplishments, awards or honor can’t be compared to having Christ Jesus in our lives. He is the Righteousness, Knowledge, Image and Power of God. Excellency is the knowledge of Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior; having a deep understanding from fellowship with Him. We should count everything else futile in order to have Christ enrich every area of our lives.
To be found in Christ is to be one with Him in suffering, death and His resurrection. Eternal life is the life that has enduring rewards. When we have Christ, we have His Righteousness. The Righteousness of God is not of the law. It is in Christ, The Holy One, in whom we have our being. If we suffer, we do so because He also suffered. Righteousness is not without suffering. It takes grit to succeed and be rewarded. When in fellowship with Christ, we will face hardship and be brought to a place of surrender. Be open to knowing Him, even being one with Him in His death and suffering. Glory in every suffering that transforms you to the likeness of The Lord. He became obedient in suffering and death. In suffering we are strengthened by the resurrection Power of Christ in us, emboldening us to face another day. We can’t be crushed by our troubles; we rise above them and overcome just as He did. We have the resurrection Power of God to meet the demands of this life.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8).
There are traits that are nurtured or put to the test during hard times. We might learn patience, resilience, endurance and how to surrender the need to always be in control. We build our faith and hope as we wait patiently for a breakthrough. We are changed by our struggles. There’s glory that is revealed in us that we didn’t know about until we crossed to the other side. Sons and daughters of God are not exempt from suffering. Suffering reveals the glory that is imparted on the children of God. The Power of God and Love of God stands us in good stead. After we have been through the wringer, we come out tested, tried and empowered. The glory that is revealed in us is worth the experience. The creation awaits the revelation of the children of God, who will come forth from the struggles of this life with flying colors.
“The Spirit of The Lord God is upon Me, because The Lord has anointed Me, to preach good tidings to the poor:….3 To console those who mourn in Zion; to give them beauty for ashes; the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness—the planting of The Lord, that He may be glorified (Isaiah 61)”
These are the words The Lord Jesus preached before a congregation, as one of His first sermons (see Luke 4:15-21). He assured the audience that the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled before their very eyes. The Lord has come to take away the heaviness, sorrow and pain of suffering. For those who know their Lord Jesus, they are never without solace. In their suffering they are made whole; they become the righteousness of God because they have trusted Him. They are the planting of God—the trees of righteousness to declare His Glory—His Power, Love and Goodness. See, there are not many who are willing to glorify God in their suffering and pain. But those who are planted by The Lord have received the garments of comfort from the Spirit of God, The Lord Jesus. And will glorify Him in the midst of their storms. God has orchestrated every detail of their lives for His Glory.
Each moment in our life is not a coincidence. We have been created for God’s Glory alone. When we take the shine off ourselves, we give God the honor that He alone deserves. As Christ suffered, we became one with Him in our suffering. He gives us the comfort we need and exchanges our sorrow for joy. The struggles we endure work in us greater glory; we become complete one with The Lord. Our talents and achievements are tools to exercise justice, love, kindness and the righteousness of God. We look to please God at all times, by doing what merits His commendation. We are being changed everyday to be more like The Son of God, as children of God. Our suffering is earning us more glory and the character that is being nurtured within us.
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3).