We know that we are the glory of God, made in His image. (Genesis 1:27) We know we are continuously being changed into His glorious image, under constant construction of heart. ( 2 Corinthians 3:18)
What a glorious thought to understand the place we have in God’s heart! But let’s face facts here, life is tough, and it’s easy to think of “God’s glory” as some future event meant for heavenly times and a perfect world. Nice thought, but just not a reality for us now.
Friends, this is not how it was meant to be! We are the glory of God to be manifested now, not some future time in some unknown place. No, this glory was made for you, for me, for a time that is now.
What does the manifestation of the glory of God even look like in every day life? I have also struggled with this very thought process until one night I had my own wrestling match with God, and I wasn’t going anywhere until He gave me an answer. We ask the Spirit of Truth to guide us (John 16:13) and we search the Word of Truth.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Let’s break this down briefly:
“Though outwardly we are wasting away”- roughly referring to the daily grind and misery that is life as we know it in a fallen and sinful world. Sickness, death, pain, disappointment, injustice, cruelties…etc. Physically, we’re all going towards the same end-death. Morbid as it seems, it is the simple truth. Yet there is an exciting truth we find in the next line of the verse:…”yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Wow, that almost sounds hopeful, optimistic…even, refreshing! And here we find the key. God didn’t give us life because of what happens on the outside. God deals with the heart of the matter. He gets down to the glory. We are renewed day by day as we reflect His glory, for it is then that we find our true sense of inner joy and refreshment. Tapping into that stream that is God’s glory, and reflecting that in our inner being. That is how we fix our eyes on what is “unseen” and what is “eternal”.
”Our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory.”
What did God speak to my heart that night? I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed this in your personal time with God, but whenever I ask God a question, He inevitably answers with something that appears to be completely unrelated. I’ve heard this from others as well. This night was no exception. He took me to Psalm 91:2.
“This I declare of the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God and I trust Him!”
This is what He spoke to my heart:
“Hope only in Me…
Expect only from Me…
Trust only in Me…
I will thwart you from your plans to save you from your plans and bring you to MY perfect plan….
I will show you your idols to draw you to Me…
I will sanctify you with your circumstances…
THIS IS MY GLORY BEING REVEALED IN YOU DAILY!”
Think about it. Think about the circumstances in your own life. Hope only in Him, expect only from Him, trust only in Him. Freedom comes only in surrender. God’s glory is revealed in the life of the one who is fully submitted to Him, the one who clings to Him with all their heart. (King David repeatedly claimed to search for God with all his heart throughout the Psalms!) His glory is reflected when that heart is focused on the unseen and the eternal.
“God…has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-9 (NLT)