Jane pulled the backpack out of the car after her and lugged it over her shoulders. Heavier than any earthly weight was her latest problem concerning her choice of friends. It followed her as she followed her brother, who followed her mom who followed her dad along the trail to the waterfalls.
But as she walked along and let her eyes linger over the delicate flowers shaped like bells, and the butterflies that hung over them, the burden on her heart began to ebb away – just began. Then she heard the falling water in the distance and could almost taste the rising moisture in the air.
Finally, they emerged from the trail into a clearing. The panoramic view was… breathtaking. All that remained of Jane’s worries vaporized into the air, even as the clouds of mist rising from the waterfall. Jane was filled with awe.
What is God’s glory?
The dictionary defines glory as such:
something that is a source of honor, fame, or admiration; a distinguished ornament or an object of pride:
Glory is that which evokes and inspires a sense of awe and beauty, honor and admiration about a person or a thing. The glory of a sunset is that which makes it beautiful – the colors and the clouds. God’s glory is that which makes Him beautiful.
However, everything about God is beautiful and honorable:
All he does is just and good, and all his commandments are trustworthy.
-Psalm 111:7 (NIV)
Furthermore, everything good we see in the world around us – whether in nature or in the character of a friend – originates from God. He is the Creator and the source of all things good. (By extension, everything ugly and dishonorable is a distortion of God’s creation which was originally all good.)
Therefore, we see glimpses of God’s glory all around us.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory.
What does it mean to glorify God?
There are at least two ways we can glorify God:
- before others, and
- in or hearts.
We glorify God before others…
…by spreading the knowledge of His glory. This includes acknowledging before people that all the good and beautiful things in our life originate from Him.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
We glorify God in our hearts…
…by embracing His design for our lives. This is an attitude that we foster. It’s the part of us that no one can see but God Himself and it’s what determines if our lifestyles are genuine, or just a show.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
Talk with me?
- How have you seen God’s glory in the world?
- Have you ever witnessed seen or heard a person intentionally glorifying God through their actions?
- How can you spread the awareness of God’s beauty in the situation that you face now?
Resources for deeper digging
Psst! For more on:
- “What is God’s glory?”: here is a more detailed article by gotquestions.org.
- Another way to understand glory (with some similarities and some differences to what I’ve talked about): listen to this audio or read the transcript.