Luke 24:25-26 —- Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”
The Christian life is a call to glory through a journey of suffering. That’s because those in Christ are inevitably at odds with their culture and society. All Satan-energized systems are actively at odds with the things of Christ. The apostle John said a person can’t love both God and the world. (1John2:15). That makes the Christian a problem to the society in which he or she lives.
Our Lord had to explain to the disciples on the road to Emmaus that future glory required that He suffer. We’re to expect the same. Christians are identified with their Master because like Him, we also must suffer to enter into glory.
So what is the Glory of God?
The glory of God is the beauty of His spirit. It is not an aesthetic beauty or a material beauty, but it is the beauty that emanates from His character, from all that He is. God’s glory can be seen in things such as love, music, heroism and so forth—things belonging to God. His glory is revealed to man’s mind through the material world in many ways, and often in different ways to different people. One person may be thrilled by the sight of the mountains, and another person may love the beauty of the sea. But that which is behind them both (God’s glory) speaks to both people and connects them to God.
We are the vessels which “contain” His glory. All the things we are able to do and to be, find their source in Him.
Sometimes when we look at an object through which God’s glory is shown, instead of giving God the credit for it, we worship that object as if the beauty it possessed originated from within itself. This is the very heart of idolatry and is a very common occurrence. We have all “exchanged” the glory of God in favour of the “glory of man.”
This is the mistake we continue to make: trusting in earthly things, earthly relationships, our own powers or talents or beauty, or the goodness we see in others. But when these things fade and fail as they will inevitably do (being only temporary carriers of the greater glory), we tend to despair.
What we all need to realize is that God’s glory is constant, and as we journey through life we will see it manifest here and there, in this person or that forest, or in a story of love or heroism, or our own personal testimonies. But it all goes back to God in the end. And the only way to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. We will find the very source of all beauty in Him, in heaven, if we are in Christ. Nothing will be lost to us. All those things that faded in life we will find again in Him.
Most often we only want healing, anointing and blessing. We have to willingly go through suffering so that we can obey God’s Word. For example, God has commanded us to love our enemies, it is not easy to conform to this Word but we have to obey it. Only when we obey the Word in the most difficult situation, shall we experience the glory of God.
Through suffering we put into practise what we have learnt from the Word and when we pass the test it is time for Glory. Each test develops our spiritual muscle. And when we see others in the similar situation, we can share our testimony, thus becoming soldiers for Christ.
The whole duty of the Christian can be summed up in this; feel, think and act in a way that will make God look as great as He really is.