“Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.'”
— Exodus 33:18*
“Glimpses of Glory” is a collection of interviews in which individuals share how they have experienced God and come to know Him more fully through adversity. Each life, each story, provides us with a Glimpse of God’s Glory —God making Himself known and showing Himself great and mighty—through the lives of others and the hardships they have endured. As we read about their journey with Jesus Christ through difficult circumstances, we see how God reveals Himself, His Glory, in their lives through their challenges.
It is apparent through their experiences that true peace, true strength and true life are available in Jesus Christ, that knowing Him intimately is an invaluable gift available for one to receive and treasure in trying times.
These examples help enable us to fix our eyes on the unseen and gain an eternal perspective, to expand our definition of “blessing” to include things that are priceless in an eternal, spiritual sense, as opposed to strictly a temporal sense. Reading as fellow believers, we are encouraged to stand firm in the faith. We see that our brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings and that tribulation is not something strange, unusual, and uncommon for the body of Christ. 1
Through each Glimpse of Glory we are given living pictures of the reality that “just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). In our suffering Jesus is called to our immediate vicinity in overflowing measure. 2
We are reminded that God’s power is accomplished and fulfilled in our times of weakness—that when we are weak, Christ is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). We are strengthened and emboldened to persevere and press on as we see these believers embrace the results of their sufferings, knowing that “tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope…”(Romans 5:3-5). Seeing these examples of faith proved genuine, we are encouraged to “consider it pure joy” when we face trials of many kinds. (I Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4)
As you are blessed through each individual’s encounter with God, know that just as the “life of Jesus” is revealed to you through the adverse circumstances of these interviewed, if you too have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, then His life is revealed to others through your faithful response in your own circumstances of adversity. 3
So let’s read on, shall we? Letting God reveal Himself to us through these examples, give us an eternal perspective of our lives, and remind us that our true citizenship is in heaven and that our troubles, however momentary, are achieving an eternal glory. 4
* In the original language, the word for “glory” is kabod, which means “weight, honor, esteem, glory, majesty”. The root from which this word is derived means “to be heavy, weighty, grievous, severe…to show oneself great or mighty…to get renown.” [Spiros Zodhiates, ed., “Old Testament Lexical Aids,” The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible (Chattanooga, Tenn.: AMG Publishers, 1984), #3519, #3513, 1600]
God reveals Himself, shows Himself great and mighty, and gets renown through the circumstances of our lives. His glory is how He shows us who He is. The types of circumstances he often uses feel weighty, heavy and even, sometimes, grievous to us. It is not the disease, the evil, the hurt or the crimes in themselves that are God’s glory. (He doesn’t even like them in themselves. God loves righteousness and hates wickedness, Psalm 45:7 tell us. ) It is the revelation of Himself through them that is His Glory—the revelation, or recognition, of Him we would get no other way than through the events that cause us to need Him, to rely upon Him, and to see things through His eternal perspective.
1 I. Peter 5:9 “Resist [the devil], standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (NIV)
John 16:33 “In this world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.” (Amplified Bible)
I Peter 4:12 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” (NIV)
2 II Corinthians 1:5 “For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (NIV) The Greek word used here for “comfort” is parakaleo, meaning “to call to one’s side, hence aid.” It is made up of two words: 1) para, which means “by the side”, “near, nearby; expressing thus the relation of immediate vicinity or proximity” and 2) kaleo which means “to call”. [Spiros Zodhiates, ed., “Old Testament Lexical Aids,” The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible (Chattanooga, Tenn.: AMG Publishers, 1984), #3844,1717, #2564, 1700]
3 II Corinthians 4:10-12 “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” (NIV)
4 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “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.” (NIV)
Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (NIV)