My last post, “How God Gets Glory,” conveyed the ironic truth that our weakness, neediness, or inadequacy provides a grand opportunity for God to receive more honor and praise.
Allow me to dissect the concept of God’s glory. The Bible’s emphasis on His glory refers to His weight. That’s the root concept of the noun “glory” and the verb “glorify.” God is heavy in the figurative sense of significance or importance. God insists that He created us for His glory (Isa. 43:7). The Psalmist cried, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy name give glory” (Ps. 115:1). Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Cor. 10:31). In God’s Passion For His Glory, John Piper goes so far as to say, “God’s aim in creating the world was to display the value of His own glory.”
During a long-lasting depressive episode years ago, I wrote the following poem to convey the truth of Psalm 50:15. If you didn’t read my previous post, peruse it now, because there I explain the Biblical insight on which this poem is based.
How can God receive most glory
in the plot of my life’s story?
When I teach a class with flair,
or stop to show someone I care?
When I apply truth that I’ve heard,
or work to memorize His Word?
When I explain why I believe
to people willing to receive?
When I give away my stuff
to folks who do not have enough?
When I gladly pay the price
for some need-meeting sacrifice?
When others read the words I write
and benefit from my insight?
When my faith gets off the fence?
I start my day with confidence?
Or is the Lord more magnified
when my feeble hands are tied?
When I am mired knee-deep in need,
and I’ve no recourse but to plead
for Him to do what I cannot:
revive me, and improve my lot.
When I’m trapped at my wit’s end,
and I’ve no choice but to depend
on wisdom I do not possess
to overcome the cause of stress?
Or when despondency descends;
I stumble in the fog it sends,
and the light can’t penetrate,
and I groan under the weight
or a spirit without hope…
When I need Christ just to cope?
Or when I’m flat upon my face,
relying on sustaining grace,
weaned from pointless human pride…
is that when God’s most glorified?
When only what the Lord can do
erases fear and sees me through?
Yes, His power gives me a song,
for when I’m weak, then He is strong!
Yes, His name is lifted up
when I extend an empty cup.
When have you seen God’s glory magnified through an area of need or weakness? Thank Him for the irony of honoring His name in that manner.