The Glory of God; January 20, 2023

Romans 5:2 And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Doing this bilingually can get awkward at times, because Greek has no punctuation, and the sentence structure is often very different between the English and Japanese translations. Sometimes that can give fresh insight, but there’s nothing particularly eye-opening here. That said, this whole passage, from verse 1 through 11, is justly famous. Verses 3-5 are often quoted to give comfort in trials, and rightly so. However, it is this snippet of verse 2 that says just what we are hoping for. Countless studies, not to mention personal experience, show that hope is essential for human life. A hopeless existence isn’t much worth living, and is often a factor in suicides. However, an amorphous hope – maybe things will be OK – isn’t much better. What is expressed here is the highest hope: the glory of God. We really have very little grasp of how great that is. In the first place, very few people have been given a glimpse of that glory, the way Isaiah was in his vision of God in the temple. (Isaiah 6) On top of that we have Jesus’ statements about glory in His High Priestly Prayer in John 17, and the things He said about our being in Him and He in the Father and God in us in the Upper Room Discourse in John 13-16. Paul summed all that up in writing to the Colossians: “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) If we are in Christ and Christ is in us, then we share in His glory. That really is something to get happy about!

A close friend spoke on Hope at the interdenominational prayer meeting two days ago, focusing on verse 5 of this passage. His younger son is named Hope, and he talked about how, of his three children, that son seems to be the least active in his faith, and how he still has hope that son will come into active discipleship. His honesty was very moving. That said, we have various hopes that may or may not be fulfilled, particularly in this life. That’s why it’s so meaningful that we can have this ultimate hope of the glory of God. I am often disappointed, as I was in my students’ performance on a test I gave recently, but I am not to let that sort of thing distract me from the supreme hope that I have, of total fellowship with my Lord in all His glory. To be honest, “glory” itself doesn’t seem that attractive to me, at least in my current conception of it, but the idea of complete unity with my Lord is enormously attractive, and that will certainly be glorious. As I have written recently, the awareness that I serve a risen Savior should enable me to get through any trial, and the hope that is mentioned here should enable me to do it with joy.

Father, thank You for this reminder. The devil keeps trying to distract me, and sometimes I let him get away with it. Help me stay focused on You, Your faithfulness and Your gracious love toward me, so that I may indeed be unshakable, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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