Recently, in some of my reflections and meditations, I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between God’s glory and faith. I have been trying to wrestle with the idea that somehow God receives a lot of glory and praise when His people live a life of faith.
Faith is a crazy thing.
When my kids have faith that I (their daddy) will catch them and therefore, they are willing to jump from an elevated place, it honors me. The sense of honor comes from the fact that they put that much trust in me and followed through on my command (to jump). What does it say about the kids? Well, it shows that they have a high view of dad – that dad is strong… that dad is not going to hurt them… that dad is trustworthy to put their life at risk.
Therefore, when we, as children of God place our faith in Him and live our lives knowing that God is Good, Strong, Trustworthy, Compassionate, Great, Loving, and etc., then what does it communicate to people about our Dad? Does our Heavenly Father find joy in our trust and obedience?
So if we say that God is honored by the way we live by faith, then the faith that we display will show the world what we view about God and possibly help people to see the nature of God.
Can we say that God is passionate about His honor?
In many ways, we can say that the above statement is true.
In Numbers 25:11, God speaks to Moses about Phinehas who was passionate about God’s honor. God says, “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites; for he was as zealous as I am for my honor among them.” God praises Phinehas for his zeal for God’s honor, which God Himself is zealous about.
Even in Numbers 20:12, God speaks to Moses and Aaron about how honor is connected to trusting in Him. God says, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
If God is passionate about His honor and glory, then wouldn’t God want to develop our faith so that He might be honored through us?
Hmm… then, how does God develop faith in a person?
This is when I reflected on my life. The times when my faith in God was increased was when I went through trials and difficulties. It testifies to the truthfulness of what some of the early followers of Christ wrote.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Wow! When our faith is tested by the fire, then it will “result” in “honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Therefore, next time we face a trial or a difficulty in our lives… maybe God is wanting to strengthen our faith so that He will ultimately be honored.
But it is always easier said than done.
No wonder the prophet Isaiah said, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Isaiah 29:13).
I am praying that God will give us the grace to honor Him.