Our two words for today are glory and hope.
I love to work with my hands. I especially love taking old things and making them new again or at least as close to new as my abilities allow. In my mind I have a picture of what it will be. Every cut, every hammer blow, every grinding spark, every pass with the sand paper, all of it is a step in bringing back the object of my attention to its former glory.
Glory: the word has a consistent meaning in the Bible. It refers to character. What makes God glorious is not His limitless power or boundless knowledge. Either of those attributes as great as they are could be used for unspeakable evil and harm. What makes God great and worthy of our trust and love and worship is His character. God is love and patience and gentleness and peace and kindness and generosity and honesty and loyalty and persistence and the list goes on. Every good quality you can think of is personified infinitely in Him. Men were drawn to Jesus by His character. Those who saw themselves as hopeless or unlovable found hope and acceptance in His presence.
The truth is we were created just like Him. The ravages of sin has warped and twisted our characters. Flashes of Him shine through at times but we struggle. There is a war inside of us, the character of God vs the character of satan. When we find Jesus hope springs to life. Hope not so much to "get to heaven" but hope that heaven will be restored in our very essence. That the very image of God will be reproduced in us and the internal war will be ended. Glory. Hope.
8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."
Every trying circumstance God leads us through in this life is a hammer blow closer to glory and another evidence that we have every reason to hope. He who has begun a good work in us will carry it through to completion.
See you tomorrow