I shared my horror at discovering I was a glory-stealer in a recent blog. It is still a spiritual battle for me. I continually plead with God to help me do everything for his glory and not for myself. God graciously comes to my aid and reminds me of the truth of who he is and who I am in Christ. The truth squelches my desire for glory and motivates me to give it all to God.
But guess what? Christ will generously share his glory with us someday! I won’t have to struggle against being a glory-stealer, because I will be a glory-recipient. “For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” (Colossians 1:27 NLT) We don’t deserve anything, yet Christ will share his glory with us. Isn’t Christ amazing!
When will we share his glory? “…And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world…” (I Peter 5:1 NLT) “So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day that Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (I Peter 1:7 NLT) Peter writes that it will be when Christ is revealed to the whole world. “Since no one knows exactly when that time will come, we must wait.”
Scripture also makes it clear that suffering for Christ’s sake is a part of sharing in his glory. “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” (Romans 8:17 NLT) We need to be willing to suffer for Christ sake. When we suffer for him, we proclaim to the world that he is our worthy King. No one would willingly suffer for a dishonorable King. Suffering for Christ brings him, and eventually us, more glory.
Peter also alludes to increased glory for remaining strong under trial in I Peter 1:7. Does that give you any encouragement as you struggle under the weight of a heavy trial? Not only does God use tribulations to strengthen our faith, but he gives us more glory for standing firm under them. Satan wants to destroy our faith through suffering, but we must stand firm and when we do, God will honor us.
If only, we could grasp the truth of the gospel, then maybe we would be more patient and not so prone to keep some of God’s glory now. The gospel claims we will receive glory in the future. We can have confident hope of sharing in Christ’s glory. Let’s focus on who we are in Christ so we don’t need to steal any glory. Let’s strive to be glory-recipients not glory-stealers while living for Christ today.