The Bible shows many instances of the Lord God showing His glory: His glory appeared in a cloud (Ex. 16:10); His glory appeared as a consuming fire on top of the mountain (Ex. 24:17); Moses’ face was radiant because he had been with the Lord (Ex. 34:29); He appeared as fire in the temple and filled the place (2 Chron. 7:1-3); His glory, grace and truth were seen in Jesus as He walked this earth (John 1:14); and His light of the knowledge of His glory displayed in Christ shines in our hearts: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6).
I imagine that seeing the radiance was amazing and got a lot of attention, but the Lord doesn’t want us to focus on “a show”, but on Him, and in our faith in Him. “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24) Worship is a life response to the worthiness of its object. When we worship God, we do so in response to who He is (Psalm 52:9). Our attitudes and actions reflect that we believe the character and conduct of God to be worthy of praise and adoration.
We are to focus on the Lord God’s glory, even in trials. “This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all 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 the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:4b-9)
Trials are used to refine us (like gold), and to make us more in Christ’s image. When we are in trials, instead of asking “why me?”, we should respond in (1) Confidence that God knows, plans and directs our lives for good; (2) Perseverance when facing grief, anger sorrow and pain — we can express our feelings, but we don’t give in to bitterness and despair, instead we praise the Lord; and (3) Courage because with Jesus we need not be afraid as He has promised to be with us always. A better question than “why me” is “what do you want me to learn from this experience, Lord?”.
Everything we go through gives us an opportunity to increase our faith. It’s a time when we should seek more of the Lord, and trust (even when human understanding would lead us to distrust). It is a time to remain faithful and to praise Him–not for your circumstances–but because He is God, He is faithful, and He loves you. And we keep our focus on Him, and not the circumstances. “For what you have done I will always praise You in the presence of Your faithful people. And I will hope in Your name, for Your name is good.” (Ps. 52:9)
We remember that we have a living hope (1 Peter 1:3); that we have a lasting inheritance: (1 Peter 1:4); and because of our hope, trust, and confidence in the Lord, we have the perseverance and courage to walk in the steps He provides: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14) We focus on His glory and give thanks for all that He has done, and press on toward our lasting inheritance, and thank Him. What do you give thanks for today as you focus on the Lord?