We get great insight into honoring God in all circumstances from Paul’s writings to the Philippian Church during his imprisonment in Rome. No matter where we might be on life’s bell curve—up, down, top, or bottom—supernatural joy can be found when we "glory in Christ Jesus."
In the midst of great suffering and painful circumstances, Paul describes himself like those “who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3, NASB)." And he further expresses this attitude when he states “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am (Philippians 4:11, NASB)."
He concludes this thought with the supreme attitude of what it means to “glory in Christ Jesus.”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13, NKJV
Paul’s understanding of God’s sovereignty over life allowed him to “glory in Christ Jesus” in good, bad, and ugly situations.
So what is the “glory” found only in the person of Jesus?
According to the prophet Jeremiah, glory isn’t self-centered but God-centered.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.” -Jeremiah 9:23-24
Glory is heavy with importance. In our world, we typically determine people who deserve glory and honor based on what they’ve accomplished in their lifespan.
Although Paul speaks of himself and his accomplishments—which were very impressive—he does it to draw a comparison between human achievement and glorying in Christ, ultimately calling human acclaim rubbish in light of the gospel.
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ … .” -Philippians 3:7-8
What we focus on and value becomes what we “glory" in. Self-glory lasts a fleeting moment, but glory in Christ Jesus lasts for all eternity. What do you value most today?
Let’s go “glory in Christ Jesus." Total abandonment to Him is the only requirement.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.