God My Glory

“But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Psalm 3:3)

People of the world have different ways in which to acquire their own self-esteem. There are many who find their worth in the beauty that they have. The beauty industry is a multi-billion business. Some pride themselves on their intelligence, or the money, power, prestige that they have. But all these things will fade as the time of life passes by. In the end all of these worldly gauges are meaningless when we arrive on the other side, in the spiritual realm. As King Solomon said in Proverbs, “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2) We can place our worth in our integrity but even our good character falls short of the glory of God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

In the word that we live in, no matter how many friends you think you have or how many people treat you fairly most of them will let you down or come against you at one point or another. Trust become harder and harder to find as the days roll by. King David, the writer of our text knew this. It was written at a time when David was fleeing from his son Absalom who was trying to take his throne. David knew well the perils that life can place into our path. David the man who sought the heart of God knew that God was his protector not men nor objects of the world. Only God is our Jehovah Jireh our provider. David found his security and worth in God. He knew that the world cannot give us value but our value comes from our relationship with the Creator of the world. Therefore David comforted and strengthened his heart in the words that he wrote in this Psalm. “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”

Is God our shield? Do we trust God through the dangers of this life? David knew God to be his shield in the times of danger. He learned that God was his shield when he was in battle against the Philistine Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:48-58) When David was but a teenager he met the giant Goliath in battle and God was his shield and David slew Goliath and God gave him the victory. Do we trust God to give us the victories against the Goliaths of our life? The shield was a well-known part of armor in the ancient times of Israel. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians spoke of the armor of God in the sixth chapter speaking of the shield of faith. “Taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16)

Is God our glory? In this text the word glory is the Hebrew word Kabowd which means honor and splendor, dignity and reputation, and reverence. Do we have these things through our relationship with God? As followers of Jesus Christ, Christians we should. If we lived our lives in the truth of knowing that our power comes from the Holy Spirit that lives within us, if we walked in the power of His Spirit and not in the desire of our flesh, and if we listened and obeyed the Spirit’s prompting, then we would grow in righteous living giving God the glory and He glorifying us through Christ. “And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:17) As Christians we claim these promises of God’s Word and by our faith in His Word we should live as if we have received them. By our true belief without doubt we will be able to face the challenges of this world and overcome as our Lord overcame. By our obedience to His Word we gain the victory. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

So many times in trouble and sorrow we find that we our countenance is less that lifted high. We walk around with our heads bowed low. It is a sign that we have been overpowered by the weight of affliction. We go around burdened in the self-pity of the trials that we are in. As David was in Psalm 38 as he wrote. “I am bent over and greatly bowed down; I go mourning all day long.” (Psalm 38:6) How many times have we said to another, “Keep your head up!” But through our faith in God’s Word we have this comfort that no matter the troubles that we have the outcome will be for His glory and ours, as we love Him and He loves us. That He is able to cause all things to work together for the good according to His plan and purpose for our life. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) No matter the trial, the tribulation, God is able to restore our countenance, to restore our former happy and honorable condition if we would just believe and trust Him.

When we find ourselves in trouble, as we often do, it is time to take our troubles to God in prayer. It is helpful to talk it over with a trusted friend or a Pastor. It is helpful knowing that they are praying for you. But it is most effective to go to the source, the God whose image we are to reflect in our daily lives, He is there and wants to lift our burdens off us. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

In our prayers to our God all-mighty we need to acknowledge that He is our shied, He is our refuge in times of adversity, and He is our comfort. “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) Allow Him through our faith in His Word to protect our heart with His overshadowing love and care through His providence. Do not let the sun go down upon our day until we seek Him and His solace. Then in the midst of our trials and even when thousands come against us we can lie down to sleep in the peace that passes our understanding. Then we also, as David, can say, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.” (Psalm 3:5-6)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant January 18, 2017

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