How God Comes Through for Us
“…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Col. 1:27
Have you ever read that scripture? I have many times, but I never fully realized what it means. “Hope of glory” is often interpreted as “hope of eternal life in heaven some day.” But I’ve realized that is coming up way short of what this really means.
Let’s start with the word glory.
That’s another one of those words that we don’t exactly know the meaning. It’s often interpreted as honor given because of achievements, or great beauty. But it’s actually something more.
Glory is the realization and revealing of your full and true identity.
Here’s what I mean:
In 2 Cor. 3: 18, it talks about us moving “…from glory to glory.”
We move from one revelation to the next, but our identity is the same.
Let’s look at Joseph in the Bible. Not Joseph, the father of Jesus. The other Joseph.
If you don’t know the story here’s a quick rundown:
- Joseph had 11 older brothers.
- Joseph was the favorite and got a coat form his dad. Brothers get mad.
- Joseph has two dreams that his brother’s bunches of wheat all bowed to his, and that the sun, moon, and eleven stars all bowed to him. Brothers even more mad.
- Brothers sell Joseph into slavery and convince their dad that he died.
- Joseph gets sold to Potiphar, an assistant to the Pharaoh of Egypt.
- God was with Joseph and Potiphar puts Joseph in charge of his house.
- Potiphar’s wife lies about Joseph and he gets thrown in jail.
- God is with Joseph and the jail keeper puts Joseph in charge of the entire prison.
- Joseph meets a cupbearer and baker and interprets their dreams.
- The cupbearer gets out of prison and Joseph asks him to tell Pharaoh about him. He forgets immediately.
- Pharaoh has a dream that his wise men can’t interpret.
- Joseph, with God’s help, interprets the dream.
- Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of all of Egypt.
Are you seeing a theme here?
You see, Joseph was always a “ruler”. Even though his surroundings changed, that identity stayed the same because it’s who he was, through and through.
[Side note: I have no doubt that had Joseph never been sold into slavery, that same identity would have shone through. He probably would have ended up as ruler over Israel. Pretty interesting thought, isn’t it? Look at what he did for Egypt. (Which, by the way opened the door to slavery, that God brought an answer for through the revealing of the identity of Moses.) I wonder how that would have looked if Joseph never would have left.]
It does not matter what your current situation is. It does not matter what your surroundings look like. It does not matter what limitations exist around you. Your identity never changes. It doesn’t matter what choices you’ve made either. Your choices do not define who you are. Who you are, or rather who you THINK you are, determines what choices you make. You see, you can live out of an identity that the world has given you, that life has given you, or you can live out of your true identity.
So, who are you?
Back to that in a second.
Hope of glory. It’s the theme here.
The dictionary definition of hope is:
- to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
- to believe, desire, or trust:
Joseph trusted God. He put his hope in Him. In turn, what did God do? What was Joseph trusting God for? To “get out”? To “deliver him”? Maybe he didn’t quite know. Maybe he was just trusting God to “come through for him” – in whatever that meant.
(Can you relate?)
You know what God did for him? You know what his answer was?
God revealed Joseph’s identity. That was His grand answer to Joseph. That’s it. He constantly enabled Joseph to walk into a greater expression of identity, and that, in turn, became his “way out.”
Or better put, because Joseph trusted God, put his hope in Him, so strongly, he never wavered from who he was, his identity. He never wavered from the identity given to Him by God, the one confirmed to him in dreams. In fact, it was only strengthened in every situation he was in.
God gave Joseph the interpretation to Pharaoh’s dream because he knew it would put Joseph in a position to reveal his true identity once again – to step into a greater place of glory.
So, back to your identity. What is it?
Well, the expression of it may look different than others, but at the core you and I are one thing: a son.
Yes, just like Jesus, you are a son. A son carries the DNA of the father. He’s also the heir, among many other things. A son learns from watching His father and then eventually becomes like him. The expression of that, though, looks different for each son.
You see, Jesus came so that we might know what life would be like if we actually believed who we were – if we actually lived like we were a son of God, and no matter what situation you are in, if you are watching the Father and following Him, that identity will rise to the surface…and bring Him Glory.
What does it mean to bring glory to God? Like I said before, we’ve always interpreted that as “giving God the credit.” But that’s not quite right. The best definition I’ve ever heard is this: “The glory of God is man fully alive.” When are you fully alive? When you are living out of your truest identity. The one he gave you in the first place.
Because of Jesus we can do that! He showed us it’s possible. He did everything in his life as a man, walking in his identity given to him by the Father. We can do the same!
So, if you are asking God to come through for you, just know that His answer is to put you in a place where your true identity as a son can be expressed. That will be your answer.
That is a thrill of hope.