Glory to God in the Highest and the Lowest of Lows

Lara DeHavenHomeowner Tips, Mike Goins Real Estate

Glory to God

This time of year between Christmas and the New Year is often a very reflective one as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, think back on the past year, and look with hope for the next one. I hope that you will be able to say, “Glory to God in the highest AND the lowest of lows” by the end of this article.

Glory to God in the Highest

If you are familiar at all with the Christmas story, then you know that the multitude of angels that appeared to the shepherds said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14). Based on this statement, many Christmas carols speak of “Glory to God in the highest.” You might recognize it more in Latin as “Gloria in excelsis Deo.”

Here the angels are praising God to the greatest extent possible. The Bible tells us that we were created for His glory in Isaiah 43:7. We glorify God when we recognize His greatness and give Him honor.  “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all” (1 Chronicles 29:11). We exalt His name, and He deserves all of our praise and more.

More on the Glory of God

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” Therefore, in the most mundane, insignificant things that humans do, we are to give glory to God. At the same time, when we are at our very best or highest, we are to do things for the same reason—to give God the glory. Regardless of what we do, everything we do should recognize God’s glory and exalt Him.

However, most of us want to take credit for the good times. We boast in our successes. We forget that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights…”(James 1:17). We seek to steal the glory from God. We should be giving God the glory during the high points in our lives. It gives a slightly different meaning to “Glory to God in the highest.”

Reality Check

Many people in the United States and throughout the world are hurting right now. Anxiety and depression are at astounding levels. Financial woes plague the majority of families. Between debt, inflation, and wages that are not keeping up with the cost of living, people are feeling the pinch. Politics, wars, rumors of wars, and acts of terror fill the news. Many people, especially millennials, cannot afford to own a home. Chronic diseases and illnesses afflict people and can often totally shift their futures. While the fear of the next pandemic paralyzes some people with fear. Taking a realistic look at society as a whole can be discouraging.

Glory to God in the Lowest of Lows

No matter how low you think the circumstances in your life have gotten, no matter how far down you are, it is usually then when your only option is to look up. Call out to God for help. Remember the words in Isaiah:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior (43:1b-3a).

Fix your eyes on “Jesus, the author and perfector of the faith” (Hebrews 12:2). If any of this resonates with you, this is the time to give glory to God in the lowest of lows.

As you navigate this reflective season and anticipate celebrating the coming of 2024, purpose to give God the glory regardless of your circumstances. In both the highest and the lowest of lows, God is with us and deserves to be glorified. We can bring in the new year purposing to trust God and even praying like the man in Mark 9:24, “Help my unbelief!” If you don’t know where to start, reach out and I would love to talk to you. May 2024 be the year when you “do all for the glory of God.”

***Tyler Booth wrote the song, Mary’s Arms, a few years ago. His chorus inspired me to think about these things and write this article.***