6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: The glory of God is best described as His beauty. God is omnificent and the magnificent, all creative beautiful God. Yet, how can one really define what beauty is?

“God, the LORD, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it.” (Isa 42:5 NLT) “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Ps 19:1 NIV) “..The whole earth is filled with his glory!" (Ps 72:19 NIV)

When I was born, I was given up for adoption. I consider myself truly blessed. Knowing that I was desired by another, and clearly loved, brought much security and comfort as a child. My adoptive mom was incredibly loving and nurturing to me and provided much emotional security.

However, just a few days after my 12th birthday, when I was beginning to enter the tumultuous teen years, my mom died suddenly and the pain, anguish, and anger I felt made me question everything I had been taught about God, my experience with Him, and even if He existed.

A little over a year later, during the summer after her death, I was on vacation at a YMCA camp on Catalina Island, just off the California coast, near Los Angeles. One night, sitting around a crackling campfire, gazing into heavens that were not obscured by the haze of pollution, the stars appeared so bright and seemed so close, that it was as if I just reached out my hand I could grab one. I remember thinking to myself, “There is no way that this could have just happened on its own. It’s just too magnificent to be the result of random chance.”

In that experience, God had shown me just a tiny glimmer of His glory and caused the beginning of an aching hunger in me to pursue knowing the God of all creation intimately. That hunger has never ceased to this day. Even in the midst of constant turmoil and trouble, I continually yearn to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord (see Ps 27:4).

Describing the Indescribable

The glory of God is best described as His beauty. God is omnificent. He is the magnificent, all creative Beautiful God. Yet, how can one really define what beauty is? Every human being will see the beauty of something differently than another. There is no established president or pattern of beauty that one can say God is like - and if there were - it would be God Himself.

Beauty is the possession and characteristic of God and is one of the qualities which are distinctive of Him. It is what emphasizes the form in which He reveals Himself in the external manifestation of His presence, and the quality of His greatness, authority, dignity, preeminence, power, perfection, and majesty.

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name” (1 Chron 29:11-13 NIV).

The word “Glory” is used in the Bible to describe God’s beauty and comes from the Hebrew word “Kabhod” and the Greek word “Doxa” which are most often translated throughout the Bible to convey God’s wealth, perfection of character, splendor, majesty, abundance, and honor as well as to convey the ecstasy found in Heaven.

The root meaning of the word denotes weight, or heaviness, size, rarity, beauty, brilliance, brightness, desire, and adornment. This divine quality is beyond man's understanding because “The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, the one who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?” (Ps 113:4-6 NIV). Yet, this Beautiful God longs for every person on this planet to come to know Him in deep intimacy.

The Foundation of Beauty

Deeply rooted in every human heart is an unquenchable longing for beauty, a God-given sense that beauty must have a meaning that is larger and more permanent than one’s self. It can both lure and arouse for pleasure, delight, joy, and even bring relaxation.

Every person longs to observe and be a part of beauty as they seek for a rare glimpse of greatness and yearn for a vision of glory. People are moved by music - the words of a poet - the work of an artist - a newborn child - the uniqueness of all living creatures - the multicolored hues of a sunset - the brilliance of a sunrise - the majesty of mountain peaks - the melodic sound of a waterfall - the wind rustling through the leaves - the simplicity of a flower - the lightness of a snowflake.

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