God’s Glory in Concealed Things

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Psalms 97


I.         When men wish for the glory of other men, they highlight the things that they do

            A.        When we want a promotion or a pay raise, we present to our bosses lists of how we benefitted the company. We make sure the boss notices the good things that we are doing.

            B.        When men want to be seen as righteous, they make sure others notice.

                        1.         Few in denominations build plain houses of worship. They have elaborate structures that impress men with their size and beauty.

                        2.         Clergy wear special garments that make them stand out.

                        3.         Like some, Jesus warned about in Mark 12:38-40

            C.        The glory of men comes to those who stand out.

            D.        However, the glory of God comes through hidden things - Proverbs 25:2

II.        The best things are concealed

            A.        Things easily picked up on the surface are not valued.

                        1.         The pebble along the path is easily ignored, yet the pearl buried deep beneath the ocean surface is highly prized.

                        2.         It seems that the pain of gaining intensifies the pleasure possessing.

            B.        This is why church is like a hidden treasure - Matthew 13:44-46

                        1.         Its value is not found on the surface, but when you dig and search intensely.

                        2.         Ask, seek, knock - Matthew 7:7-8

III.       The glory of God is hidden in the hard, toilsome way of experience

            A.        Light is sown for the righteous - Psalms 97:11

                        1.         Many of love the beauty of flowers. We put bulbs and seeds in the ground. All through the winter, things look bleak, but we know the beauty of spring is hidden in the ground, ready to be revealed when the harshness of winter is past.

                        2.         God has light. He as sown gladness for His children. It is waiting to be revealed when our times of difficulty is past.

            B.        The harvest of joy comes after the sweat of affliction - Psalms 126:5-6

            C.        We need the patience to wait for the results. In February, it seems like spring will never get here, but it comes. It is even more glorious because of what we must endure - James 5:7-11

            D.        We have to overcome the obstacles in our way. We can’t let Satan hold us back with the grief, pain, and suffering that he sends our way.

                        1.         God will give us hidden manna after we overcome - Revelation 2:17

                        2.         We are not referring to food, but to life eternal - John 6:48-51

                        3.         Our lives are hid with the Christ who died for us - Colossians 3:1-4

                        4.         The feast comes after the battle. As happened with our Savior after battling the temptations of Satan - Matthew 4:11

IV.      The glory of God is hidden in apparent misfortune

            A.        To come to green pastures and still waters, we must sometimes walk through the valley of the shadow of death - Psalms 23

            B.        Paul’s life appeared to take a turn for the worst. He was imprisoned for years and led away to Rome. How could he teach the good news? How could the gospel be spread? - Philippians 1:12-14

                        1.         Opportunity arose to preach before heads of state which Paul would not have normally have.

                        2.         Others learned boldness from Paul and preached even in adversity.

            C.        Misfortune causes us to rely on God - II Corinthians 1:8-10

            D.        Paul’s thorn - II Corinthians 12:7-10

            E.        Disappointment is a barrier across our path

                        1.         My plans and purpose is thwarted; my ambitions are checked.

                        2.         I regard it as an ill day, but in it is hidden a jewel.

                        3.         Disappointment makes me think. I am forced to take a wider view. My priorities have to shift

            F.        In the shadow of God, I will take comfort - Psalms 91

            G.        God can take the bad things in life and mold it to his glory - Romans 8:18,28

V.        God’s glory is hidden in apparently contemptible agents

            A.        I Corinthians 1:26-31 - God does not use the mighty, glorious things in this world to accomplish His purpose.

            B.        God chose me, He chose you, to bear His glad tidings. The simpleness of the container further emphasizes the glory of the contents.

            C.        The treasure is there, just not where the world expects it.

            D.        The message we bring transforms us, its bearers, as well as those who hear - II Corinthians 3:18-4:2

VI.      Will you not look for the hidden treasure? Will you not seize upon that which will transform your life?

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