The news shows and magazines are all doing their year-end reviews, looking over the storylines and headlines of the past 12 months. While there are a few bright spots in the year, there was mostly tragedy, sadness, suffering, and sorrow. We just celebrated the angel’s announcement “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14). But where is the “peace on earth?” What happened to all the “goodwill?” What went wrong?
I believe the answer to these questions, in fact, the answer to all our questions about the state of the world can be satisfied in the first words of this verse: “Glory to God in the highest.” The Westminster Catechism, created by the church in the 17th century declares that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” When we fail to give God the glory He deserves, it diminishes our ability to enjoy Him and the life He has given us. Paul said that this is the sin of mankind: to know the truth of God but refuse to glorify Him (Rom 1:21). That arrogance sends us spiraling into the abyss of darkness and depravity.
But if we glorify God, we can see and receive the Light of Life. Our hearts know the truth and we are set free to enjoy God as He intended. And that affects everything else. It changes us and our human relationships. We think and act on the presence of God within us. We are kind and gracious. We are peaceful and loving. We are humble and compassionate. And the world takes notice.
David gave us both a pattern of worship and reasons for worship in 1 Chronicles 16: 7-36. We worship God when we give Him thanks, remember His goodness, seek Him, tell His story, hold Him in high esteem, sing to Him, and praise and worship Him. We glorify God because He is God and there is none like Him. He is faithful. He cares about us and for us. He is great and worthy of praise. He is splendid and majestic and mighty. He created all things – including you and me – and holds all things together. He is our Savor and Redeemer. He is eternal. And if all that wasn’t enough, He is good and His love endures forever.
Do you want to see peace on earth? Or maybe just peace in your life? Start by giving God the glory He deserves. Beloved nothing else will change your heart and your world more.