WONDERFUL THINGS: God is more beautiful than you think

James Calderazzo
James Calderazzo

God made us to see and delight in wonders. To, in a sense, lose ourselves in something or someone so much greater than ourselves. In 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 Paul is describing the Second Coming of Jesus and he says,  “When [Jesus] comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.”

Notice that Paul says that when Christ returns, He returns for a purpose — to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at. The purpose of the second coming is that Jesus be glorified and that we be filled with wonder and awe and amazement. We will be filled with these things because we will see that Christ was more wondrous than we ever imagined, more wonderful than we ever hoped, more awesome than any have ever speculated. Everything else will pale in comparison to the glorious appearing of our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I think that we all know that we have been made to be filled with awe and wonder. There is a satisfaction that almost everyone gets when they look at the Grand Canyon or the Smoky Mountains or a beautiful stream or the beach at sunset. Our hearts are filled with joyful-wonder as we gaze at these things of incomparable beauty and power. God made us to see wonders and the greatest wonder of all is God and His glory seen in His Son Jesus Christ. Do you know this? Many folks sense greater wonder and awe at a new video game or cell phone or new car than they do in God. So many things are exciting and wonderful, but if the truth be told it seems that God is a bore. The God that is spoken of in church does not seem to be wondrous and awesome and marvelous. Useful? Yes.  Handy to have on your side? Certainly. Fall-down-on-your-knees awesome? Not so much.

The famous writer H.L. Menken once scoffed about the Protestant church — “The chief contribution of Protestantism to human thought is its massive proof that God is a bore.” Ouch.  How cold and senseless are hearts can be to the wonders of our God, and we know it and others do as well. To too many of us, God has become mundane and commonplace. When this happens our worship becomes dour and our prayers droning and many people are turned off and turned away who are looking for someone or something to fill their hearts with wonder.

Here is where the Gospel is such amazingly good news. This God of wonder gave himself that we might know Him. The Gospel tells us that through the work of Jesus sinful, broken people like us can see and know and enjoy the glory of God today and for all eternity. 

A.W. Tozer, great writer and preacher of the last generation says, “For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the gospel.  The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”

May we each delight and marvel more and more in the beauty and glory of Jesus in 2015.

James Calderazzo is pastor of Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Destin. He can be reached at