And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
I am reminded of the song, “I know who I am” by Sinach. As Christians, we go around singing songs and making declarations but do we really believe what we are declaring or singing? So many times we are still relying on the opinion of others to help us feel good about ourselves, to affirm us. But what if that affirmation never comes? What if you do everything in your power to be affirmed but that affirmation never comes your way. Do you just give up and die? Do you start doing things that you know are wrong just to get an “I love you, I cherish you, you are special?” What measures will we go to just to hear those words or witness those affirmations? Will we sell ourselves cheap, just to get it? Sadly, many people do and many Christians do as well.
Here’s a simple suggestion that I recently heard from someone: “accept what God says about you and reject everything else and live your life under an open heaven” (Pastor Steven Furtick). Accept and reject. Here’s the thing. If we continue accepting peoples’s opinions of us and rejecting what God says we’ll be living miserable, cursed, defeated lives. Happiness will seem elusive and depression, despair, frustration will be our constant friend. As with everything the choice is ours.
In my own life, God has been working on delivering me from the opinions of people. We may all need that kind of deliverance. Too many times I’m concerned about what people think and that has robbed me of peace and happiness. Yet, I thank God for those negatives because what the devil was using to try to destroy my self image and ultimately me, God used to give me some much needed backbone. I had to learn to go to and stand firmly on God’s Word and on what God says about me. And God says many wonderful things about me.
The Bible says that David encouraged himself in the Lord. He didn’t encourage himself in others, because when the chips were down and His king, Saul, was against him, and even the band of men he was leading turned against him because their wives, children and possessions had been stolen by the Amalekites, David had no one to turn to but God and that’s exactly what He did. (1 Samuel 30:6) You see, sometimes, God has to completely remove all human support so we have no one else to turn to but Him. And when that time comes - and it will - believe it or not, we still have a choice, to turn to God or to turn away from Him.
Over the years, as I have more and more learned to turn to God instead of away from Him, I have certainly developed some backbone. I have become stronger, more self-assured, more confident about who I am because who I am is dependent on who God is and what He says about me. And as I more and more see myself through His eyes, no one can come and tell me who I am not, no one can dictate my future or my happiness. That’s God’s job.
So I encourage you to know who you are in Christ, not in your own self, not in what others think. And as I said earlier: Accept what God says about you and reject everything else!
I listened to a testimony on CBN's the 700 Club, about a young man who had a promising college football career. His parents and sister had high hopes for him until tragedy struck and the “experts” told him that his dreams would never come true.
On his first night at his college dorm, he decided to go to a party with friends. When he got there he knew that was not where he should be because he witnessed things that went against his christian upbringing. He and his friends ended up staying only five to ten minutes and left. In the parking lot, as they tried to decide what to do next, they heard screaming and then gunshots. As they all ran, he felt one of his legs give out and he fell to the ground. He had been shot. He was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery. His family alerted friends and family and they all prayed earnestly for him. His surgery was successful but the doctor believed that if he could at least walk normal again that would be good. He never expected him to be able to play football again because of the nature of his injury. But, guess what? He did. He was able to try out for the team and the only reason he did not make it was because their roster was already full so he would have to try out again at another time.
A couple of things ministered to me about this testimony. God’s healing yes, but also His mercy and grace. This young man was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even he realised it and made an effort to leave. He made an effort to get out of a bad situation and in the process got shot. God was merciful to Him because he could have died but God gave him another chance and chose to spare his life. He didn’t just spare his life but allowed Him to still be able to fulfil his football dream.
How many times do we falter, take a wrong path or road yet God in His mercy and grace spares us, gives us another chance, just plain loves us anyhow? That’s what God does, that’s the God we serve. Maybe He allowed this guy to get shot so that he would never make the same mistake again.
In my own life, I have taken the wrong path. I knew I was on the wrong path but chose to stay on it because it felt good. Yet my God, pursued me and never let go of me even though I had let go of Him. That is the God we serve, a God who does not give up on us. We sin, we fail, every single day yet God continues to pursue us relentlessly, love us unconditionally and still says He has a great and wonderful plan for us.
I encourage us to draw closer to Him. Let’s save ourselves some unnecessary heartache and heartbreak. You see the closer we are to Him the more secure we are. It does not mean that bad things won’t happen to us, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but at least when bad things come our way, we have the confidence that whatever God brings us to, He will bring us through and that’s a promise!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.