Don’t let the world define you. You are a child of God. Your value derives directly from God. As a heir of Almighty God your value is beyond measure. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single or divorced. It doesn’t matter if you’re jobless or homeless. it doesn’t matter if you’re sick or handicapped. Don’t let those things define you. Let God take over your life and step into freedom in Christ!
And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. Don’t think I’m being harder on you than on the others. I give this same counsel in all the churches. (1 Cor. 7:17, MSG)
We do have difficult pasts. We do have handicaps and other hardships in life. But maybe we should not label them just as “bad things”. Apostle Paul shared about his handicap and how he had three times asked God to remove it. God’s answer surprised him: My grace is enough, it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness!
Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Cor. 12: 7-10, MSG)
That is such a powerful message. Maybe our weaknesses, our hardships, difficult pasts, losses and un-fullfilled dreams are not “bad things” but invitations to surrender to God, to open ourselves up to God’s grace, to realize it’s not about us but about God.
When our value is not found in successes but in weaknesses we really find peace.
When we welcome God’s grace to empower us we find real joy.
When we embrace God’s strength in the moments of our weakness, we find real love.
Letting Christ taking over is what faith is all about. Letting grace be everything is what faith is all about. It helps us to appreciate our weaknesses, to receive God’s love and to love ourselves in a new way.
Suddenly life becomes radiant: God defines me. Not hardships, not handicaps, not failures! But God! And as a child of God…I am cherished and loved and my value is beyond measure!
Thank you for loving us as we are.
Thank you for defining us.
Enable us to fully embrace your love and grace.
Take over our lives!
Empower us into your service.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U:Who defines you?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim as you increasingly let God take over your life!
Photo courtesy of Lauren Rees