As most of y’all know, besides supper, my two favorite times of the day are sunrise and sunset. I’m blessed that most days I’m doing something outside at those times, which allows me to enjoy both. This week found me outside early one morning, showing off the stars that we can only view in the darkness of country-living to Ms. Diane’s son. In that moment, I contemplated my smallness in the vast universe God created.
Pointing out stars and constellations to him and his wife, I considered how insignificant my life is. Of course, that thought invites Satan to stir up doubts about my unworthiness. Immediately, ideas and accusations began flooding in.
- God doesn’t have time to bother with you, you little pipsqueak. He’s got bigger, more important things than you to worry about.
- God probably doesn’t even know you exist. You’re a name in a book, long forgotten.
- As weak and insignificant as you are, you’re worthless to God. Look at all the published authors, all the titans of faith out there today; you’re a nobody. Look at all those in Hebrews 11; you’ll never be able to do what they did.
As those negative thoughts were invading my mind, God’s Word sprang forth to counter them. I started thinking of beloved Scriptures from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. In Ephesians 1, Paul gives us three reasons that remind us of how valuable we are in God’s eyes.
- Ephesians 1:4. We are valuable because of who we are, made in His image.
- Ephesians 1:5. We are valuable because God paid a high cost to adopt us into His family through the sacrifice for us made by Jesus Christ.
- Ephesians 1:11-12. We are valuable to God because of His plan for what we can become when we submit ourselves to Him.
Many other verses came to mind that speak to the value God sees in a true Christian. Knowing God has predestined us for His glory (2 Thessalonians 1:12), when we work to do His will in our lives, we see the value that God sees in us. When we do, any negative self-doubts disappear.
How many of us have ever questioned our calling, our faith, or our worthiness to do what He has called us to do? God’s Word never said, “Go forth and spread the gospel to all the world and make disciples, John, Mary, and Albert.” Christ’s great commission (Matthew 28:16-20) was to all Christians. How we do it depends upon the gifts and talents that God equips us with. Thank goodness it is not dependent upon our own abilities.How do we best carry out Christ’s great commission? #LivingForHim #ChristInUs #WeInChrist Click To Tweet
The best way we carry out Christ’s great commission is by doing the best we can to rely on Him in faith to guide us through this journey. A maxim I’ve long appreciated is “If God calls you to it, He’ll lead you through it.” For all Christians, we are called to shine His light into this darkened world through our lives. The more we surrender to His will and His work of sanctification in our lives, the better we please Him and the more His light shows in our lives.
Responding to His calling in our lives, whether we believe we are equipped or qualified to do whatever He calls us to do or not, is an act of faith. As we walk with God, we are to give thanks to Him in all things.
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV)
The keywords I focused on in Paul’s writing were “in everything”, or in some translations, “in all things.” Note that it does not say “for everything.” I believe that was purposeful, as Romans 8:28 tells us God will use all things for good to those who love God. When we thank God in everything that happens in our lives, we are recognizing His supreme authority and control of our lives.
Events large and small, good and bad, filled this past week. I’m not sure I gave thanks in all things that God allowed in my life. I’m uncertain His light shined as brightly in me as He had desired it to shine.
God does not want or expect us to praise Him for death, divorce, disease, stress, heartbreak, etc. He expects us to allow Him to grow our faith from those things He has allowed in our lives. How do we thank Him for those difficult things and seasons? We acknowledge His authority and His desire to help us grow stronger in our faith.
My prayer is that we all recognize that although doubts may enter our thoughts, our God is bigger than our doubts and He has promised to be with us always. With that promise, we can overcome all that comes our way. We know what awaits us upon Christ’s certain return.