“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.”-Corrie Ten Boom
The world is uncertain right now. Yet, if we’re honest, it always has been. We just like looking back on the good times with rose colored glasses, forgetting the uncertainty and hardship we faced during those “good old days.” The problem isn’t the times we’re in, again, things have always been difficult. The problem is we look to people, we look to comfort, we look to our self-image, we look to our finances, our successes and failures and everywhere else for our worth instead of focusing where it ought to be. I had a talk with my sons yesterday, and, seeing how many people are in a state of panic in the US, I thought it a good opportunity to talk about where we get our value.
I told the boys that we don’t get our value in athleticism, intelligence, money, popularity, or anywhere of the sort. People are fickle, and those who love you for these things will turn on you when they can get nothing out of you anymore. When people belittle or bully us, it shouldn’t bring us down, because people are doing those things because they, themselves, are hurting, and hurting people hurt people to get a temporary feeling of power, which they’ll need to keep seeking over and again, because it never satisfies them. Our worth isn’t found by the work we do, though we should work hard and well, because, while our worth isn’t found in the work, we work for a Higher Power than ourselves. No, our worth is found in what God says of us and thinks of us.
Think on it, loved ones: While we were yet enemies, Christ died for the ungodly. While we were His enemies, Christ reconciled us to God with His life, death, burial and resurrection. What does that say of our worthiness to God? Sure, our sin mars that worthiness: we can’t be in God’s presence in our sin. But God sent His Son as a ransom, watched as He grew up poor, was mistreated his own family and by the religious, and as the crowds turned on Him, spat on Him, beat Him, and turned Him over to be beaten, chastised, mocked, and nailed to a tree. As a Parent, I could not imagine making the choice, but to reconcile us to Himself, God did. What’s that say about your worth? Now, did Jesus do it so we could continue on as we are? Absolutely not, but that’s a different subject for a different time. If we know that God sent Jesus to reconcile us, we should want to change to please the One who gave all for us. Our worth is found in Jesus, and by His life, death, burial and resurrection alone should we measure our worth. You were bought from your bondage by blood worth more than the universe and anyone who has ever lived in it combined infinite times over. Live for the One who calls you by name and gives you His worth.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.