Just a Few Harsh Truths, to Be Encouraging

I know a girl, she is inwardly terrified of how people perceive her. She doesn’t speak a syllable without immediately critiquing her statement, assuming everyone thought it was “stupid.” She is afraid to be herself, because she feels it might not be good enough, for herself, or for anyone else. Really, though, she’s ok, just a little “insecure.”

I know a guy, he is deeply fearful that he will never marry. He knows God ordains singleness for some, but he just can’t tell anyone, that his heart sinks at even the thought. He knows God could be enough, but he doesn’t know how. He is afraid to be honest because he feels it would reveal a lack of faith, and confirm his lack of joy.

I know a couple, and they worry that life will kick them while they’re already down, again. One disappointment after another, another pain to add to the last, and more compounded temptation to quit.

These people are all around you. You probably talked to one Sunday, or at work today, or at school last week. You know them, or you are one yourself. If you are, remember:

God never made an ugly image-bearer.

You are beautiful, not because you are good, but because God is. He looked at His creation after He put the stamp of Himself upon the frail shoulders of humanity, and deemed it good. If you are insecure, you likely consume yourself with how talented, attracted, charismatic, or popular another individual is. God didn’t make them out of better dust. Before you call me Joel, let me explain, I’m not trying to help you feel better about yourself. I’m trying to help you believe better about God. You have ultimate worth in Jesus, because of His ultimate redemption for you. Don’t live in fear that you are not enough, Jesus is, and your identity is found irrevocably in Him. Don’t fear man.

Don’t fear man.

God never wrote a bad story.

God’s plan for you is perfect. It’s not perfect because it’s easy. It’s not perfect because it’s what you asked for. It’s perfect because God is. He leads individuals down different roads, through different valleys, and up different peaks. Your story does not define you. How you would write your story wouldn’t satisfy you. God wrote your story and made you a character in the deepest love-story, the most shocking drama, the narrative in which the Perfect King dies for the puny subjects. The Author didn’t confuse the pages of your life. The God who holds the frames of the universe will not hold your dreams with fragile fingers. If your story doesn’t include the elements, characters, and resolution you think it should, remember that you should’ve never been included in God’s story. Remember at the heart of the pain that God’s mission is not behavior modification, but to exhibit Himself through you. Your pain is not needless, quite the contrary really, it has great worth, because the great worth of the Author may be seen in your story. Don’t fear life.

Don’t fear life.

Now remember, the above realities do not free you to pride, nor exempt you from the ongoing struggle of change. They intensify your need bear God’s image well and squelch your flesh’s desire to write your own pages. It makes you an active steward, not a passive saint. If there are ways you could bear the image of God better (there are) then do. If there are ways you try to reign your own life, or battle discontentment (there are) look unto Him, the Author and denouement, where you put your confidence.

Live today. Live like you have worth in Jesus, and like His plan for you is the utmost desire of your inmost person. There are few things more tragic than potential trapped in fear.

Don’t fear. He’s conquered all.

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