Have you ever felt lost in the sea of people around you, wondering if your life matters?
Have you ever felt unwanted? Do you feel like you are always the last one picked?
Have you ever wondered if you matter or if your life will really make a difference?
Can I encourage you today by telling you that God has already chosen you.
The Creator of everything you see around you, chose YOU.
YOU MATTER TO GOD.
I say this with 100% confidence – really! Let me say it again…
YOU MATTER TO GOD.
No matter what anyone else says or what the “world” says, you matter and you have been chosen.
Check this out:
5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Did you catch that?
God has proven His love for us in a couple of ways.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit
First of all, if we believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, then the Holy Spirit lives within us. The Holy Spirit in turn reminds us every day that we are a loved child of the Father.
Read verse 5 again, “For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
Now you might be thinking to yourself that you don’t FEEL loved by God, but are you giving Him a chance to tell you? I find in my fast paced life that I spend very little time listening to the Spirit. Slow down and give Him a chance to tell you!
Pray: Holy Spirit, I don’t feel loved right now. I don’t feel like anyone wants me and I feel lonely. Please remind me and tell me how loved I am by God. Please show me in a visible way that God loves me and knows me intimately. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
And now, keep your eyes open to the working of the Spirit.
Sometimes He shows me love in a subtle way – like a cool breeze through the window that envelops and calms my spirit. Other times it’s more loud and obvious, like blessing me with the job that I want. God uses so many different ways to show us His love, but we have to have our eyes open. We have to be watching for Him to move.
Sending Jesus to Die for Us
Secondly, God showed us His love by sending Jesus to save us.
Read verse 8 again, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Do you know what this means? God made the first move!
God pursued you before you even wanted Him!
I also love this because it means that God loves us even through all of our messiness!
Sometimes in our relationships with others, we may open up and share some of our hot mess details with them and they back away, but not so with God.
God sees our mess and comes running to our aid. He wants to hold us when we are broken and be there to dry up our tears.
A lot of times, I feel like I need to “clean up” my life before I come to God, but God stands right there, ready to help us in our mess.
And honestly, He does a better job “cleaning up” my life than I do.
How Satan Tries To Mess It All Up
Now I don’t ever want to paint the picture that somehow life is going to be all perfect and grand once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
In fact, most of the time it’s the exact opposite, because Satan wants to stop us before we can become effective at sharing God’s love with others.
How does Satan try to stop us? He throws all sorts of hardships and trials our way, but look at what it says if we back up and look at verses 3 and 4 in this chapter:
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
So we should rejoice when we have trials? Yep.
We should expect to have hardships? Yep.
I think about it this way – I hope that my life never feels easy, because to me, that means Satan doesn’t think that I’m worth attacking.
When I’m not experiencing trials, it could be because Satan doesn’t see me as a threat, so he doesn’t attack me.
But when I’m over here trying to live my life in pursuit of God, you better believe that I start to feel the attacks of Satan because he wants to discourage and stop me from growing God’s kingdom.
Distractions for my time pop up everywhere, keeping me from spending time reading the Bible or praying. Unexplained expenses arise. Work becomes a hassle. Traffic backs up a mile long and doubles my commute.
You might think that all of this is a coincidence, but I have seen a real correlation in my life that when I am moving towards God, Satan’s attacks increase.
Is It Worth It?
At this point you might be asking yourself, so why sign up for extra hardships in this life? Is it worth it?
So let us back up one more time to verses 1 and 2:
1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
If we stand firm in our faith and choose God, and if we choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we get to share in God’s glory!!
That will be worth more than anything we experience and go through in this life!
When we choose God, we can CONFIDENTLY and JOYFULLY look forward to eternity.
God WANTS us to spend eternity with Him. Remember? God gives us the Holy Spirit to live within us and remind us that God loves us. He redeemed us through Jesus. God wants to share His glory with us!
He wants us to CHOOSE HIM.
Our most valuable relationships are with those who CHOOSE to be with us. God has clearly chosen you, but He won’t force you to love Him (since that wouldn’t really be love). God invites us into relationship with Him and waits expectantly for us to respond.
So the real question is:
Will you choose God?