No matter what kind of storm life brings your way, never forget that you are, through Jesus Christ, who God says you are.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what is the image that you see? As you bask in the ambiance of your God-given image, where do your emotions take you? Certainly, life has a peculiar way of making our world shift from one extreme to the next. It is in these times that you have to know who you are in God and not let the hurricanes of life sweep you away.
Are you disappointed or discouraged today? Has the rottenness of rejection and despair lain dormant in your spirit for so long that you feel despondent? I am all too familiar with feelings of despair because nothing is going my way. Remember when you applied for the job you wanted so desperately, yet someone less qualified than you was hired? I have been there. Remember that time during altar call when you prayed that someone would lay hands on your head and reassure you of God’s grace and no one did? I have been there, too. Think back on the time when that person you loved more than life itself walked away from you and slaughtered the very fiber of your being. I can tell you from experience that there is nothing more devastating that watching the very shadow of someone you long for drift away in the distance. In that moment of infirmity and frailty, it is imperative that you know that you are who God says you are.
Jacob may very well be the greatest example of being who God said he was. The name “Jacob” literally means “con man,” “supplanter,” or “trickster,” which are not names becoming of a being created in God’s image. In the beginning, Jacob exhibited some of the behaviors that is name afforded him. For instance, he was given his brother Esau’s birthright by exchanging it for a bowl of soup. “Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:29-34, NKJV).
How cunning and manipulative was this! During this time, Jacob was the very thing that his parents named him to be. Jacob was conniving, devious and shrewd in his very nature. It was not until God met Jacob in the middle of the desert that he came to be whom he was truly called to be (see Genesis 28:10-22). Jacob is the only man in the Old Testament whom God said he loved, as is seen in Malachi 1:2-3 (NKJV): “I have loved you,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, “In what way have You loved us?” Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” says the Lord. “Yet Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated…” Jacob would become to be known as the third Biblical patriarch, a prince in his own right as opposed to being a trickster.
Who does God say you are? Romans 8:17 (NKJV) calls you a “joint-heir with Christ” and “if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” You are royalty in the eyes of God! He loves you more than you can ever love yourself, or anyone else for that matter. He came and shed His precious blood to bear every infirmity, every fear and every lonely emotion that beckons you. He came so that your tears would be wiped away and that we would believe His report regarding who you are.
Some of you have tried time after time to believe God’s word, yet you feel stagnant and inactive. In my own life, I have felt stationary and motionless. I was dead to rites in my own mind, and my soul ran dry in sea of dullness and monotony. My soul frenzied for a drink after believing that my life was over. I was told time and again that I would not amount to much, if anything at all. I believed that report, and claimed that I would live a life of welfare, food stamps and panhandling. I was told over and over that I was ugly and no woman alive would love me. I believed that report, and jumped into every bed that was made available to counteract the feelings of aloneness. All of these lies are now buried in the deepest sea, since God revealed to me who I really am. I am His child, and without His everlasting love, life would not be worth living. Sweet instantly turns bittersweet for me without the love of God. The feel of a soft piece of cotton instantly turns coarse and stubbly for me without the love of God. I have come to know that I am only who God says I am.
Remember when you applied for the job you wanted so desperately, yet someone less qualified than you was hired? Even though you did not get the job, you are who He says you are. God is just enough and God enough to bless you with a job that far exceeds even your own qualifications. Remember that time during altar call when you prayed that someone would lay hands on your head and reassure you of God’s grace and no one did? Lay hands on your own head and proclaim that you are who He says you are. As you watch the shadow of the person you adore stroll down the street with no intention of turning around, remember that you are who God says you are. Understand that the person attached to that shadow is going to be the loser at the end of the day. It is in God that we live, move and have our very being (Acts 17:28), and He is the only one that can devise our end from our beginning. No matter what kind of storm life brings your way, never forget that you are, through Jesus Christ, who God says you are.