But Our God
‘Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?’ (Matthew 14:31, NIV)
Have you ever been so overcome with fear that you felt paralyzed? Has your fear ever made you feel completely incompetent and of no value? Has the power of fear ever whispered multiple lies into your heart, which you begin to believe as truth? One little fear in our hearts can ripple into an insecurity, then into an overwhelming thought, and then soon a lie that begins to hold truth over our lives leaving us feeling unworthy– even more than that– not ourselves.
Self doubt can have a chokehold on our lives if we don’t let Jesus drench our souls in the truth of His word and His love. The times when we begin to doubt ourselves and our abilities, are also the times that we are forgetting to celebrate our victory in Jesus.
A lot of the time, as Christians, we are good at holding up our banner of love for Jesus and celebrating all He has done on Sundays in church service, but when it comes to persevering through trials in our lives, we forget to hold up that banner of victory. We forget that we have already won! Even when we feel like we are losing in this life, we are winning! We hold a prize of the utmost value and importance.
Someone who has been helping me appreciate and persevere through the lessons I’ve been learning said this to me: “Life is unrelenting, but God gives you the power to fight back”. There is nothing I have heard that is more true then that. We can’t go through life letting struggles we face define and discourage us. As these trials and hardships come our way– and they always will– our response has to be “but God!”
God’s voice has to be louder than the voices the enemy sends to trick us.
The voice of discouragement says that you aren’t capable enough to get that promotion or take those classes you need, but God says that you can do all things through Him who gives you the strength. (Philippians 4:13)
The voice of stress whispers that you can’t handle everything on your plate and God isn’t in your corner, but God says He will give you his peace which transcends all understanding, that will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
The voice of the world tells you that your body doesn’t meet the standards of everyone else and to be accepted, you must be more like Instagram influencers or top models, but God says you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), made in the image of Himself (Genesis 1:27), and His own craftsmanship, created in his completeness and image of perfection (Ephesians 2:10).
The voice of the enemy tells you all those negative things. Most of all, he tries to tell you that there is no hope, grace, or salvation sufficient enough to save you. But God came to this earth 2000 years ago in a manger in this season, with a mission to find you and give all He had to call you His and His alone. You are fully loved and fully known by the Savior of this world. (Luke 2:11-14)
Our God came in human form, walked through this life with us, full of compassion and passion to get to know us more and more. Then He got up on a cross feeling every sin there was and every sin there ever would be, to give us a life of freedom and victory over sin. He broke the shackles that left us powerless and now lifts us up in unforseen power and love that this world can’t begin to understand. There is no love story that tops the one we have in Jesus.
In this Christmas season I am praying that your heart might be glued to the fact that this is your story! In this Christmas season and all of your life this is the truth that identifies you. Our key verse today is from a short story in the Bible that was on my heart, and I think it is a clear image of how we can often doubt ourselves and doubt what God is doing.
‘Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”’ (Matthew 14:25-33, NIV)
Don’t let the lies you hear on a daily basis take away from what you can have with Jesus. Let your response be “but God.” When we grow stronger in who we are in Jesus, we learn more about ourselves and feel empowered to do things that we could never have imagined doing before. Focus your eyes this morning on that baby; that savior born of a virgin that grew into a man who healed millions and gave hope to broken cities and made you with His very hands. That is your father, your identity, and the victory we can hold up each and everyday.
Heaven and Earth by Hillsong Worship: