>Last night after a time of prayer with some college students, one of the students remarked to me that she sensed God’s Spirit over me – that God was wanting to do something very powerful through me this summer. She was awestruck as she spoke these words to me, and it was a much needed word of encouragement.
As I think about those words, my thoughts lead me to a crisis of belief. With all of the sin that I have been battling as of late (and feeling like I’ve been losing), I struggled to believe her at that moment. Is God really delighted in me? Is he really please to use me? Is my constant failure getting in the way?
Earlier in the day, I was rehashing with a friend some past incidents that happened in which some hurtful rumors were spread about me back home in MD. I remember first hearing about these rumors a month ago, and I remember feeling several things. I was hurt, but not in the way that you (or I) would have thought. I was hurt that a place so dear to me would turn on me in that way, but I was not hurt because of the damage such a rumor would do to my name. Instead, I found myself quietly agreeing that even if such a thing weren’t true, it could very well be possible. I found myself looking into the deep-seated pride and arrogance that had settled in my heart…and I came to the cross. I preached to myself the Gospel that says my identity and reputation are in Christ and Him alone, not the quality of my work, fruit of my ministry, or otherwise. Thus, as I believed that, I didn’t need to defend myself, justify myself, or otherwise. I just needed to thank my Savior that He defines me, not my reputation (good or bad).
This relates to my experience with this college student because I can I was fighting to believe the words that she had spoken to me. God is delighted in me (because of Christ). He really is pleased to use me (because of Christ’s work). My constant failure is not getting in the way (because Christ was punished for my failure once and for all). It’s funny that as much preaching of the Gospel as I get to do, I must fight to believe it just as much as the people who I get to call to faith.
Thank you, Lord, for the truly glorious Gospel!