August 22, 2017

You Matter

Do you ever have those days when you feel worthless, like nobody cares whether you live or die?

I’m sure we all do — we’re all human and thoughts of self-worth (or worth-lessness) often crowd our minds. We can parrot off the truths that “God loves us” and “He sent His Son to die for us.” We’ve known those truths since our early years in Sunday School. We can tell others that “Christ died for all mankind” and that “if you were the only person on earth, Christ would still have loved you enough to die for you.”

But have you ever stopped to consider that His love and attention toward you continues after your salvation?

It doesn’t stop at the cross! Each one of us matters to God; every one of our days was penned by Him before the world began; Scripture even tells us that every single one of the hairs on our heads is numbered by Him (and we all know how that number constantly changes)!

Think back on the book of Job. Read again the first part of the narrative:

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?'” (Job 1:6-8).

God knew Job by name! And not only did he know the name of Job, but He knew his character as well. And the account goes on; we see Satan asking permission to afflict Job, first by taking away his possessions and family, then by inflicting his body with disease. And through it all, Job had no idea what was going on “behind the scenes” up in heaven. He had no clue that his responses to these trials would make a difference in the challenge between God and Satan (that there was one who truly feared God no matter what his earthly circumstances were). But look at his response:

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’ In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong … Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips(Job 1:20-22; 2:9-10).

By refusing to sin with his thoughts or his lips, by remaining thankful and humble before God, his life became a victory for God recorded in the annals of history. He had just proved God’s declaration to be true: that there was one who was indeed blameless and upright. Job’s responses in life mattered to God!

So there is something to consider the next time you feel worthless or useless or insignificant: you matter to God.

He formed you and knows you by name. When the great tempter seeks to afflict or accuse one of God’s children, our Creator can respond to him with, “{insert your name} is upright before Me” or “{insert your name} is blameless in My sight” or “{insert your name} is one who fears the Lord and walks uprightly.” The words penned by the prophet Isaiah in ancient times still hold true for us today:

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.

Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made(Isaiah 43:1-7).