Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Our Hope Is in His Love

Week 7  Hope and Anticipate

Day 44

Our Hope Is in His Love

We can experience our Savior’s love, but we can't analyze it because it is beyond our ability to comprehend. We don't have to let our sin separate us from Him because He knows it so well; He grafted it to His own heart, took the punishment for it, and all the while He loved us.


hen we think of people who have style, images of red carpet gowns and tuxedos come to mind. But there are also people who, with no more resources than you or I, present themselves to the world with grooming and clothing choices that reflect beautifully individualized statements of style. 

Being a Christian does not preclude stylishness so long as we keep our relationship with God above any worldly thing, but although most of us spend time on how we look, not many of us are at ease with how we appear to other people.  Another way to say this is that we are not confident with our own personal style. 

I am embarrassed to admit that during my own 100-day journey, I unearthed a well of regret over my lack of stylish attributes. I had evidently harbored hope that someday, something would happen that would finally elevate me to the category of “best dressed” or “most attractive.” I expected to be chastised for these feelings, but when I came to the Lord I felt nothing but compassion and love from Him; it was as though I had stepped from a too-cold room into sunshine.

There is a saying "...all style and no substance," typically used for someone who thinks too much of appearances but can’t back good looks with characteristics deemed substantial. As I basked in God's presence I felt like a beloved and adored child whose mannerisms, appearance, and expressions bring delight to a besotted parent's heart. A thought occurred to me: in the Lord's eyes I am a person of substance. I may not have style, but I have substance, because I fill a space in God's heart that is uniquely mine.

And so do you.  

Outward physical appearance is a little like money. We can’t take it with us when we die, it’s hard to hold onto in life, and it makes no difference in how the Lord views us (He looks at our hearts). Beauty emanates from us, not as a result of any outward thing such as clothing or cosmetics, but from the Holy Spirit within; when we are filled with Him, we each reflect His beauty uniquely.

God’s powerful love for us is a reality above that which human hearts and minds can analyze. We can experience His love but we can’t make sense of it; it just isn’t logical that the Creator of the universe would bother with the likes of us. We can only receive in faith the truth that the Almighty God has loved us in the past, present, and for all of eternity. We are beloved, not because of what we can do for Him, but because of who we are in Him: precious, highly valued, and desired.

Pray:  Lord, I release my physical appearance to You. I place my hope fully in Your love and acceptance of me. Please shine through me unimpeded by self-consciousness; help me keep my eyes on You and not on myself. Be in how others view me, protect me from their judgments, and help me to be more concerned with what You think of me than with what human beings think. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen. 


the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart
1 Samuel 16:7

 I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me.
Song of Songs 7:10

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