This week we began attending a seminar and heard about the principle of design. (I have heard this information many times before, but because it is founded and based on Scripture, God always teaches me something new as He applies it to where I am now in my journey through life.) Over the next weeks, as I have time, I’m going to post some of the things God is teaching me. I hope the Lord will use them in your life, too–Please let me know how He does!
Most people don’t accept the way God made them. How we view ourselves affects all our relationships: with God, with our family and friends, with ourselves. Oftentimes people are just “not happy” with themselves or their circumstances. (I’m not talking about sin which we are convicted of in our lives, and that we need to repent of and turn from, or the consequences of it.) I’m talking about things that we cannot change in the way God made us, and the circumstances He’s allowed: the “unchangeables”. Who our parents are, our time in history, our people group, nationality, gender, birth order, brothers and sisters, physical features, mental abilities and aging and death.
When we violate the principles of Scripture, surface problems and conflicts arise. Do you see any of these particular surface problems in your life? Self-criticism, depression, inability to trust in relationships, inability to love. These may have the underlying causes of inferiority (if I reject myself, it will be hard for me to accept my husband or my children), envy, or unreturned affection, and we may have the root problem of bitterness. Bitterness is one of those things that no one thinks they have. We say, “Oh, no, I’m not bitter. I’m just so very disappointed.” “I’m not bitter, I just wish he’d change…” “I’m not bitter, I just can’t believe they treated me like that.” “I’m not bitter, I just feel so hurt.” We call it a lot of different things, but never bitterness.
We may have a floating sense of…”I’m unhappy” (with how God made me or my circumstances). We would never be bitter towards God. We’re just unhappy with things that He has made and only He has control over. Do you find yourself longing to be different, to be like someone else, or saying “if only” I had different circumstances? Do you think that others have it much better than you do: they were given so much more talent, they’re so naturally good-looking, they’re so lucky because they have wonderful parents/wonderful sisters or brothers/don’t have any sisters or brothers/have a lot of kids/don’t have any kids/they’re a man/they’re a woman/they aren’t the oldest/they aren’t the youngest/they aren’t tall like me/they aren’t short like me/they don’t have these “defects” I have…….
Is there anything about yourself or the way you look that you would change, if you could? This is an important question, the answer to which can reveal a bitter attitude towards God.
Well, God made you and you are “wonderfully and fearfully made,” according to the Scriptures. God prescribed you and knew you before you were born.
Psalm 139:13-16 says: “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. (14) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
He created you. You were knit together in your mother’s womb by the Lord Himself.
He’s not finished with you yet:
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
The cause of inferiority is comparing yourself. No matter how smart you are or beautiful or talented or organized or great, etc., etc. etc., you will always be able to find someone better than you to make you feel inferior! So stop comparing:
2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
God made you very uniquely and specially, He loves you and He has some work for you to accomplish that He wants to do through you, not someone else! As long as you are on earth, He still has work for you to do.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
(Works don’t save you or get you to heaven, but once saved from hell and receiving forgiveness of sins by trusting in Jesus Christ’s shed blood for you on the cross, believing that He rose from the dead and submitting to His Lordship over your life, then He works through His Holy Spirit in your life to accomplish good works, which glorify Him.
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”)
Today, let’s take a look at our hearts and see if there’s any root of bitterness there, or any evidences of not accepting my design such as surface things like feelings of inferiority, complaining, envying, comparing, etc. Why not thank God today for exactly how He has made you, and all your “unchangeables”?