A banknote doesn’t lose its intrinsic value by crushing it. We don’t lose our valuable divine identity by going through adversity. Sometimes, we must endure hardship under God’s direction for our good. Don’t let anything fool you that hardships make you dispensable to God. If anything, you sometimes have to go through problems because you are a cherished child of God. Many think God allows pain to come our way because God hates us. Nonetheless, as we shall see shortly, God will enable us to endure tough times because He loves us.
The Bible says after Jesus’ baptism, the voice of His Father was heard telling Him, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you, I am well pleased.” This divine seal of approval was crucial because the Spirit soon drove Jesus to the wilderness. For forty days and nights, Jesus endured harsh conditions, facing many dangers and eating nothing. During this time, Jesus’ identity was on trial…
In essence, the devil questioned Jesus by saying, “If you are truly the Son of God as your Father has just claimed why are you going through all these hardships? If you are truly the Son of God prove yourself by performing miracles for me” (Matt. 3:13-17, 4:1-11).
But Jesus knew too well that being the Son of God had nothing to do with what He was going through. He clearly distinguished between His identity, His performance and His circumstances. Christ knew He was the Son of God because He was born of God – not because of what He had, because of His performance or because of what He was going through. More importantly, God the Father had already declared Him publicly even before that. For this reason, Jesus knew that hardships did not affect His identity.
Jesus also knew that God approved of Him even before He performed any miracle. Crucially, Jesus knew very well that He could perform miracles as the Son of God. But He also knew that performing miracles – in and within itself – would not necessarily make Him the Son of God. In truth, the child of God is not intended to perform miracles all the time except by divine order. For these reasons, Jesus, at that moment in time, had nothing to prove to anyone.
I believe we can learn a great deal from Jesus Christ. We are children of God ONLY because we were born of God; we have His DNA – His Spirit. We are not meant to be defined by our lifestyle – our performances, possessions, or popularity. Instead, our lifestyle is supposed to branch out from who we are. We live a healthy life because we are children of God, but healthy living alone does not make us children of God.
The Bible says that God Himself orchestrated Jesus’ hardship. God publicly approved Jesus just before leading Him to crisis because He wanted Jesus (and us all) to remember that God’s children, for their benefit, must go through controlled hardships. This is why great people like Paul the Apostle enjoyed life and praised God always – even when they were going through tough times. This is what he says;
I have learned how to be content [satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted] in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances. I also know how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned, in any case, the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. (Philippians. 4:11-13 AMP)
Your sworn enemies are the last people you should be bothered to please. This is because no matter what you do, they will never approve of you. God is the only one you should strive to seek approval from. However, the good news is that God approved you long before creating you. So, frankly, you have nothing to prove to anyone! All you need to do is believe what God tells you and thank Him for whatever He brings into your life.
Someone out there must be encouraged that you are God’s beloved child. What you are going through has been permitted by God, and in the end, it will work for your good. This crisis will not last. It’s just a training session – a timed and controlled exercise that will soon be over after running its noble cause.
Enjoy your priceless joy because you deserve it!