A bank note doesn’t lose its intrinsic value by crushing it. We don’t lose our valuable divine identity by going through adversity. At times, under God’s direction, we must endure hardship for our own good.
Don’t let anything fool you that hardships make you dispensable to God. If anything, at times, you have to go through hardships because you are indeed 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 allows us to go through tough times because He loves us.
The Bible says after Jesus’ baptism the voice from 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 absolutely crucial because soon afterwards the Spirit 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 had a clear distinction 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 as such even before all that. For this reason Jesus was very well aware 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, yes, as the Son of God, He could perform miracles. 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, possesions, 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 by itself 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 own good, must go through controlled hardships. This is why serious people in the likes of 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, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances 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]. (Phil. 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 you. God is the only one you should strive to seek approval from. However, again, the good news is that God approved you long before creating you. So, frankly, you have nothing to prove to any one! All you need to do is believe what God tells you and thank Him for whatever He brings into your life.
Someone out there need to 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 own 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!