November 24, 2003
Encouragement for Today
Cast all your care upon Him; for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7 NKJ).
There were several little girls in my neighborhood growing up. We all played together as friends and slept over at each other’s homes like little girls do. We used to catch lighting bugs in the summer at dusk until it was too dark to see. We would ride our bikes for hours, exchange toys, and share secrets. Then, came middle school. Suddenly, everything changed. We began to see one another differently. After sizing each other up, we separated and formed cliques of our own. That was a painful time in my life. I felt rejected by my childhood friends.
Perhaps you have felt rejected by your friends or family at some time in your life. Or, maybe you feel that society has rejected you. Sometimes these rejections lead us to believe that God has rejected us, too. That is a lie. God loves and values you and me. That’s why we should never judge God’s love for us by our circumstances, but by the cross where He died for us.
Society labels each of us in some way. Our age, finances, and race label us. Our abilities or our disabilities, our failures and successes label us as well. We tend to believe these labels as truth about who we are. We just lick them and stick them right on to ourselves. I’m too short, I’m too tall, and I’m not rich. I must be a nobody.
Remember the story of the woman who had a blood disease for twelve years? One day, she heard that Jesus was in town. No doctor had been able to heal her, so she was desperate to meet Jesus. I can imagine how it must have been hard for her to leave her house and go into the streets where she would face all those who considered her an outcast, a nobody because of her sickness. Yet, desperate to meet Jesus, she mingled with the crowd that rejected her day after day. Still, she was willing to break through the wall of rejection so she could touch Jesus. As He passed by, the woman reached out her hand in faith, touched the hem of His garment and was healed! To her surprise, Jesus stopped and said—catch this— “SOMEBODY touched me.” For years her neighbors had rejected her. They had labeled her an outcast because of her disease; they considered her to be a nobody. But with only three words Jesus restored her value. He said, “Somebody touched me and your faith has made you whole.” (Luke 8: 45, 48 NKJ)
You are somebody to Jesus no matter what others think or what you’ve done. Faith in Him is the key to becoming whole. Jesus will meet you today if you reach out to Him in faith. Here are three ways that you, like this woman can achieve wholeness.
First of all, she expressed genuine faith. By touching the hem of Christ’s garment she demonstrated her belief that Jesus was her answer. She believed that God cared for her when others didn’t. Her faith was the active ingredient that made her whole.
Secondly, she sought after Christ. Do you need to break through the wall of rejection in order to find Jesus? Seek and you shall find Him. God doesn’t play hide and seek with us. He wants us to know Him and His plan for our lives. Sometimes our Father uses trials and heartaches in our lives to draw us to Him. Otherwise, we wouldn’t seek God at all. Seek Him through prayer, Bible study and fellowship with other believers.
Finally, she received His love and acceptance. It’s not enough to know that God loves us. We have to receive His love. Listen to God’s word and let it speak to your heart. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord God is in your midst, the Mighty One will save. He rejoices over you with gladness and quiets you with His love. He rejoices over you with singing.” If no one else thinks you are special, God does. So much so that the mere thought of you causes Him to sing and dance because you are somebody—His joy and delight!
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, thank you for your love and acceptance. Help me to know your love in such a way that I too become completely whole in you—In Jesus name. Amen.
Meditate on the power verses provide. Close your eyes and hear God speak about His love for you. Then believe it and praise Him for it.
What keeps you from receiving God’s love?
Ask yourself if you need to forgive someone who has hurt you in the past by rejecting you?
Do you rehearse negative thoughts about yourself? If so, replace them with God’s truth.
What do you compare God’s love to—your Father, a friendship, your own opinion?
Are you willing to break through the wall of rejection in order to meet Jesus—how?
What determines your value—job, money, exercise, etc…?
1 John 4:18 – Perfect love casts out fear. (NKJ)
Romans 8:39 – Nothing can separate you from the love of God; not trouble, not sin; not hardships. (NKJ)
Jeremiah 31:3 – I have loved you with an everlasting love. (NKJ)
Psalm 63:5 – His loving kindness is better than life itself. (NKJ)
Isaiah 54:10 – My love and kindness will not depart from you. (NKJ)
At Home with God by Sharon Jaynes
How to Have Healthy Relationships by Mary Southerland
Unleashing the Power of God in My Life by Mary Southerland