God’s Lens of Love and Grace Overcomes Satan’s Vicious Lies That God Doesn’t Care

“See what great love the Father
has lavished on us, that we should
be called children of God! 
And that is what we are!”

1 John 3:1

That is what we are? Children of God? Yes! God is a Father who will never, ever hurt us like earthly fathers sometimes do. He delights in us, so deeply that Jesus came to suffer and die in our place. Willingly. Lovingly. Lavishly.

Do you ever feel like you know this in your head, but your heart sometimes struggles to believe it? Your legs feel too rubbery to get up and move forward and receive this truth He so freely offers? Your hands feel too weak to take hold of His proffered hand of love and grace? Especially in times of vulnerability when Satan pummels us with his vicious lies and stomps us under his feet?

Believe me, Satan knows where we’re most vulnerable. Terminal or chronic illness can sap our energy. Depression and other mental illnesses can suck us down, down, down into a deep, dark hole where we lose hope and can’t see a speck of light anymore to lead us out. Losses of so many kinds can make us wonder where God is. Loss of self and devastation of lives through abuse or other traumas. The death of loved ones. Betrayals. Desertions. Divisions. Loss of jobs and financial means. The pandemic and all its repercussions. And on and on it goes. And Satan stalks as a hungry and determined lion watching, waiting, and pouncing on us when we’re weak and vulnerable.

When we’re discouraged, we become an easy target, and it can be harder to fight off those negative voices of never being enough. Those critical voices that say we’re unlovable, unwanted, and surely not needed in this world. Those vicious voices that say Jesus does not care and there is no hope or help for us.

Satan knows exactly when our bodies or souls are weary and feeling too weak to hang onto God’s truth. He sometimes convinces us to look through our lens of skewed perspectives because of past or present trauma and hurting words and actions that can drown out the remembrance of our identity in Christ Jesus. He doesn’t want us to look through the lens of truth that we are Jesus’ beloved, that Jesus cares so deeply, and He is with us no matter how difficult our struggles are.

Recently, I was looking through that distorted lens before I even realized it. My heart became so heavy, and I couldn’t understand why. Help me, Jesus! I turned to the One who knows and understands the deepest troubles of our hearts. The One who cries with us and longs for us to release our burdens into His hands.

And He graciously opened one of His promises to me:

“The God of peace will soon
crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you!”

Romans 16:20

Yes, Jesus in His powerful love and grace has already gained the victory over Satan, but as long as we’re on earth, Satan will try his utmost to bring us to doubt that truth. The grace of Jesus will always be with us here and help us through the heaviest trial, but won’t that be a glorious day when Satan will forever be crushed under our feet?!

If we hear condemning or shaming voices, it’s not God. God may sometimes lead us in a way of correction out of love, but He will never condemn us even when we fail or fall. Even though He knows that in our weakness, we sometimes do take up those distorted lens Satan digs up and gives us. He can and will remove those lens and again give us His lens of love and grace. The lens He sees us through. His lovable and wanted child who is needed in this world to spread the same love He gives us to others.

“So now there is no condemnation
for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:1

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love;
 I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'”

Jeremiah 31:3

Accepting Yourself As You Are

Wonderfully-Made-by-Holley-Gerth.com_

When I took a break from blogging, I wrote down notes and questions to reflect on. I discovered one recurring problem I have is not accepting myself as I am. The deep truth is I don’t see myself through Jesus’ eyes.

I’m realizing how often I’m apologizing to myself or others in my thoughts about who I am or what I do or don’t do. I’m trying to come to grips with believing I have a makeup exactly as God wants, and I need to accept myself just the way I am.

I am an introvert. I think I was always introspective as a child already. I get nervous in crowds. Socializing wears me out, even more so with the weight of chronic illness. I am not a good conversationalist. I feel insecure and often get tongue-tied when it comes to what I really want to say. I don’t think of it until later what I should have asked or said. Afterwards I rehash what I said or didn’t say, over-analyze, and worry that I may have said something wrong. {It’s hard to know what comes from my personality and what resulted from abusive situations. But healing takes time, and at the bottom of it all, I’m still an introvert, and I have to realize that’s ok.}

I beat myself up for not being “better” at socializing. I compare myself with the social butterflies who can so easily talk with people, and I fall short. Why can’t I talk more easily like they can? Why do I always have to feel so nervous? Why won’t the words come?

I sometimes do better one on one, but even then I have to keep reminding myself to “Just be you, and look to Jesus.” And I do believe that when I can see myself through His eyes, I am less stressed. If I can see myself as His beloved the load becomes lighter.

Do you accept yourself as you are? Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert?

Here are some important truths we all need to remind ourselves of, no matter what personality we have:

  1. “I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:14a HCSB) We are marvelously made by God. He created each of us with unique personalities and gave each of us purposes in life that can never be carried out by any other human being. He doesn’t want any of us to act like someone else other than who we are or beat ourselves up for being who we are.
  2. “For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor Him, for He is your lord.” (Psalm 45:11 NLT) We may think of ourselves as “ugly,” but God only sees us as beautiful. He even delights in us and cherishes us.
  3. “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT) We already are pre-approved. We don’t have to do anything to make ourselves more special or enough in Jesus’ eyes. Through His grace, we are enough. We are special just to be loved by Him. That love will never ebb or flow according to what we do or don’t do.
  4. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17) All our sins, mistakes, and old insecurities can fall away through Christ. He wants us to see ourselves as newly created in Him – accepted, redeemed, and loved unconditionally.
  5. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” ( Romans 15:7) Jesus welcomes us, receives us, and accepts us just as we are, no matter what personality we have. He wants us to accept ourselves just as we are. And others just as they are.

“Beautiful”
by MercyMe

May we accept ourselves just as we are
and as marvelously made by God!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews