Acceptance By Pamela Elmes
"But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us". Romans 5 verse 8. "To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved". Ephesians 1 verse 6. "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand". John 10 verse 28. "See, I have inscribed you on the palm of My hand; your walls are continually before Me". Isaiah 49 verse 16.
To have an inward assurance that we have been accepted by someone in our lives and to know that this also means we are loved is something which is sadly missing in so many peoples lives.
Yet the Bible clearly shows us that as Christians we are accepted, and when we consider the verses above we can see God's heart towards His people. Jesus died for us, He accepted us, He gave us eternal life, and as individual believers even our very names are constantly before Him. Yet for many Christians it is difficult to believe the Bible and what God says about us. We can put forward all kinds of reasons for this, but the real truth is that we are not putting our trust in God and His Word in the way we need to.
Rejection for example if experienced can have quite long lasting effects in the way we experience life in relationships. We may end up with a poor self image. We don't honestly believe that we are ever going to amount to anything much. So we counteract this by trying to prove our own self worth. We desire to be successful in the hope that it will bring us acceptance before God. We may even find something that we think we are good at,, and hope this will bring us the answer we are looking for.
Yet this is really self-effort which God does not want us to trust in. We put ourselves into a very vulnerable position when we trust in our own efforts in this way, because when we make mistakes and fall in some way, which inevitably we do, we just sink right down again into feelings of despair and failure. Always trying to prove ourselves.
It becomes a vicious circle. To live like this becomes painful because we are continually trying to find 'the way' to acceptance and success, and not understanding that it is God who strengthens and accept us. He does not however gives us strength for our own efforts, but He will ALWAYS give strength for those things He has called us to do. It can never glorify God to have one of His children constantly struggling to prove his or her self worth, trying to be different. He simply wants us to trust Him and believe Him.
Because of different things I have experienced in my life, I ended up with a low self-image and an inability to trust people, a fear of failing and making mistakes. I tried for a long time to deal with these things, and was living a life of constant struggle. But my relationship with the Lord has grown, and He has been able to do a deep work in my life, and I have learnt to trust Him more and more.
One thing God showed me is that He does not want us to look at other peoples lives and then try to imitate them in any way, or even inwardly wanting to be the same. It is easy to see someone being 'successful' and want to be like them. This is because each and every one of us has a unique personality and God is able to heal us and set us free to express who we are. If we try to imitate others then we are not free.
We can be apprehensive about letting others see our failings and weaknesses, because we fear that we will not be accepted. But the real truth is that people are happier with us when we are being real. It is easier to relate to someone when that person is free in God to be the person He made them to be. It certainly enables a much deeper level of trust to come into being.
We can see the importance of letting God heal us, setting us free, because as He leads us into new situations we are more confident; not becase of some new effort on our part but because we are looking to God and His power, and knowing we are FULLY ACCEPTED AND LOVED BY HIM. While there may be new areas in our lives where we have yet to overcome, we can be sure of one thing, and that is that God will always strengthen us in the situation.
I can testify that God is well able to bring us through to a place where it becomes easier to trust Him, and where we will know His love and acceptance of us, because that is where it all starts. We need to believe in His accepance because without knowing that we will always find it difficult to believe that others too will accept us. The revelation that we are accepted by Him is a life changer. His banner over us will always be LOVE.
I have been a Christian for about 30 years and am involved in prayer and women's ministry. I also have a teaching ministry, with a deep commitment to the life of my church family. I have two grown up children and one grandchild.
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