My Affliction for His Glory

Day 3 of 8 • This day’s reading


Listening to the Right Words

There are days when the reminders about how different I am feeling are particularly painful. People’s initial reactions can go a long way in revealing what is going on in someone’s heart. There is the person that will stop and stare blankly for seconds on end. There is the guy who will walk up beside me at the grocery store, grab my shirt sleeve and look inside to see if there are any arms there. There are people who take pictures of me when I am eating at a restaurant with my wife. No doubt those pictures are being sent to their friends with less than flattering captions.

Then there are the people who say horrible things right to my face:





“Did you escape from the circus?”

“There are places for people like you.”

Just as much as hearing those words spoken about me was absolutely devastating for my sense of worth, God’s love was as equally as devastating to my fear and self-doubt. I had always seen the love of God as this sort of passive, mushy kind of thing. I had never really known the love of my King—who rules and reigns in my life—in the most loving and fatherly way conceivable. God’s love and power conquered every horrific thing about me: My sin, my brokenness, my captivity to the words of others, my crippling fear, and my hatred toward people.

In reconciling me to Himself, God was stitching me back together in His grace. Even though God was not making those soul-crushing comments go away, He had something better for me. He gave me the foundation to stand on while the mess in my life tried to wash over me. He was showing me the beauty of building my life on His Son.

One of the greatest fear-shattering portions of Scripture is in Colossians 2:

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

In Christ you are different, but He was different than this world too. People’s words can cut like a knife but the Word of God is a balm to my broken heart. There will be plenty of days when you feel painfully inadequate, but Christ carries us in our weakness. Build your life and hope on that very promise. You are going to feel different than this world but so did our Lord. My prayer for you is that you would carefully count the cost of following Jesus and keep chasing Him because you know He is bigger and better.