The Gospel brings hope of unconditional love that has no interest in dwelling on our faults and transgressions because of Jesus’ ability to absorb our punishment.
Imagine a world with people who cared for one another deeply. A culture that saw the needs around them just as pressing as the needs in their own lives. They walked with humble confidence and pure joy from knowing how loved they are. Haunting fears and pressures had no power over them; their confidence and identity were firmly rooted in a Love that was so weighty. Do we experience this kind of life? Perhaps we see glimpses of this kind of living but fail to experience it fluidly. A doubt of God’s sufficiency to define and satisfy us tends to hold us back. It masks itself in insecurity, which is victimized and coddled by the culture. Insecurity is not as innocent as it appears to be. Friends and family can try to lessen their loved ones’ insecurity by covering them in flowery compliments, turning a blind eye to any kind of imperfection, and validating them in their appearance or performance. I’ve been there many times. On both sides.
My story reflects years of nagging insecurity that has left me crippled and controlled by my fears, flaws and failures. But what the Spirit has been showing me is that I am not a victim. In fact, my insecurity reveals deep unbelief of God’s goodness and character. My insecurity is a rejection of all that Jesus is. What I need is not to be coddled or affirmed in outward things such as beauty or performance. What I need is to delight in the Father. What I need in every moment of everyday is to know how much He delights in me.
God’s Promise to the Israelites
The Hebrew word Hephzibah means “my delight is in her” and comes from the passage Isaiah 62:4. In this passage, the Israelites had turned away from the Lord and started worshiping false gods. God was angered by the idolatry of His people, so He turned His face from them. The Israelite’s were defeated by the Assyrians and lost their northern territory. The significance of the word Hephzibah marks a gracious heart of God towards His people. He says, “No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.” Isaiah 62:4
Through this, God shows how the worship of created things leads to destruction and death. He is a gracious God, however, and promises to call back His people and rename them; dearly loved, protected one, and His delight.
What insecurity reveals is that we are pursuing another kingdom over God’s which inevitably means that we are living as enemies of God. Where would our hearts lead us if we obtained the thing we are putting our hope in? Would our hearts be led to worship Jesus or worship self? If we believe God has not given us what we truly need to be satisfied, then we will spend the rest of our lives chasing after that object that promises joy but never delivers. The more time we invest in finding identity and satisfaction apart from all that Jesus is, the farther we run from His presence.
If our new reclaimed mission is to saturate the world with the goodness of God and the gospel we have been offered, then what hope do our lives reflect? The gospel screams hope that we have been saved from the penalty of our sin through Jesus’ glory and sacrifice. If Jesus is sufficient to kill our sin and absorb God’s wrath, surely He is sufficient to give us a new name that has power and depth. What room is there for insecurity when Jesus has called us to be His Bride? The mind that is set on the flesh worships the things of the flesh, and leads to death. When we are walking closely with the Spirit He reminds us of who He is and who we are. He fills us with a humble confidence that comes from being loved so sweetly and being known so deeply. Through Jesus, we have the Spirit that cries within us “Abba, Father!” We are redefined by His affections and remade by His leading and promptings. In light of this, where would a voice come from that condemns us of the pettiness of our appearance and performance? The things we fear are often times the things that control and shape our lives. Thus, the enemy is set on magnifying our insecurities and belittling the power of God’s love in order to convince us that we need to take our eyes off of Jesus and turn inward. In this, we have a choice to accept and rejoice in the word spoken over us by Jesus, or reject Him and strive to perfect ourselves.
Insecurity is not meant to be victimized or coddled, for it is believing that Jesus is not enough to lift up your head from your shame. The gospel brings hope of unconditional love that has no interest in dwelling on our faults and transgressions because of Jesus’ ability to absorb our punishment. That includes our inability to perform as well as our physical flaws. The gospel is life for those who believe. Some may say they believe that Jesus has died for their sins and has made them right before the Father. He has secured a place in Heaven with Him for eternity. But many lack the belief that the gospel brings power in the present to destroy every stronghold in our lives that keep us from the presence of God. Insecurity can be one of those things for many of us that has power over our lives. The process of confidence replacing insecurity is a process of moving from unbelief in God’s provision to belief. We will not experience the sweetness of His presence and affections until we step out in faith and believe in His promises. What the Gospel brings is hope that leads to healing, and a confidence that produces humility.
What would it look like for you to accept and rejoice in the word spoken over you by Jesus?
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