Devotions

Our Settled Significance

May 19, 2021
“But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.’” Isaiah 43:1 (ESV)
d5.19-21

Certain times in life reveal our need to belong. Transitioning from middle school to high school was one of those times in mine.

For me, a tennis team roster held out the hope that I would finally belong somewhere. I started playing tennis at age 7. By middle school, I spent most of my free time on a court where I found success, even a state ranking. So naturally, our high school team was a logical place for me to belong.

The team tryouts set a gauntlet of round-robin style matches where everyone played everyone for the coveted spots. It was stressful, more stressful than it warranted because I had handed over my worth and identity to that roster. Making the team was the determining factor not only for me as a player, but as a person.

To my relief, I was one of two freshmen who made the team. But this belonging came with uncertainty. The week after making the team and every week thereafter, I had to defend that spot through challenge matches. I had to prove myself again and again, putting my fragile teenage identity and worth in play with every outcome.

Self-acceptance — and the acceptance of others — only goes so far. It ultimately falls short of fulfilling the important core human need of belonging. The truest and only satisfying sense of belonging comes from the Source, our Redeemer, who says of our most authentic selves, “… I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1b).

Who is this who makes these declarations over us? The Lord our God, our Maker who sees, hears, knows, responds to and rescues His children.

The prophet Isaiah was writing to the nation of Israel, but just like we can learn from every word in the Bible, we can learn something from Isaiah too. In Isaiah 49:1-18, he reveals that God:

  • Calls us from the womb. (v.1)
  • Has a purpose for us and sets us apart for His glory and good.
  • Is our strength. (v.5)
  • Considers us honored in His sight. (v.5)

Even though we can feel forsaken, unseen, unheard, like we don’t belong, like we are on a never-ending treadmill to measure up, and even though every caring person on earth may forget us, God says, “… I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands …” (Isaiah 49:15b-16a, ESV).

God sees us, saves us and makes us righteous — because we are, according to Him, His treasure.

“For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. … you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, …” (Isaiah 43:3a,4a, ESV).

Jesus adds, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b, ESV). A bit different than a tennis roster, or whatever in your life defines your identity and worth and comes with endless challenges and constant proving.

Jesus willingly laid down His life for us — out of love.

The question we ask ourselves, then, is this: Dare we accept ourselves according to and based upon this absolute declaration? A declaration freely bestowed upon us according to God’s steadfast and abundant love?

Dare we believe our belonging?

Together let’s remind each other and grab hold of the Truth that our significance has been settled once and for all. Then, rather than allowing the things of life to opine on our identity and worth, let’s enjoy the abundant life God has given us, resting in our identity as His.

Lord, thank You for Your declaration of steadfast love and for Your faithfulness and mercy. Please help us in our unbelief. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Isaiah 43:2-3a, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (ESV)

RELATED RESOURCES

For more on giving ourselves grace, grab a copy of Kay Wills Wyma’s The Peace Project: A 30-Day Experiment Practicing Thankfulness, Kindness, and Mercy.

CONNECT

Click here for a free downloadable Kindness Card, a reminder of who “You Are …” and connect with Kay Wills Wyma on Instagram and her website.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of The Peace Project by Kay Wills Wyma. To celebrate this book, Kay’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, May 24, 2021.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND

How, specifically, can you receive the blessing and freedom associated with God’s declaration that you are His? Who can you encourage in their significance being settled?

© 2021 by Kay Wills Wyma. All rights reserved.

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