A while back, our son and daughter-in-law purchased a house that was in bad shape. Had the structure weathered another season of neglect, they likely would have torn it down. But as it was, the zealous homeowners decided to begin a major renovation project.
One section, in particular, looked terrible. But it also showed considerable promise. They had planned just to gut the interior and replace the roof of that section, but Mike discovered rot in the wooden foundation plate. As much as it pained them to do so, my son and daughter-in-law decided to tear down that part of the house and rebuild it from the ground up.
Our lives are, in many ways, are like that weather-beaten house. When we first come to God, we are in poor spiritual shape. Some even wonder if there is any sense in God undertaking the “project.” I remember once praying, “Lord, I really don’t see what good you can make of my life, but if You want it, it’s Yours. Have Your way with me.”
A major problem for virtually all of us is that our “spiritual structures” are built upon faulty foundations. We either build our trust on things—such as money and human approval—that will not weather the test of time, or we have areas in our hearts that have been broken by neglect, rejection, and abuse.
Like the wise Master Builder that He is, the Lord begins by razing the dilapidated sections of our spiritual houses to the ground. It is all part of His plan to create a grand masterpiece. Failing to understand the dynamics of spiritual reconstruction, however, we often begin to view Him as an adversary. After all, how many of us can place our full trust in Someone who takes a sledgehammer to the very foundation of lives?
In addition to throwing off the burdens of guilt and condemnation, another key to weathering deconstructive seasons involves establishing our sense of security in Christ. Because the Lord is always with us and for us, not only can we trust Him in daunting situations, we can also deal honestly with our own weaknesses and shortcomings.
Adam and Eve hid themselves from God in the garden of Eden. Why? They were afraid that they would be belittled, judged, and exploited. It is for similar reasons that we so often attempt to hide our weaknesses and shortcomings from both God and man. Attempting to hide from God, though, is the worst thing that we can do.
Ignoring the rotten areas of our lives will only create more—and worse—problems down the road. Instead, we want to lay open every ugly and shameful thing within us so that He can pour in His healing balm. Otherwise, healing never comes, and we remain perpetually broken and handicapped.
If we truly want to abide in God’s peace, we must be willing to confront not only the ugly truths about ourselves but also their negative influences on our relationships. Such a challenging endeavor can be accomplished only as we become secure in our identities and break free from condemnation.
Secure in Christ
How to we establish a sense of security in the Lord? We live out a process that begins with standing firm on the truths and promises of Scripture. I will list five of the promises in which we can rest:
1. We have peace with God.
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 (HCSB)
Rest begins with God, and there is nothing worse than being at odds with our Creator. Through the blood of Jesus, however, we are freed from all heavenly judgment and condemnation. The only fear we should have of the Almighty is to be characterized by a deep sense of reverence—not of worry, terror, or concerns about being judged.
2. We are unconditionally loved by God.
But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Romans 5:8 (HCSB)
This might sound like a contradiction in terms, but the Lord’s measure of love for us has nothing to do with us. What do I mean? God is love and His love for us has nothing to do with how lovable we are (1 John 4:9-11). Nothing we do can earn God’s love, and nothing we do can stop it. Our actions might distance us from the Lord, but He continues to love us even at our worst.
3. We are the cherished covenant children of God.
He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:11-13 (NASB)
If you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a member of heaven’s royal family, a beloved child of the King of kings and Lord of lords. To be a child of God also means to share a sacred covenant with the Lord. All that you have becomes His, and all that He has becomes yours. The day will come when you receive your inheritance in full, but for now you can rest in the confidence that the Creator of the universe is for you—regardless of how your circumstances might look.
4. We will never be abandoned by God.
Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 (HCSB)
There is no greater blessing than to be favored by the Creator of all things, knowing that He is faithful to all His promises. Friends and family might one day desert us, but our Lord will never leave or forsake us.
5. The Lord will work even the worst situations to our benefit.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (HCSB)
For the child of God, there is no such thing as a true tragedy. Is there anything more comforting than knowing that He is both willing and able to take the worst situations and turn them to our benefit? Only the sovereign, wise, and all-powerful Creator can continually extract good out of evil.
As the writer of Hebrews proclaimed in referring to the Lord’s true and faithful character: “We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure” (Hebrews 6:19a, HCSB).
Why can we be at peace when we feel as though we are falling short on every level? What will keep us from going into a tailspin when it seems like we are hanging on by only a thread? How can we rest with confidence when the ugly places of our hearts are fully exposed? What enables us to deal honestly with ourselves and with others even in the face of our failure? We are fully secure in Christ!
*Bob Santos has authored several books, and this post is drawn from an upcoming work titled The Search for Rest.