One day, I was in a really hard place, and I told God I was done. I didn’t have the strength to keep going. I remember Him impressing my heart with a thought I never had before: Renee, you will only experience My resurrection power if you are willing to die to yourself and rely on Me. You must stay in the shadow of the cross.
I felt led to actually lie down on the floor and picture the shadow of His cross over me. I could almost feel the resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead rise up in me and give me strength to keep going. In the shadow of the cross, I was reminded that day that:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
Jesus did not die on the cross just to get us out of hell and into heaven. He died on the cross to get Himself out of heaven and into us! It’s what we were made for. That is why we long for glory. The truth is, we were created to reveal glory — just not our own. God created us in His image to reveal His glory by giving visibility to His invisible character within us. Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
Oh, how the world needs to see, feel, and experience Jesus! God wants to give us confidence in Christ that others can see, so they will want Him for themselves. It’s time that we, God’s girls, let Jesus have His way in our lives. Let’s make a promise that every time doubt casts its shadow over us, we will run back to Jesus, turn toward the light, and stand in the shadow of the cross where everything changes. In the shadow of the cross:
- When you feel inadequate, God says: You are CHOSEN. “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he'” (Isa. 43:10).
- When you feel afraid, God says: You are REDEEMED. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isa. 43:1).
- When you feel unloved, God says: You are LOVED. “You are precious and honored in my sight, and . . . I love you” (Isa. 43:4).
- When you feel forgotten, God says: You are REMEMBERED. “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isa. 49:16).
- When you feel insecure, God says: You are SECURE. “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders” (Deut. 33:12)
- When you feel unable or unstable, God says: You are ABLE. “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights” (Hab. 3:19).
- When you feel worthless, God says: You are CALLED. “You are a chosen [woman], a royal [priest], a holy [daughter], God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
Is God Enough?
As we live in the power of God’s promises, we will still have struggles. Don’t ever let doubt convince you that you are not a strong Christian or that you will never have a confident heart because you still struggle. As we become the women we wan to be, and more importantly the women God created and called us to be, we will still go through times when we have questions and doubts. Sometimes we may even ask, Is God enough?
I have shared how God has become my “enough,” but I want you to hear from someone else who has asked that question in the face of many doubts, losses, and fears. My friend, speaker, and author Melissa Taylor shared these words in a devotion she wrote for Proverbs 31 Ministries:
Is God enough? It’s a question that my life circumstances force me to keep going back to. What I’ve concluded is that not only is God enough, but He has to be enough. I’ve also concluded that it takes effort on my part to keep myself aware of this.
As a young child, I didn’t realize my need for God, but I did realize that I had a need that was not fulfilled. I was sexually abused when I was seven years old. My dad left our family when I was eleven. Both circumstances left me devastated, and I didn’t understand how God could bring healing at that time. I spent many years trying to heal myself and make myself feel better. Nothing worked. As I grew older and began to move from being a Christian who simply believed to a Christian who was actively involved with Jesus, my life began to change. Because I was having conversations with Him directly and reading His Word consistently, my life was challenged. I learned that when the hard knocks came, and they would, I needed to ask myself one question in order to move on: “Is God enough?”
- When a friend betrays me, is God enough?
- When I need to forgive someone for something that seems unforgivable, is God enough?
- When my child is having issues that are out of my control, is God enough?
- When my marriage is on the brink of destruction, is God enough?
- When I am not forgiven by another person, is God enough?
- When my mother is dying of cancer, is God enough?
- When others don’t recognize my value, is God enough?
- When I am struggling professionally, is God enough?
- When someone I love uses words to hurt me, is God enough?
- When I am in debt and don’t know how I’ll pay my bills, is God enough?
- When I am reminded of something I did in the past, is God enough?
- When the world is in turmoil, is God enough?
- When my health is declining, is God enough?
- When I am let down and disappointed in my life, is God enough?
Adapted from A Confident Heart, by Renee Swope. Copyright © 2011 by Renee Swope, published by Baker Publishing Group, Used with Permission.