Have you noticed how many people are looking for ways to keep themselves encouraged during these past several weeks? How many athletes, celebrities and other “social influencers” have taken to the airwaves or social media with ways to make yourself or your family feel better, or at least distracted? There are shows about good news stories from around the world. There are new cooking shows to teach people how to cook bacon, how to BBQ like a pro, or how to whip up new salads to help you keep fit. There are vlogs about how to apply the latest styles in make-up. Millionaire pop stars are instagramming their new swimming pools, or manicured backyards to show how they are suffering right along with the rest of us. But, it all just feels so artificial, like a façade the world wants to hide behind so they can feel “normal”.
There are often seasons in our lives when we feel overwhelmed or ineffective. When we look in the mirror we feel discouraged or blasé, and even when others try to cheer us up, often we don’t really hear them. Even professed Christians can sometimes act like the rest of the world who can’t see themselves for who they really are, for who they were created to be. When we look at ourselves in the mirror we wonder where it all went wrong or why we feel useless, discouraged, and depressed. We forget where we draw our identity and strength from.
The problem isn’t the circumstances in which we find ourselves. It’s because we don’t see ourselves as our loving God sees us. In 2 Corinthians 5, the apostle Paul teaches us how God sees us. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” If you put your faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation, the Bible says you are a new creation, right here, right now. Because at the very moment of our belief, we became a new creation. “The new has come.” We are already righteous, made right by God when we first believed in the hope set before us in Jesus Christ, even if at times we might struggle and fall, or feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face daily. When we put our trust and hope in God through the sacrifice of Jesus and acting in the power of the Holy Spirit, we no longer see ourselves as the world sees us, we no longer feel the need to measure up to what other people are doing. We can see ourselves for we are truly are, children of the Lord Most High, worthy of love, respect and joy. This is not a persona you make up to impress God or the world. It is the work of God’s grace in your life to shed the old you who was self-consumed and world-driven, and create a new you who is being molded to become like Jesus.
The truth is, God sees you as a new creation. This truth is reality from God’s perspective. When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Do you see someone who is a new creation? Because that’s you seen through God’s eyes. Claim it. Believe it. Live it.
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.