Intentional gratitude is always top-of-mind this time of year, with Thanksgiving quickly approaching. With the hustle and bustle of life, it’s often easy to forget that expressing gratitude applies to all seasons of our lives. As believers, we are called to be grateful in all situations and to live with the joy of the Lord.
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
– Tim Keller
Have you ever visited a place that took your breath away? Looked up at the stars or the sunset over Table Rock Lake and been amazed by God’s creation? In just seven days, God created this breathtaking planet we call Earth.
Now consider this: if God took seven days to create the stunning beauty around us but spent nine months forming us, how beautiful must we be in His eyes?
When God spoke to Jeremiah He told him: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
God knew that Jeremiah would not live a perfect life without difficulties or trials, but He still had a perfect plan for Jeremiah and loved him immensely. Just like Jeremiah, we too are fully known and fully loved by God. We may feel tempted to present our best selves on social media or around our peers, but at the end of the day, it’s still our tendency to think to ourselves, “If they really knew me, would they still love me?”
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”
We are not loved or wanted by God because of what we have done or our nearness to perfection. He knows that we will always fall short of His righteousness and glory. What our God longs for is for His children to live with the knowledge + belief that He sent His Son to walk among us. It’s an intimate relationship, not earthly perfection, that God seeks in believers.
When we forget how beautiful God sees us, the purpose He has placed within us, and the grace that washes over us, we should go back and read the accounts of His love all throughout scripture. He sings over us that we are covered for eternity, adopted as His children, and loved without condition.
He knows the rooms in our hearts that are completely closed to everyone else; the thoughts in our minds; the things that we hide. Because we are fully known, we get the opportunity to trade any shame for the truth of how God sees us. In the areas we think others would run if they knew us fully, God runs towards us with open arms.
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”
Do you believe that God is delighted in knowing you fully? His thoughts about each of us outnumber the sand. His love is unlike any other that we will encounter, and we get to enjoy it for eternity. Today we are fully known and fully loved, and in return we get to know God and fall in love with Him each day.
More: Celebrate with us as fully loved children of God with Ellie Holcomb’s "You are Loved."