“In Him also we have [a]received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will,” Ephesians 1:11 AMP
Paul addressed who we are in Christ in the book of Ephesians. Christ has redeemed us, and we have been united with Christ through salvation. Yet, we frequently wonder who we are in Christ. However, Paul reminds us that Jesus is in us, and we are in Him, which should change how we view everything.
We see ourselves as believers in Christ. Christ’s identity changes our identity. And then we look at our everyday lives in light of this union with Christ. We live differently because of who we are in Him.
But what does it mean to live in Christ? When you believe in Christ, Christ works a miracle in you, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession- to the praise of God.” (Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV).
When I think of a seal, I think of a deposit. God put a down payment on us to show us and the rest of the world that we belong to Him and no one else. Think of a house or piece of property you would like to own. To avoid losing it, you make a down payment to show everyone the house or property belongs to you.
That is what the Holy Spirit does for us. God Himself permanently purifies and empowers us after the Holy Spirit has sealed us. So the message of Paul to the believers is simple: It’s not about what you do, but what He can do for you. He chose us; He has already moved in. He has permanently made His home in you and me.
And in time, we can say, like Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him, I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20 AMP).
I don’t know about cars, but my husband does. Here is how he explained to me the amazing work Jesus has done in us. We are no longer junk cars or used cars. We have been transformed into a classic ready to compete and run our race.
When the trials come, however, you may wonder, “If that’s true, why do I still sputter? If I’m born again, why do I fall so often?” All my life, whenever I’ve faced a severe storm, I immediately fall apart. I become a child unable to understand why things must happen the way they do.
Today my daughter reminded me that I am a child of God. We may not understand why we go through trials and tribulations, but we know God wants us to grow through them.
So, if we are who He said we are, we can boldly come to Him and ask Him anything. There is one truth that will never change even we go through trials, and that is that God cherishes us. The more we know Him, the more we understand His love for us.
Friends, I’ve endured so much pain since my mom got sick. And because I have no answers, all I want to do is curl up into a fetal position and cry until there are no more tears in my eyes. But what does that say about me? I’m throwing in the towel and giving up instead of turning to Jesus for guidance, even if the answers I find are not what I want to hear.
It’s so simple to believe that if we ignore our terrible reality, it will eventually disappear. But it won’t. It’s there when we fall asleep and when we wake up. Why? Because God has a lesson for us to learn, but it can only be taught as we go through the trial. I must, therefore, submit to my Father and ask Him to let His will be done rather than running away from Him. He will help me to see what I refuse to see. He will give me the wisdom and understanding to comprehend why I must endure this trial, how to apply what I learn to my life, and how to share it with others.
It is challenging to learn a lesson when your heart is broken. But God promised He would be with us no matter what happens. So, I must surrender my pain, anger, control, and fear and allow Him to teach me the lessons He believes I need to learn. Friends, I know going through trials is not easy. It’s a painful road. But in the end, we will understand why we must endure trials and tribulations—not only so that we can grow but so that others can grow alongside us.
Lord, You know I struggle with this; please help me give You complete control of my life and circumstances. Teach me Your ways; Help me to see what I can’t see. Help me surrender entirely to You and Your perfect will so I may learn Your choice. In Jesus’ name, I ask, amen.
- Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631.
- The Lucado Encouraging Word Holy Bible New International Version (2020. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson
- Editor: Carmen J. Almodvar