Grace For The Journey
Insecurity is one of those emotions frequently hidden in some of the most successful people. The CEO of a major company have suffered from it. Even world leaders and United States Presidents have suffered from it. Some of the most gifted people in the most visible professions have suffered from it – great athletes, doctors, lawyers, actors, musicians, and public speakers.
Because it is an emotion, nearly every one of us suffers from insecurity at some time or another. And insecurity takes many forms. It encompasses other feelings, such as inadequacy and inferiority. Insecurity is that improper feeling that tells us things like “we don’t measure up” or “we’re not good enough,” or “there’s something wrong with us.”
And sometimes we feel insecure because of our past. Perhaps someone said something hurtful to us years ago – a parent, an employer, or even a good friend. And when we recall those hurtful words we begin to feel paralyzed by insecurity.
Christians may take great comfort and counsel in dealing with insecurity from a passage of Scripture in the first chapter of Jeremiah. Who was Jeremiah? Jeremiah was a man who apparently battled insecurity (Jeremiah 1:6-8). He thought he was too young for the task to which God had called him. He lacked confidence to speak God’s Word and he feared what others would say or do to him.
So God reassures Jeremiah with words of comfort that apply in large measure to every child of God. In Jeremiah 1:5, He says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah was called to a tough ministry. It was a difficult ministry. He preached during a time in Israel’s history when the people were wayward, backslidden, and unrepentant. In fact, Jeremiah preached for forty years without any visible impact upon his hearers. That’s like a pastor preaching for forty years in a church without baptizing a single person!
Jeremiah was known as “the weeping prophet.” He had mood swings just as you and I. In fact, there would even come a time where Jeremiah would curse the day he was born (Jeremiah 20:14-18).
What to Remember When You Feel Insecure…
Someone said that the great prophets of the Old Testament are not to be viewed as “models for boldness and courage,” but “mirrors for identity.” We study them and often feel, “I can relate. I understand. He’s just like me.”
So when Jeremiah started to feel insecure, he could always go back to this statement in verse 5. God gave him some things to remember. And that kept him going. This statement will keep us going, too. Today we will study verse 5 and discover three invaluable truths:
1) You Are A Special Product Of God
Verse 5a says, “Before I formed you in the womb…”
The key word in the first part of verse 5 is the word, “formed.” The word “formed” here speaks of the producing of something. It is used for example, of a potter producing a pot out of clay, or a sculptor producing a statue.
And . . .
What is true of Jeremiah is true of us:
God specially formed each one of us.
The Bible says in Genesis 1:27 that God created us “in His image; after His likeness.” That is, there is something we share with God no other creature shares. That’s why human life is sacred to God. We are a special product of God.
Now what that means is that God is the Creator and He knew what He was doing when He made us. God made us just like He wanted us.
We often joke around when we say, “You know, when God made you, he broke the mold.” Truth is, when God made every one of us, he broke the mold. It’s amazing that there can be so many people and yet no two are exactly alike!
You and I are a special product of God.
God made you just like He wanted you.
Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity lead many to question God’s creation of them. Some people feel they’re too tall, too short, too pushy, or too quiet. While he was writing about Israel’s rejection of the Gospel, Paul made a statement that applies to the questioning of our Creator in Romans 9:20 where he writes, “Who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to Him who formed it, ‘Why have made me like this?’” Think about it: Who are we to call into question God’s creative genius?!
God formed you.
God made you
Just like He wanted.
You are a special
Product of God.
2) You are the Special Pleasure of God.
Verse 5b says, “ …I knew you; …”
The key word here is the word, “knew.” God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” God’s not talking about mere intellectual knowledge. He’s talking about a special, intimate, personal, and loving knowledge.
It’s the same word used to describe Adam’s intimacy with Eve in Genesis 4:1 where it says, “Adam knew Eve and she conceived.” The word “knowledge” here refers to a “special, intimate, loving knowledge God has with respect to His children.” His children give Him pleasure because He loves them in a special way.
You are the special pleasure of God! When He formed you in your mother’s womb, He knew you. That is, God knows all about you and He loves you anyway! The fact that God loved Jeremiah and that He knew Him before He was even born would be especially meaningful later. God knew there would come a time when Jeremiah would look out at the crowd of people to whom he was called to preach and would feel a little insecure. People can be tough. People can be mean. Some of them just look mean!
Sometimes you feel just like Jeremiah, a bit insecure. You say, “I’m too young,” or maybe you say, “I’m too old;” “I’m too young.” Maybe it’s “I’m not good enough,” or, “I’m not smart enough.” Or maybe “I’m not strong enough,” or, “I don’t have the ability,” and so on.
I heard about a guy whose wife was fascinated with some husky Hollywood actor. She really liked watching him on TV. The guy caught her looking at him one time and said, “You take away his money, his good looks, and his muscular body, and what do you have?” She smiled and said, “I’d have you!”
But God says to His children, “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you. You are My special product and My special pleasure. I made you just the way I wanted to make you and I love you just the way you are.”
When you start to feel insecure, remember you are a special product of God, and you are the special pleasure of God. Something else to remember:
3) You Have A Special Purpose For God .
The last part of verse 5 says, “Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” There are two key words here; “sanctified” and “ordained.” They could also be translated as being “set apart” and “appointed.” Both of these words refer to the believer’s special purpose in life.
Just as God had appointed Jeremiah for a specific task in his life, so God appoints you and me to live and work for His glory, no matter our job, our location, or present situation. And just as God equipped Jeremiah to do what He has called him to do, so God will equip and empower you and me to do what He has called us to do.
God has created you for a special purpose. Your greater purpose is to bring glory to Him. The Bible says in Revelation 4:11 that God has “created all things, and it is by His will they exist and were created.” So no matter your current job, schooling, background, giftedness, or assignment – fulfill your greater purpose by knowing God and living for His greater glory.
Ultimately, the Christian finds security in his or her identity in Christ Jesus. If we have placed our faith in Christ, we know can know God and know that He accepts us. Let that sink in – He accepts us! We do not have to earn his approval because we already have it in Jesus Christ.
Now that is real security; eternal security.
This is God’s Word …
This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”