As a child of God, many of us have a tendency to look at our self in a critical way. As a result, we bring on feelings of discouragement, because we often feel that we don’t match up physically or spiritually with other believers around us. We tend to think of the growth process that the Lord is bringing us through as a necessary evil we have to endure, in order to reach the pleasurable results which He has promised us.
Yet God sees us differently. He does not focus on our past or even our present condition. Instead, His focus is on the end result. Like an artist, He views us in the finished form that He already has in mind. When a sculptor selects a section of stone, he already has a mental picture of what it will look like when his work is completed. The rough sections that initially stick out are not a concern to him, because mentally he has either removed them or shaped them to perfection.
“He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19). The writer of this Psalm was in the midst of both his enemies and the king of Israel, who was in close pursuit—all of them out to destroy him. But he knew to call on the Lord and not to continue on in his own strength. In turn, “He delivered me…” Why? “…because He delighted in me.”
And, like the sculptor, God sees the whole piece. He is not concerned or bothered by the means for shaping it; He is looking at the end result, in which He finds delight. On the other hand, we, as the one being sculpted, struggle with the process He is bringing us through. We focus on the painful discomfort of the chiseling, grinding, and overall shaping of our life by our Divine Sculptor. We try to resist His attempts to improve our form spiritually. But all of these efforts of ours only serve to delay the development of the final product.
Remind yourself that God does not look at us with disdain and contempt. He also does not consider one of His children more beautiful than another. Our part in all of this is to cooperate and let Him make us into the being that He envisions. We are not to accept the view others have of us, or of our sinful past, that the devil loves to remind us of. Instead, we are to look upon Jesus.
God receives pleasure when we put Him first in our life. He doesn’t find delight in what we wear (or don’t wear), how intelligent we are, whether we have red, blond, or black hair, what our age is, or how successful we have become in this world. His delight is in us, His children. We may have our ups and downs spiritually and physically—in spite of all of our many anomalies and discrepancies, His delight is still in us!
The Lord does not want us looking back at our past and all of our sinful ways, nor focusing on our current condition. His desire is for us to look forward to His Son and His finished work on the cross. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry here on the Earth, God said “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Our lives need to be filled with the One in whom He is well pleased.
The next time we are taunted for the way we look, or accused by the enemy about something in the past, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to walk away feeling down, discouraged, or depressed. When the pressures and struggles around us lead us to despair, let us look up to God. He “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He is the very One who led us into these difficult situations, to shape us into that in which He delights. The psalmist did not say that God delighted in the birds of the air or the animals of the field. He also did not tell us that He delighted in our education or our prosperity. He said “…He delighted in me”—and He delights in us as well.