Do you know where the word comfort comes from?
It comes from the same root as the word fortify.
To comfort someone is to fortify them.
To build them up, so that they can stand against whatever the Enemy has set against them.
I want to talk about something that people have fortified in me.
I want to talk about worth, even though I’m only beginning to grasp the depth of all it means.
I rarely meet a person who would ever describe themselves as worthy.
We have made it out to be almost unattainable. Prideful to claim, and yet spiteful not to have.
What does it mean to be worthy?
It was meant to be a beautiful word. A freeing word.
And yet I have seen starving eyes shy away from it, believing that they aren’t, perhaps never were, and certainly never could be, worthy.
I think it’s urgent to talk about, because it is so much more than we have made it out to be.
And it’s much more free than the Devil would have us believe.
It’s more than skin deep. It’s a quality of your soul, a promise and a gift from God that cannot be bent or swayed by your past or your self-perceptions or the perceptions of others.
And it’s yours. That’s your identity.
That’s the gospel.
Dear one, we have spent too much time striving to earn our worth – as if what Jesus did was not enough.
Can you imagine standing in front of the cross and looking Jesus in the eye, bloody and totally spent…
and saying, “This isn’t enough”?
I can’t say it with my mouth. But I’ve definitely said it with my actions.
Because things he paid for, I take back. I try to own them and pay penance for them— for my mistakes, my shame, my fears. Jesus went to the cross so he could take them from me, but on a daily basis, I steal them back from God.
It can feel right, can feel humble, to carry them still.
I’m realizing it’s not. I have no right to them anymore. They’re his.
I wrote on my mirror once, “No one is more loved than you.”
That black ink, written over my face, to remind me every morning.
Because I didn’t believe it. I had to fight to believe it.
God loves NO ONE more than he loves you.
Everyone we compare ourselves to? The ones that look like they have it all together, the ones who are falling apart, everyone who sits with a friend and wonders, “if they knew this, would they still be sitting with me?” Not one of us earned our way into God’s affections.
There is nothing you could do to make Jesus love you more.
And here’s why we have to start believing it. Because if we can’t walk in our identity, how can we help others see theirs?
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God…” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
With the comfort we receive from the blood of Christ, we are given enough to share.
We are called worthy, not to lord it over people, but to fortify them.
To build each other up.
Our hurts become an opportunity to share our joy. Our weakness becomes our strength, because what story is better than ours?
We quiet the fears of others with a promise – the same one we were given.
Everlasting, unearned, unconditional love.
And on the days you feel like others could say less of you… don’t forget, beloved—
What could we possibly add to the blood of Christ?
(Ps. Listen to what I’m listening to? He does not give his heart in Pieces.)