Affirmation Bible reading: Psalm 18:16-19
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
God will be your support when you are feeling invisible and generally unworthy, and everyone else’s life seems so much more exciting and trouble-free. Remind yourself that God calls you His Hephzibah. He delights in you and wants you to be filled with the kind of joy you would experience at a wedding celebration (Isaiah 62:4 “No longer will you be called Forsaken, nor your land named Desolate, but you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be His bride.”). He delights in us when we fear Him, praise or thank Him, give Him the glory and hope in His steadfast love. In other words, He delights in us when we delight in Him. He delights in us when we value Him. Therefore, we need to be careful that it is God himself that we delight in and not His attention, provision or praise of us. Our sinful nature loves to be praised for what we are and what we have done. We need to surrender everything into His loving hands because we trust Him and love Him.
Now, on the subject of praise, sometimes we perceive that life is so much better for others who constantly get praise and attention from man. Be careful of perception. Have a look at the following pictures dubbed the “Fake Cliff of Brazil”.
Food for thought: Social media illusions often cause us to be ungrateful for God’s provision to us
We live in a world where social media is part of the normal fabric of life. Using friendship on social media as a measure of popularity is a dangerous trap for young people and can negatively affect self-esteem. Not all the likes you get are from friends. Worse still, the many ‘friends’ other users have is often an illusion. They are just followers, not friends at all.
The other danger is opinions held by the minority of users can look like a popular opinion. You might be assisting negative opinion to go viral, purely because it gives the illusion of being popular opinion.
Another danger is the illusion of perfection in every form imaginable: from filtered selfies, mouth-watering food pictures, your friend’s party photos worthy of a spot in a magazine to endless vacation photos that make you think that your life is pathetic and boring. Odd thing is, no one ever posts their bad days and the milk you see dripping off the cereal spoon, is probably glue.
The key to happiness is gratitude. It’s accepting reality not because you can’t change your terrible situation but because you can choose how you react to it. Don’t let the perfections you see on social media affect your self-esteem or your ability to be grateful for the wonderful things in your life. Delight in God and He will delight in you.
Meditate on Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Breathe: Find a quiet place to sit and close your eyes. Start by relaxing the muscles around your eyes, move down to the muscles in your jaw, then to the muscles in your neck. Now relax your shoulders, but maintain good posture. Relax your tummy muscles. Breathe in deeply through your nose and breathe out through your mouth.
Now quietly notice the sounds around you and how they make you feel. Delight in all that God has created. Allow yourself to relax and let go of all anxiety. Remind yourself that God delights in you as you delight in Him. Write your thoughts in your journal and list the ways you can delight in God.
Pray: Father you delight in us. You choose not to see our confessed imperfections. You see Jesus’ blood covering those imperfections. Help us not to doubt You when life gets hard. Hold us in the palm of Your hand and may we long to delight unwaveringly in You Lord. Amen.