193. GOD CALLS ME HEPHZIBAH

(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)

My faith is GREATER than rejection. God’s love for me is MORE POWERFUL than rejection.

I have realized that truth and I embrace it.

Even when people write you off and think you are nothing with no value, if you are a Christian, God says, “You are a crown of splendor in my hand, a Royal Diadem and Hephzibah.” When people think it is too late for you and all that is left is for you to shrivel up and disappear, God says, “It is only the beginning of greater things to come. Always hope for a better day IN ME.”

Although people love to tell you what to do, how you should run your life, to badmouth you and basically behave as if you belong to them, the truth is that you were created by no one but God, in the time that HE planned for you to be born. Yes, HE planned for your existence so you are valuable. You belong to HIM and was never created for people but solely for HIS pleasure.

Whatever you are doing therefore, keep the one who created you and chose to keep breath in you (not people), at the forefront of your focus and do everything to please HIM, not man.

People like to give evaluations as to who is worthy of life and significance and even try to make you feel guilty for the fact that you live but you are entitled like everyone else to be alive. This place is for you as much as it is for anyone else because God is the one that kept your eyes open and he did not need to consult with anyone before he decided to do that. He placed you on this earth with equal privilege to live and to enjoy it like everyone else and he has chosen to preserve you all of these years.

God wants you to remove your focus from what man thinks and whether man likes you. His favour is greater than what man thinks or whether man likes you. His love for you is greater than what man thinks or whether man likes you. Indeed, his plans for you are far greater than what man thinks or whether man likes you.

It is important to remember that man will die but God lives forever. What HE thinks of you, as your Creator, your Saviour, your Redeemer and even in some cases, your Restorer is therefore all that matters.

In Isaiah 51:12-13, he told his children the Israelites:

  • I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?

The same applies to you. You are called by God, loved by God, understood by God, special to God, have value to God and God can use you mightily, even when others think that you are a total waste of life or they reject you or don’t forgive you or misunderstand you or downright dislike you.

In every situation, God is true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4). He will achieve all that he has purposed to achieve in your life, which is dear to him and he needs nobody’s permission to do so. He does not care what they say or how they put you down or how they may hate you. He loves you and that is all that matters.

With God’s help and your focus squarely on HIM, be all that HE envisioned for you to be when he crafted you in his hands. People will always talk. Much of what they talk about they do not even understand because they don’t even know your whole story. Yet God knows. He knows your heart and that is all that matters.

Be peaceable with all men in so far as is possible but keep your focus on your God. He is perfectly capable of taking you to heights that people think you don’t deserve or are not good enough for and to align you with people that will be a blessing on your life.

People can hold a summit and agree that you are fit to stay in a hole but God can step in at any time and say, “Oh No. I love her with an everlasting love and she WILL be promoted. She WILL be married. She WILL be honoured. She WILL be blessed. She WILL bear children, old as she may be, black as she may be, unpopular as she may be, awkward as she may be. She WILL glorify me because my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

I know that God loves even the unpopular, the down-trodden and the seemingly hopeless outcast because that has been MY story. He calls me HEPHZIBAH and he loves me.

Isaiah 62:4 -“Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called HEPHZIBAH…”

(Written on 23rd January, 2016)

ADDENDUM

Today, more than five years after I wrote the Article above, while in the middle of doing some work on my laptop, I stopped for a moment and just contemplated on the goodness of God to me and how he has been there for me throughout my life thus far. I began typing what I was thinking and broke down crying in sheer gratitude and awe, at the extent of God’s wondrous love to me.

For, like the Psalmist in Psalm 69:20, when it comes to people and how I’ve been treated by many, I know what it is to say, “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.”

Yet thankfully because of God’s goodness, I also know what it is to say, “In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)

While meditating on God’s wondrous love for me and how he has demonstrated it over the years, even in the face of what seemed like a lifetime of rejection from people, I generally wrote:

  • His love is unlike any love that I’ve ever known. When people couldn’t find it in their hearts to love me, he did. When they rejected me, put me down and wanted nothing to do with me, he wanted me. He loved me. He accepted me in the beloved.
  • AND NOW “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)
  • HE ALONE brought comfort to my weeping soul. HE ALONE gave me beauty for ashes. HE ALONE gave me the oil of joy for my mourning and the garment of praise, for my spirit of heaviness. And he did it, so that I could be called one of his ‘trees’ of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, so that HE might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:2-3)
  • People may want nothing to do with me, consider me a humbug, nuisance, somebody to merely badmouth, insult, put down, laugh at and resolve to merely tolerate in this life but I am comforted by the Word of God in Isaiah 46:4 where, although it was stated to the Israelites, I believe it applies to me as well because I am a child of God and therefore in covenant with him.
  • Starved of encouragement, genuine love, support, mercy and compassion from people in general, in contrast, God states of his unfailing character and love: “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:4)

(Addendum written on 29th September, 2021)

FURTHER ADDENDUM

In this life, the truth of the matter is that there are just some people who don’t like you, who will never like you, never forgive you, never show you mercy or feel sorry for your plight, never care to understand your story and to understand you or the truth of your situation, never acknowledge anything good that you have done with a genuinely glad heart and never want to see you rejoice or rise.

You have to learn to come to terms with this. Despite your best efforts, they have purposed to continue on like this and only almighty God can change their minds and hearts.

Stop beating up yourself. Stop feeling hurt. Move on. Find it in your heart to love them still, as human beings and leave it alone. Let them be and learn to commit everything to God who judges righteously.

(Further addendum written on 5th and 9th April, 2022)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article and Addendum to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:

  • Note 154 – ‘They Say I Can’t But By God’s Grace I Will’
  • Note 174 – ‘They Can Think Whatever They Like – God Will Do Whatever He Pleases’
  • Note 176 – ‘Favouritism Comes From Man But Favour Comes From God’
  • Note 192 – ‘Daily Affirmations – I Am Moving Forward
  • Note 195 – ‘When God Promises To Write On A Write-Off
  • Note 196 – ‘A Hopeless End Or An Endless Hope?

Additionally, under the ‘BIBLE-BELIEVING Daughters’ Page:

  • Note 182 – ‘How It Feels To Be On The Wanted List’

Additionally, under the ‘BROKEN Daughters’ Page:

  • Note 19 – ‘What Jesus Thinks Of You Is All That Matters’

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