“This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.” – Jeremiah 17:5-6.
Many people in today’s world often battle with a common question: “Am I good enough” is a common question in today’s culture. Christians, especially, are prone to wonder if they will ever be enough for themselves, the ones they love or perhaps even God. As a result, we as believers tend to work at pleasing other people and trying to be good enough to please God. That is a recipe for frustration. Trying to outperform our inadequacy is exhausting as we desperately try to prove, protect and perform to other’s expectations.
Our inadequacy, our feeling that we are not good enough is an opportunity and an invitation to trust. In Jeremiah 17, God paints a picture of two different kinds of trust. He declares that the person who trusts in themselves resembles a desert shrub planted in a parched, deserted salt land. (Jeremiah 17:5-6) Jeremiah is warning the people that those who trust in any human, including themselves will not succeed. When you trust in others, you will be let down. When you trust in yourself, you will be let down.
Yet those who place their trust and confidence in the Lord are described this way: “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8). When all of our trust is in the Lord it is like a tree planted by water with roots sent out by the stream, that does not fear when heat comes. Strong, fruitful, and continually growing in the Lord, regardless of the season or the storms.
We can view inadequacy as a disqualification that propels us to strive to be enough. Or, we can view it as an invitation that compels us to lean on Christ and let Him be enough. When we lean into our weakness, we will experience God’s provision, power and peace. So we don’t have to panic when we come face to face with our own shortcomings. We can trust God and watch Him do something we couldn’t possibly have done without Him.
This is a message of hope for all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, that even when we are faithless He remains faithful, and that when we are weak and fail Him, He remains strong and His love and grace towards us is never changing. The Psalmist Asaph once doubted and was anxious and despairing. But God led and taught him, and he was able to say, “Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.… But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do” (Psalm 73:25,28).
- Were there times when you didn’t feel like you were “good enough” or when you didn’t live up to people’s expectations for you? How did you see yourself in those situations? How did God see you in each of those situations?
- In what areas of your life do you currently feel like you don’t measure up?