There are days when the dark clouds of affliction hinder my experience of the Son’s warmth. Whether it’s my personality, the seemingly never-ending reality of struggle, spiritual warfare, or a mix of all the above, at those times a sense of depression sets in. The dark clouds define my outlook on life.
Today has been one of those days. My gloominess increases during a time of sickness, when my energy level is around zero degrees Celsius (I’ve been living in the U.S. for over 18 years but can never make the switch to Fahrenheit).
As I’m recuperating after a few days of not being able to eat, I decided to eat something and go to the beach—a view of the vast Atlantic Ocean always benefits my mental stability. Seeing a “boundless” ocean helps me see things in a more proper perspective.
A Sense of Uselessness
While I felt useless, having no energy to do much of anything, the thought hit me that my usefulness or uselessness is ultimately not determined by what I do or not do. Rather, it’s entirely based on being a part of Christ’s body.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I’m part of His body. Charles Spurgeon would emphasize how no one who has been born again can lose his salvation because it would make Christ’s body incomplete. Isn’t that an awesome truth (see John 10:28-29)?
No matter who you are as a Christian, whether you’re a strong leader, able to move mountains by faith, or are a struggling Christian, regularly sinking in the waters of doubt and fear, Jesus paid the price for you and you are His—you’re an essential part of His body. That makes all the difference.
Incredibly, Paul wrote: “The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (1 Cor. 12:22). Whether you feel greatly used or useless, if you have received Jesus by faith, you are a necessary part of Christ’s body. God has set it up in such a way that Jesus’ body would not be complete without you.
Your indispensability is wholly grounded in God’s everlasting love and His faithfulness: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jer. 31:3). Your salvation is “to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6).
Being “in the Beloved” is the whole of your temporal and eternal reality, whether or not the clouds of affliction may hide that truth at times. Jesus’ finished work on your behalf infinitely outweighs everything else. That’s certainly good news on days when the Son is hidden behind the clouds.
Jan Blonk was born and raised in the Netherlands (“yawn” is the Dutch equivalent for John). He permanently moved to the U.S. in 2001 and is the author of It’s All about Jesus: The Bible’s Grand Testimony, a one-year devotional about the person and work of Jesus Christ. All his books are used as a fundraiser for the spread of the gospel through reputable ministries: www.thecauseofchrist.com