Finding Acceptance in Christ
Brothers Sisters and Friends,
Many of you may or may not know me. My name is Brother Dan Hemmings, I'm 29 years old and I'm a Teacher in The Church of Jesus Christ (San Diego Branch). I've been unemployed for almost 8 months now, and the weight of this burden has finally started to weigh on me. However, with this burden I know the gift of God's glory and plan will be that much greater.
During this time of unemployment, I’ve really tried to focus on how God wants to use me. It’s a question that I’m sure we have all asked at some point. The more I’ve begun to think about this question, the more I’ve prayed about it and tried to study about the gifts of God.
About a month ago, I was ordained into the office of a Teacher. At first, I was hesitant to the calling and had feelings of unworthiness. After counseling with the ministry and praying about the calling and talking with others, I realized one important thing: I was being blind to the fact that God had already called me and I was afraid of stepping out on faith and working for the Lord in a greater capacity. As I continue to struggle with finding employment and I continue to get flustered with expenses and bills, I know that the Lord will provide — and this can be true with everything in life.
In the midst of this trial, I started to question my own self-worth. The world builds success up so greatly based on the merits of money and assets. Having not much of anything my own, I started to feel very discouraged about this. In an attempt to “better” myself, I enrolled myself at The University of Phoenix, where in 11 months I’ll be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing. Trust me, it’s only by the grace of God that I’ve been able to get through school thus far.
As I still question my “worth” by the world’s measures, I was reminded of God’s promise to us through the Psalms of David (particularly chapter 8). When we look at the vast expanse of creation, we wonder how God could be concerned for those who constantly disappoint Him. The next time you question your worth as a person or feel down about yourself, remember that God considers you valuable. We have a great worth because we bear the stamp of the Creator (Genesis 1:26-27). Just because I don’t feel like I measure up to society’s standard of success, that doesn’t mean I’m not successful to our Lord and Savior, and I think this is a message people need to hear more often.
If I continue to strive for righteousness and the direction of the Lord, He will surely provide and give me the peace and comfort I seek (Matthew 6:33). This doesn’t mean that trials and tribulations do not come along the way, but it should give a hope to those who are discouraged and seeking acceptance. The book of Isaiah is a great source of strength to anyone facing adversity and seeking help (Isaiah 41:13).
I know for me personally, sometimes having belief in myself can be the hardest thing possible, but when I realize how many people love me and support me in this beautiful gospel, I realize that the victory I have in God always outweighs the “acceptance” and “success” of the world.
I hope these words are uplifting and give you a sense of peace if you’re looking to be accepted. God Bless!