Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

What Does God Think of You?

What Does God Think of You?

Stress is a reality of life. We can't run from it or escape it. Our only choice is to learn how to manage stress instead of allowing it to manage us. The one primary reason we battle stress is that we don't understand who we are. As a result, we desperately try to find our identity in all of the wrong places, causing frustration, failure, and yes, stress.

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart for a special work."

First truth: I am valuable!

"I made you."

When our children were young, we emphasized how special they were. Talking badly about themselves was not allowed. One morning I was getting dressed. Standing in front of the mirror, putting on makeup, I began my speech. I had recently done something I realized was incredibly stupid and was fiercely correcting myself in the mirror. I didn't see our young son standing in the doorway. He had heard everything I said. With a stern look, Jered said, "Boy, if I talked that way, I would be in big trouble."

The truth is that you can determine a product's value by judging the one who created it.

Psalm 139:13-14 "You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother's body. I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well."

Our value rests in the fact that we were created by the hand of God. The world wants us to believe our value rests in how we perform, what we own, the color of our skin, or our position on the social ladder.

Ephesians 2:10 "You are god's workmanship!"

Your value begins and ends with the fact that God formed you in the womb. Before you were planned or not planned by human minds, before you were wanted or not wanted by human hearts, you were planned and wanted by God. There are no accidents with God. No surprises! God never has to say "Oops"!

When my mother was 42 years old, she found out that she was pregnant with me. Surprise! When I got old enough to realize all of the ramifications of that pregnancy, I asked her how she handled it. She laughed and said, "At first, I thought my life was over. But I soon realized that God had another plan, a better plan for my life."

We are validated because we originated in the heart and mind of God. Our value rests in Him alone.

Second truth: I am loved!

"He chose you!"

Because He formed you in the womb, He knows you better than you know herself. He knows you better than anyone else knows you. And He loves you!

God does not love us because we deserve it or have earned it. Not because you are lovable or good enough, but simply because you are His. And no one can take our place in the Father's heart.

I love the story of the man who came from work, looking forward to an evening of rest. He grabbed the newspaper and settled in his favorite chair. The man's son was so excited that his father was home that he raced into the room and jumped into his father's lap. "Can you play with me, Daddy?" The man sighed and said, "Son, I really just need some time alone." The little boy sighed and walked away, but he was back in a few minutes. "Daddy, please, please play with me!" The father noticed a picture of the world in his newspaper. He cut it into pieces and handed them to his son. "Put the pieces back together, and then we can play." The father was certain it would take his son quite a while to complete the puzzle. The father was surprised when the little boy was back in 5 minutes. "How did you do that so quickly, son?" The little boy smiled and said, "There was a picture of a man on the other side of the pieces. So, when I put him together, the whole world fell into place.

God sees every tear you have cried. He keeps a record of each one.

Psalm 56:8 "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book."

He knows where you have been, where you are, and where you are going. Doesn't your heart cry out for an intimate relationship where love is not affected by what you do or don't do? A relationship where you can abandon yourself and really trust?

I read of a widow who had successfully raised a very large family. She had six children of her own and adopted 12 others, but she never seemed stressed out or worried. A reporter interviewing her asked the secret of her peace and confidence. The woman responded, "I'm not alone. I'm in a partnership with the Lord. When I was a young woman, I told the Lord I would do the work if He did the worrying. It worked! My heart has been filled with peace ever since."

We search for His love in all the wrong places and wrong people. We keep expecting to find God's love in our husbands, children, family, and friends. Here is some great news!

God is not mad at you!

His design of you is second to none!

His plan for you is wonderful!

He paid a great price to redeem you!

He did not come to condemn you!

John 3:16-17 "God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

Third truth: I belong to God!

"I chose you."

Before we can understand who we are, we must first understand whose we are. We all have a deep need to belong, to have a relationship where we can count on unconditional love and encouragement. Everyone needs a cheerleader! Much like the little boy who asked his dad to play darts. He instructed his dad, "I'll throw the darts and you say, 'Wonderful!'"

The need to belong is demonstrated every day on the playground of every school, where children stand waiting to be chosen for some game or team. We all know what it feels like when we are not chosen.

The need to belong is powerful and can only be fully met in God. I have great news for you! God has chosen you, and you do belong to Him.

Ephesians 1:4 "Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own, through what Christ would do for us."

Christ died on the cross so that we would belong and could be chosen when we accept the reality that we are "set apart" for God, the backdrop against which we live our lives will forever change. Our perception of who we are will radically change!

He is our Father! And he is a very possessive parent. I can relate. When our son was a baby, we had to take him to the hospital for the possibility of emergency surgery. The doctor ordered a battery of tests to determine if surgery was needed. They would not let him eat just in case he did have to have surgery. And they put an IV in his little leg.

The nurses in pediatrics were wonderful! They were gentle and experts at putting an IV in babies. When they were done, they cut a Styrofoam cup in half and taped it to his leg to protect the IV from Jered's kicking legs. That way, the IV stayed put - until a young doctor waltzed in and said, "We are busy and need to get these tests run as soon as possible." I. did. not. like. him.

He then proceeded to yank Jered's stretcher so hard that the IV came out. My husband knew what was coming. "Listen to me, young man. I know you are busy and have a job to do, but you need to watch how you treat my son." Then, he quipped, "Do you need to leave the ER, lady?"

I nearly lost it! And then I saw the church pastor, where Dan was youth director, walk in. Everyone knew and respected him. In his deep, authoritative voice, the pastor asked, "Is there a problem here?" Everyone froze. The young doctor quickly responded, "No, pastor Billingsly. Everything is fine." The pastor smiled and said, "I'm so glad. You see, this young man is on my staff, and I would hate to see him treated badly." The young doctor apologized, and I decided to let him live!

God is our heavenly Father, standing right beside us, whispering to our soul, "This is my child. She belongs to me, and you'd better watch how you treat her. And by the way, I am not going anywhere."

Fourth truth: I have a purpose.

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work."

I believe that not understanding what our purpose is causes a lot of stress in our lives. I know that plans are rampant in your life, but the only plan that matters is the plan made for you by the one who formed you.

Psalm 139:16 "You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old."

We will never be contented outside of that plan. God will give us everything we need to succeed.

I Thessalonians 5:24 "The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

How do we find that plan?

Matthew 7:7-8 "Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks."

Ask! Seek! Knock!


1. Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

2. Spend time alone with God every day.

3. Study the instruction manual.

4. Pray.

5. Join other seekers of God's plan. 

We are created, loved, chosen, and set apart by God. Living out that truth will fill your life with peace and joy. I know you may be in a circumstance that makes you question God's plan. Stand firm, and don't give up! He is with you.

I was driving down a back road while on vacation in North Carolina when I spotted an old cabin. On the porch railing was a collection of hand-carved wooden dogs. They were beautiful and unusual. I had to ask the man sitting on the porch. "Sir, how do you take a block of wood and create such beauty?" The old mountain man replied, "Well, I just take my knife and carve away everything that doesn't look like a dog."

Sometimes it takes painful carving to discover who we are and what the plan is for our lives. But even in the carving times, remember that God loves you and is with you.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/masterzphotois

Mary Southerland is also the Co-founder of Girlfriends in God, a conference and devotion ministry for women. Mary’s books include, Hope in the Midst of Depression, Sandpaper People, Escaping the Stress Trap, Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry, 10-Day Trust Adventure, You Make Me So Angry, How to Study the Bible, Fit for Life, Joy for the Journey, and Life Is So Daily. Mary relishes her ministry as a wife, a mother to their two children, Jered and Danna, and Mimi to her six grandchildren – Jaydan, Lelia, Justus, Hudson, Mo, and Nori.