Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak, but he is strong
If you grew up in the church, you probably know the song “Jesus Loves Me.” It is often sung in Sunday schools to teach children that Jesus loves them and he is strong. That concept is so easy to comprehend as a child. They are small, they can’t do a lot of things on their own and they rely on ‘grown-ups.’ It is easy for children to fathom the idea of God being strong – that he is their help and the one who loves them.
Unfortunately, something changes as we get older. We don’t need help from ‘grown-ups’ anymore. As we get older, we start to feel more independent and begin to think we don’t need God as much. We begin to feel pressure to live perfect lives and tackle everything life throws at us.
Trying to be perfect is tiring and impossible. This is why we must rely on God’s strength and perfection.
Who Is God?
God is impossible to fully understand, but we do know a few things about him. We know that God is sovereign, all-knowing and a God of strength. He created everything just by speaking it into existence. He made you and knew you before you were even conceived. When his son, Jesus, died on the cross, he thought of you and every failure and sin you would commit. He knows you and loves you despite your sins and failures (Psalm 139:16).
Jesus, fully God and fully man, was sinless (1 Peter 2:22). He is our example of how to live and love, but he knows we cannot achieve perfection. He suffered an agonizing death and rose from the grave because he knows we cannot live perfect lives and fulfill the covenant God made with us. He suffered the consequence of our sins to save us from eternal death because he loves us and wants to be with us forever in heaven (1 Peter 3:18).
His Strength Is All We Need
“This God – his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” — Psalm 18:30
God has already gone before us and won our battles. He holds us in his hands and promises to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). God made a way for his people in the Old and New Testament and he still forges a path for his people today (Hebrews 13:8). Recognize that God is with you, fighting with you and will never leave your side. Lean into that truth in whatever giant you are facing right now.
There is no need to worry about being good enough for your job, or being the perfect spouse, employee, friend or Christian. The cross sets us free from having to live perfect lives. When you feel like a failure, just think about Jesus on that cross. He gave himself so that you may have grace. He came down, lived a sinless life and died for you so you would not have to worry about living a perfect life. Don’t waste that gift by living in shame and obsessing over perfection. Instead, strive to obey God out of love for him and his Word.
Be Like David
David was just a shepherd boy when Samuel elected him to be Saul’s successor as the king of Israel (1 Samuel 16). He was not qualified for the job, but, by God’s strength, he eventually became a remarkable king. God used David to defeat a giant named Goliath and save the Israelites. David’s strength alone was not enough, but God had equipped him with his strength and knowledge to win the battle (1 Samuel 17).
David failed to obey God’s commands when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband, Uriah, killed. David knew that he was not perfect. He felt incredibly guilty for sinning against God, so he asked for God's forgiveness (2 Samuel 11). Even still, God chose David to be king knowing that he would sin.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9
God didn’t need perfection from David and he doesn’t need it from any of us. When we allow God to use our weaknesses, he can put us to use even more. When we admit to our brothers and sisters that we have failed and are struggling, we can grow in community and have people to walk with. Through repentance, we can more clearly see God work in our lives and we can live in freedom from shame. Furthermore, we can show the world that being a Christian doesn’t mean being perfect, rather it means being forgiven.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” — Isaiah 55:12
Go out in joy and be led forth in peace! You are free from having to live a perfect life and you are not alone in the battles you face.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.