Refreshment for the Christian Feeling Unwanted, Unloved, or Unapproved

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ…

2 Peter 1:1, ESV, emphasis added

Gracious Jesus:

What wonderful, miraculous truth you reveal to your people in 2 Peter 1:1! How especially healing, encouraging, and refreshing these words are for folks like me.

Folks who don’t feel welcomed or included – and who feel unwanted as a result.

Folks who crave affirmation and affection – and who feel disapproved and disliked in the absence of those gifts.

Folks who carry broken hearts and bruises from being beaten-up and bullied. The pain is real, regardless of whether those bruises are physical or metaphorical.

To folks like us, Lord Jesus, you’ve given this apothecary of healing grace in 2 Peter 1:1: through the righteousness which you’ve put forth on our behalf, we have obtained a faith of equal standing to that of your Apostles – great men of faith like Simon Peter.

How can this be?

It is so, Lord Jesus, because the life you lived on Peter’s behalf was also lived on our behalf. It was no more perfectly righteous for Peter than it was for us. It was no less free of sin for us than it was for him.

It is so, Lord Jesus, because the crucifixion you endured on Peter’s behalf was also endured for the sake of folks like us. The atonement you have wrought is just as much for us as it was for him. For Peter and for us – your death could not possibly have had a greater impact on removing the guilt and condemnation of our sin.

It is so, Lord Jesus, because the tomb in which you were buried remains empty! You rose from the grave – not only for Peter, but also for us. And to both Peter and to us, the invitation to share your resurrection life could not possibly be more abundant – more miraculous – more eternal.

We have a “faith of equal standing” because the transformational gospel work you have accomplished (and are continuing) in our hearts is cut from the same cloth as the work you did in Peter’s heart. Your ministry is just as much for us as it was for him. Your perfect righteousness covers us to the same degree as it covered him.

Which means…

We could not possibly be more accepted than we already are in you. Standing in our place, you were despised and rejected by men (Isaiah 53:3) in order that the Father’s acceptance might never depart from us.

We could not possibly be more affirmed than we already are through you. All we can offer you is the cry of the Tax Collector in Luke 18:13: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” Yet like him, as we humble ourselves before you, we enjoy your acceptance and your justification of our lives.

Your affection for us could not possibly be greater than it already is. Because you are in us, and because we are in you, the same love which the Father has lavished upon you is ours forever (John 17:26).

Lord Jesus – thank you for this salvation you’ve provided to folks like us. Thank you for the “faith of equal standing” that is ours through your perfect righteousness.

Amen.

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