Read (from the New Living Translation)

John 1:1, 10-14

1In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God…

10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

Go Deep

When doctors told Phil Wickham – a singer, songwriter, and worship leader – that he may never be able to sing professionally again, he started questioning everything. But then God showed up… He shares about this experience in today’s video.

 

Phil says, “My identity is in [God]… I’m important to Him, not because I can sing or because I’m a worship leader – not the things I do.

I’m important to Him because of what He says I am and He calls me his child…

When I finally started to see God more as a Father than someone I was trying to please with my actions, I realized, “Whoa! He’s on my side. There’s nothing to fear…” Even though we don’t always want the trial… God works these bigger plans. He works His good even through the bad… That’s the kind of Father we can trust in.”

 

Notes from the Beyond Suffering Bible

Jesus, the Human – In John 1:1, John establishes that Jesus is God. This is remarkable. But now he takes it further: Jesus is also a man. The God of the universe became a human just like us. Like us, he hurt, suffered, and was tempted. In fact, Jesus was like us in all ways except one: He did not sin (Heb 4:15).

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56 comments
  1. Profile photo of daniellemk

    Having our identity in what we do, what we provide to others, or anything else connected to this world, will only leave us empty. Because at any point in our lives, that “thing” that makes us us can be taken away…and then who are we? We need to find our fulfillment in life through the Lord. Get our identity from him…as a Child of God…which will NEVER end, never leave us incomplete, and regardless of what happens in our life, can be the one element that remains constant and firm for us to always go to whenever we face trials!

    • Profile photo of Mrathel

      I. Ended to hear this today. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Charmell Carr

    I need prayers for my mom. She is slowly going blind even after cataract surgery. I think I recognize depression in her because she has gotten frustrated with having a hard time doing crafts and has stopped and she says all she wants to do lately is sleep. Listening to Phil today I know she needs to hear this. I realized she has put too much of her identity in her world around her. I am also asking for prayer for myself to be able to be there for her and help in any way possible. Thank you.

    • Teepee

      Praying Jesus will give you wisdom and strength. Praying He will reveal Himself in a Mighty way to your mom so she knows how loved she is by Him.

    • Profile photo of Penny.Bullard

      May your Mom come to truly know how much she is loved by God. Hen I’m really down and can’t seem to focus on the good God had for me, I sing, Jesus loves me.

    • Tina Castleberry

      Praying for your moms sight to be restored, not necessarily physically but spiritually so that she can see who she is in God and that He has a plan for her life. In our suffering God reveals Himself to us. I was at my lowest a few years ago when my father committed suicide but my heavenly Father stepped in and brought healing and comfort to me. This was one of those faith building moments and when things get rough today I can look back on that experience and know that God is always there with me.

    • Cody Deno

      I will be praying for you and your mom.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Charmell, we are praying for your mom and for you! Thanks for asking us to walk alongside of you and her during this time.

    • Profile photo of TallySmithFam

      Praying for you tonight, as I grieve the loss of my mom. I wish I had recognized as you have, her need for me, for someone to tell she is worthy of quiet, calm healing time in her illness, that she could seek comfort in prayerful stillness with our Lord. Your mother is blessed to have you and I’m sure is both proud and thankful for the person she helped create and raise.

  3. Profile photo of Mr.Danni

    Great experience with God! let’s share it with other people.

  4. Profile photo of cameran_smith

    Even though we don’t want the trial, he is still good and working out everything for my good…for OUR good. Yet, it can be so hard to remember that. Phil Wickham’s video is a very good reminder to stay focused on pleasing God, so that we will realize who we truly are.

    • Profile photo of Missy P

      Everything works out for good when you put all your hope and faith in the Lord. The 23rd Psalm is a good reminder of this.

  5. Profile photo of sasunday

    Good things to hear and remember. Thank you. I am struggling greatly with this concept today as this storm with my husband’s decision to divorce rages on. Feeling so unloved and unwanted and unworthy, just hurting. Broken, praying for God to pick up the pieces. Somehow knowing that God loves me and has a plan for the good and actually feeling that comfort and peace are just not connecting today.so, this was good to hear today. Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Sue Ellen

      Sasunda,
      May the peace of God surround you and fill you. Having survived a divorce and raised two children alone, I know your pain. Yet God used that experience to bring me to a much deeper relationship with him. It can be so for you. Take it one day at a time and trust in the Lord. Also, if you are working outside the home, the best advice I got was: “Don’t try anything big or new, just work enough to keep from getting fired!” Great advice, most of your energy will be going toward the divorce and your own emotional and physical health. May God bless you and keep you safe.

    • Cody Deno

      I will be praying for you.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      We are praying for you and the heartache you are experiencing. We pray that you know the love, grace, peace, and comfort of Christ each day.

    • Teepee

      Praying that you will feel His love all around you. Know that you are loved. You are wanted. Nothing can separate you from His love (Rom.8:38-39).

  6. Profile photo of sanchezkarla

    Sasunday, you are loved and you are more than enough. Praying for wisdom, strength, and grace as you face these upcoming days and the trials you will face. God is great!

  7. Ann

    So thankful God is always with me. Coming out of a 10 month relationship with an alcoholic has taken it’s toll. Praying for healing and restoration. For me and the alcoholic.

    • Cody Deno

      I will be praying for you too.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      We are praying for you and the person who is reliant on alcohol.

    • Teepee

      Praying for y’all both.

  8. Profile photo of Nanakaty58

    Thanks Phil I Understand this and am getting to trust him more each day through the sufferings

  9. Profile photo of Aaron R.

    I appreciated hearing this today. I have been working on understand this exact concept: I’m important to Him because of what He says I am! It is not who I was or what I do or who I will be, but what I am. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

    • Profile photo of Missy P

      Hebrew 11:6. Faith is an important ingredient in our walk with God. We can never experience God’s grace and his love without it. I am praying for us all.

  10. Cody Deno

    As I have said before, I have Muscular Dystrophy, which is a terrible disease that makes all your muscles weak and prevents your body from making muscles. When I could no longer walk at around the age of 10, I yelled at God and asked,”Why me?!?!” For a few months I was very sad, but I got through that dark time. At the time, I was not that close to God, but looking back I know God was with me, comforting me and helping me get through that difficult time.

    God is working His good even through the struggles I face with Muscular Dystrophy. God is working bigger plans, and I have seen glimpses of that. People have told me that I am an inspiration to them to keep on going no matter what they’re going through, and that they wish they had the strength that I have.

    • Teepee

      Praying for you to keep your eyes on Him. He will give you the strength you need. He loves you so much.

  11. Bernice Smith

    Amen. Grateful to these daily thoughts in all that I am going through, they have been right on time. Thank you Phil what an awesome testimony.

  12. Profile photo of Big Country

    This was a reminder of what I have gone through. God has given me a more positive outlook on my situation. What are some good things that have happened to me through my bad situation that would have never happened if I didn’t go through my back struggles. I had to give up running and basketball and had to turn to swimming. Through swimming I was able to meet and form friendships with the lifeguards. I am 23 and have been a busy body. This has allowed me to slow down and form relationships with people, it has allowed me to help mentor the players I coach (high school basketball) instead of show off. Clearly God has used my situation for the better and I know he does the same with all situations.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  13. Profile photo of Hestia Warren

    Wow I just have to admit this devotion today at home. In 2013 I jokingly say now as I look back God hit me with the proverbial 2×4 in the head. I thought I was a good Christian woman living the way God wanted me to. I had a great job a good life and have felt like I was doing and being a good representative forgot. Now that I look back after being hit in the head with the 2×4 I see God needed to stop me in my tracks. I needed to see I was not doing what he wanted and needed me to do. I feel I have become so much closer to God after going through so much heartache and pain. He literally took away everything in my life that meant something to me. And today I am so thankful that he did I appreciate the positions he’s put me in know where my life is going through him. All things must go through God.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Your story reminds me of 1 Peter 1:6-7, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
      Thanks for sharing with us.

  14. Profile photo of CarrieAnn71272

    To know my identity isn’t my brokenness and that I’m rooted in God and a child of the Most High, eases my soul and allows me to walk one more day in hope that my sufferings will not over come my soul.

  15. gina

    Great story. I loved Hestias comment, God will give you trials and struggles to get you closer to him. He will take things and people out of your life that he feels were becoming idols. God wants to be the most important thing in your life, and he should be, he gave you this life.

  16. Robbie P.

    “He’s in my side”. I find comfort in that!

  17. Profile photo of Kirsten

    So many times I find blessings through my trials – usually after I have gone through them. I never hope for trials but I know that God is always with me and that I will learn something from them.

  18. Profile photo of Ashley
    Ashley

    Y’all are in my prayers. This was a great message that many of us forget from time to time! Thank you for sharing Phil Wickham!

  19. Profile photo of carto877

    This is a great reminder for all of us. Because the question is when we go through hard times not if we go through hard times. We need to remember that we are His children. What can man do to me. Kill me. I will go to Heaven if men kill me. Thank you for sharing your story with us

  20. Profile photo of Susan
    Susan

    Wow! thanks for sharing about how identity can be warped when we forget it is all in Him.

  21. Profile photo of Stephanie H

    God works in mysterious ways. I still struggle with who I am. I have read tons of self-help books claiming that if I follow their advice, I will discover who I am. I forget that I already have an identity. I am a child of God. He calls me his beloved and I can trust in His wisdom to guide me to my purpose.

  22. Profile photo of bmblackmon

    Just as the song says: “I know you’re good, but this don’t feel good, right now.” It doesn’t have to feel good for God to be good! His Word says He works all things for good for those who believe in Him! Rest in Him, as a child of God, and it all works for good <3

  23. Profile photo of daughteroftheKing

    I like what Phil said, that “My identity is in God.” We were purchased with the blood of Jesus, so of course He loves us and is for us, not against us. Whenever I’m hurting (or whenever I’m not hurting) I need to remember that Christ purchased me with His blood and that it will be ok. God loves me. I’m a child of the Almighty God! It doesn’t get any cooler than that! What an awesome God we serve! I also need to remember to not go through life counting on my feelings, because they are fickle. I need to count on the God who purchased me and Who died for me. God never changes. Isn’t that wonderful?!

  24. Profile photo of lorilu
    lorilu

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is so difficult when a trial comes and we don’t understand…I like how you said, “God works these bigger plans.”
    Indeed, He sees the beautiful weaving of His masterpiece in progress. His “bigger plan,” So challenging for me, to only see a little at a time– especially when it’s not my favorite experience!!
    Praise God for His divine plans!

  25. Profile photo of Shannaw Martin

    It amazes me that we complain about suffering but that is what God uses the most to bring us closer Him!! Our Father wants the best for us all the time, He controls everything! I don’t like my suffering anymore than you like yours but if it brings me closer to Him… Bring it on!!! I want to be a new creation in every aspect of my life and I want to be used by Him to reach my center of influence as much as possible! This whole study on suffering and how God brings the best out of us as we share our experiences! Thanks to all of you who do share… It’s important that we continue to do so because there are so many more of us who need to hear your story and mine!!!

    • Profile photo of Healey
      Healey

      Amen, I couldn’t again more. He will use it if you let Him!

  26. Profile photo of Healey
    Healey

    I have come to a place in my life instead of asking “Why me?” to “Why not me?” God has shown me time and time again that suffering draws me closer to Him, totally dependent on His love and provision for my everything. When I was in my 20’s I lost my mom to cancer and I lost my way. In my 40’s I went through a divorce and cancer and God showed up 100%. I rededicated my life to Christ in a intimate way and that changed everything. I realize He will use everything in my life for His glory if I allow Him in.

  27. Kathleen Kauffman

    I struggle with this! Who am I? And I should know because I’ve studied my identity in Christ. But I have only been a “birthmother” throughout my adult years. Forthrough my childhood, I always thought I knew who I was – a good Mennonite girl who was going to be a teacher, get married, have children, but after dating my high school boyfriend who was not Mennonite and, heaven forbid if I married him, because I wouldn’t be everything I wanted to be so it was through mutual friends and going to the sane church I ultimately found out who I am in Christ. But, even with that, I still don’t know who I am professionally, but, maybe, for now, it doesn’t matter. I just need to lean on God for whatever it is that I need, and I need so much – family and friends who won’t desert me during those times. I wait on God to provide what I need.