When I was in high school, a social slight felt like the end of the world. Now I know that rejection can be much more serious and hurtful than not getting asked to the junior prom. A departure of a spouse, a job layoff, or a broken friendship can make us feel unloved and discarded.
No matter how much rejection you may have faced in your life, never forget that God will never reject you. In fact, if you are a Christian – if you have entered into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ – it’s because God chose you! (Here’s more about how to have a saving relationship with Jesus.) Have you ever taken a moment to dwell on the incredible truth that God chose you?
Unshakeable Faith Trait One:
He Picked Me! – Secure in the God Who Loves and Chooses
Jesus chose a brash, impetuous fisherman named Simon to follow Him. Let’s read about how Simon met Jesus.
Read John 1:35-42. How did they meet?
What did Jesus say to Simon when they met?
In ancient Jewish culture, names were significant. They revealed character or represented a specific purpose God had for that person. The “Simon” Jesus met was outspoken and a bit unstable. The name “Peter” (aka “Cephas”) means “rock.” This name change shows that Jesus had a plan and purpose for the fisherman before they even met.
Jesus also knew that Peter would face many trials and intense persecution. Jesus changed his name to reflect the character Jesus would develop in him. From their first meeting Jesus began to transform the shaky Simon into the firm, stable Peter. Peter needed a rock-solid faith that would not be shaken when the hard times came.
Peter taught others what he learned from Jesus. He led the church in Jerusalem and he also traveled to visit other churches and spread the gospel. He practiced being a “rock” right up until the time he was martyred in Rome under Emperor Nero in the late 60’s AD. Peter’s letters – which we know as 1 and 2 Peter – are believed to have been written from Rome during the latter years of Peter’s life.
Read 1 Peter 1:1-8. According to verse 2, who takes the initiative in our salvation?
Believers are chosen by God the Father; our salvation is made possible by the sacrificial blood of Jesus the Son; and we move from spiritual death to life through the sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit. That’s a miracle only God can perform!
Read Ephesians 1:4-5 from the New Living Translation below.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:4-5, NLT
Circle the words in the passage above that describe God’s action on your behalf. How did God feel about doing this for you?
How does it feel to be chosen by God for salvation and adopted into His family?
Believer, God chose you before the creation of the world. He picked you out for His very own, before you were even born. Like Peter, He saved you for a purpose: “to be holy and without fault (Eph 1:4).” You were chosen by God, saved by the blood of Jesus, and now the Holy Spirit is working in your life to transform into Christ’s holy likeness. Like Peter, God wants to grow your faith from shaky to unshakeable!
Group Discussion: What situation are you facing right now in which you need to remember that God loves you and has chosen you?
Note about the study: We will be studying deep truths of God, but the study will not be extremely time intensive. My goal is for you to be able to complete the reading and questions each week in about 15 minutes. So, even if you are participating in another study you can join in! Also, although no other material is required, the Bible study Unshakeable Faith: 8 Traits for Rock-Solid Living, would be great companion material. Get it now from Amazon.