Much of your happiness in life depends on how you think God sees you.
Sadly, many of us have a wrong idea of God's opinion of us. We base it on what we've been taught, our bad experiences in life, and many other assumptions. We may think God is disappointed in us or that we'll never measure up. We may even believe God is angry with us because try as we might, we can't stop sinning.
But if we want to know the truth, we need to go to the source: God himself.
God tells you how he sees you in his personal message to his followers, the Bible. What you can learn in those pages about your relationship with him is nothing short of amazing.
God Sees You as His Beloved Child
If you are a Christian, you are not a stranger to God. You are not an orphan, even though you may sometimes feel alone. The heavenly Father loves you and sees you as one of his children:
"'I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:17-18, NIV)
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1, NIV)
No matter how old you are, it's comforting to know that you are a child of God. You belong to a loving, protective Father. God, who is everywhere, keeps watch over you and is always ready to listen when you want to talk with him.
But the privileges don't stop there. Since you've been adopted into the family, you have the same rights as Jesus:
"Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:17, NIV)
God Sees You as Forgiven
Many Christians are staggering under a heavy load of guilt, afraid they have disappointed God, but if you know Jesus Christ as Savior, God sees you as forgiven. He does not hold your past sins against you.
The Bible is clear on this point. God sees you as righteous because the death of his Son cleansed you from your sins.
"You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you." (Psalm 86:5, NIV)
"All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." (Acts 10:43, NIV)
You don't have to worry about being holy enough, because Jesus was perfectly holy when he went to the cross on your behalf. God sees you as forgiven. Your job is to accept that gift.
God Sees You as Saved
Sometimes you may doubt your salvation, but as a child of God and a member of his family, God sees you as saved. Repeatedly in the Bible, God assures believers of our true condition:
"All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." (Matthew 10:22, NIV)
"And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Acts 2:21, NIV)
"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:9, NIV)
You don't have to wonder. You don't have to struggle and try to earn your salvation by works. To know God considers you saved is incredibly reassuring. You can live in joy because Jesus paid the penalty for your sins so you can spend eternity with God in heaven.
God Sees You as Having Hope
When tragedy hits and you feel as if life is closing in on you, God sees you as a person of hope. No matter how bleak the situation, Jesus is with you through it all.
Hope is not based on what we can muster up. It's based on the One we have hope in: Almighty God. If your hope feels weak, remember, child of God, your Father is strong. When you keep your attention focused on him, you will have hope:
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
"The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;" (Lamentations 3:25, NIV)
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23, NIV)
When you see yourself as God sees you, it can change your entire perspective on life. It's not pride or vanity or self-righteousness. It's the truth, supported by the Bible. Accept the gifts God has given you. Live knowing you are a child of God, mightily and wonderfully loved.
Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.