Offering Hope and Encouragement in the Midst of Sorrow

 

                                       Who am I? 

                  Purpose: To determine our core position.   

       I am an heir, an adopted son/daughter of the                
                                         Almighty God   

      How thoroughly have you considered your position as an heir?

         What relevance does your position as an heir have to being       

                                           a widow/widower?



  • Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.


It's hard to imagine the magnitude of the grandness that awaits us in Heaven.  A place described in the Bible as not only a place of intense beauty, but also one that affords us perfection in relationships, physical health, and happiness.  Can you imagine life that has no reason to give pause to any level of concern, frustration, or worry?  Wouldn’t you be willing to enter such a place as this even as a servant, yet you are going to be ushered into this mansion and the very presence of God as a son/daughter, an heir!

It might sound a bit insulting to ask “what did you do to deserve such a position,” but the question is significant because it is one of the stones that builds the foundation to understanding who you are. You did not purchase the position; you did not gain it through status, nor did you deserve it, yet that IS who you are.  Mankind has no ability to give this position to you, nor take it away from you.  God, and God alone has said that His worthiness, His sacrifice, His plan of redemption has given you the standing as an heir. 

        Do you struggle with acceptance of your position as an heir?

It was customary for the firstborn son to receive a double portion of his father’s fortune as we see illustrated in Scripture, but Christ has made His children all equal heirs in the inheritance. You are no less worthy to receive your inheritance than anyone else! Are you willing to accept what God offers you without argument? 

  • Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.



Some heirs have no relationship with the one who has given them their position. Their position is solely due to their linage rather than a relationship. Becoming an heir of the Almighty God is exclusively related to a relationship rather than something gained out of duty.

                                     Worthiness Scale

Do you feel that you are less worthy to be an heir than other Christians you see around you? Are the difficulties life circumstances have caused you making you question your worthiness? Some Christians are intent on measuring themselves on a scale of worthiness rather than graciously accepting the fact that their position comes from God’s desire to have a relationship with them. They see God’s offer as “His duty as God.” He must accept them in order to remain true to His Word. Fear of expectations (what does God expect in return,) makes it hard to accept their position as heir.  Having nothing to offer in return for God doing “His duty,”  the feelings of unworthiness are overwhelming. They believe God would have little use for anything they could offer Him in return. The example of the “return” God asks of us is illustrated in Genesis. God created us for fellowship with Him. Even though Adam and Eve sinned and severed their fellowship with God, He made a plan of redemption so that sinners saved by His grace could once again have fellowship with Him. God does not ask us to measure ourselves by others standards, or our own self imposed standards, He simply asks us to fellowship with Him on the basis of the position He has given us.

Taking the focus off of your worthiness and placing it on fellowship with God is key in answering the question, “Who am I.”

Consider the issue of fellowship with God in your own life. What level of fellowship do you have with the One who so greatly desires fellowship with you that He sacrificed His life for you? What things can you put in place in your life to nurture your fellowship with Him?

Heirs have not yet received their inheritance and are in the process of preparation for the day when they will receive it. Fellowshipping with God is part of that preparation. Look at each verse below and note ways an heir is to prepare for their inheritance? Use these verses to not only form a plan of fellowship with God but to prepare you for your inheritance.

James 1:22-25


Philippians 4:8-9


Philippians 4:4-7


Matthew 5:14-16


Romans 12:9-11


Ephesians 4:31-32


Ephesians 5:1-2


Romans 12:1-2


Colossians 3:1-17


Philippians 2:1-4


Philippians 2:14-16


1 Peter 2:2


Galatians 5:22

Our focus must be on fellowshipping with God, living in accordance to His desires, rather than trying to weigh ourselves on our self imposed worthiness scale, or trying to live up to the standards we feel others are setting for us.


  • Galatians 3:29 “And if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s descendents, heirs according to promise.”



Relying on Christ alone for justification and salvation, we have become the adopted sons and daughters of God. We have been reborn. Being given the position of heir through our new birth, we can rely on the one who has given us that position to provide for us as an heir. The promise of provision as well as justification and salvation causes us to marvel at our position. The difficulty comes in trusting in the promise of provision when we don’t see those provisions on the horizon. Trusting in Christ for justification and salvation is sometimes an easier act of faith than trusting Christ to provide for us. Your understanding of God’s provision for you may be based upon His provision of a spouse who helped meet your needs. Our need for provision is not solely in terms of our financial needs; we relied on our spouse for emotional and spiritual provisions as well. Trusting solely upon God to meet your needs now may create insecure feelings because the tangible source of that provision is no longer visible. To understand who you are, you must accept your position as an heir of God, and trust fully in His ability to provide for you.

                If His heir, why does He allow me to suffer?

  • Romans 8:17 (NASV) “And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

You may be questioning your position as an heir in light of the sorrow and loss you have experienced in your life.  If God's heir, why would suffering be required of you?

The scripture verse above speaks specifically to the suffering Christians endure for the sake of Christ, but the close personal relationship that forms in the face of suffering of any sort, brings us to the same point of need. The relationship that God wants to develop with us extends to the suffering we face living in an imperfect world as well.  

  • Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Through suffering we begin to see more of who we really are. We see the raw, uncensored, depths of our soul.  When we feel someone is responsible for our suffering, feelings of resentment can cause the suffering to become even more intense.  On the other hand when someone suffers alongside of us, the suffering is easier to bear.  These distinct differences make a tremendous impact in the outcome of our suffering.

Holding someone responsible for our suffering is at times understandable. The husband or wife who loses their spouse in an accident caused by a drunk driver can easily feel resentment towards that individual for causing such suffering.  Many who suffer not only hold other individuals responsible, but also God.  He becomes the object of their resentment.  If He loved them as His heir, why would he cause such suffering to come into their lives?  The intensity of their sorrow is magnified by resentment of the one who they feel is the cause. 

People who suffer together bond together. When suffering is shared by those around us we are able to more easily bear the sorrow.  When a tornado devastates a community and many people are suffering from the same loss, there is a sense of strength between them.  In many cases there is a bonding process that takes place between individuals who are grieving side by side.  In the same sense the Lord shares our losses and grieves along with us.  The purpose in sharing our loss is to bring us to a point of closeness to Him.

The more we suffer, the more we learn about who we are and who God is. The more we are forced to rely on His strengths rather than our own, the less we are consumed with our suffering. We are then able to look at the eternal purpose rather than focusing on “things which are seen as temporal,” as Paul writes at the end of 2 Corinthians 4. In verse 18 he says, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Who are you?  You are an heir and no one can take that position/relationship away from you.  Death of your spouse, loss of your job or home, nothing can remove you from your position as an heir.

How was your position as heir gained?

How is your worthiness measured? 

What does God ask from us as heirs?

Why does God allow suffering in the lives of His heirs?

What is the hardest part of being an heir for you to accept?

What effect does being an heir have on your life today as a widow/widower?