Text: Isaiah 42:1-25, Isaiah 43:1-28, Psalm 72:1-4, 2 Corinthians 5:17
I miss Pluto.
When I was a kid, there were nine planets in our solar system. But somewhere between getting my college degree and buying our first house, Pluto got bumped from true planet status on a technicality. I’ve never gotten used to rattling off the names of the heavenly bodies and stopping short at Neptune.
Recently I was bemoaning Pluto’s tragic and seemingly unstable galactic status when my husband laughed and reasoned with me, “Raechel. Pluto hasn’t changed. Nothing has changed about what it’s made of—it’s just that the people who have never actually been to Pluto don’t call it a planet anymore.”
I bet you feel a lot like Pluto sometimes. I do. For better or worse, we allow someone who doesn’t know us—someone trillions of miles away—to define us. We receive the world’s labels and live at the mercy of everyone else’s “technicalities.” We trade the truth we know about ourselves for a lie, and go on living misunderstood, mislabeled, or just plain forgotten.
How can we halt this orbit of lies? How can we respond when we’re pretty sure some of the unfortunate (or downright awful) labels the world sticks to our chests are technically true about us?
Let’s turn to God’s Word together. Let’s let the One who made us tell us what we’re made of and what we’re made for. Only God has the ability to define you, so let’s see how He defines you.
He calls you beloved (Romans 9:25).
You are His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6).
You are His child (John 1:12, Romans 8:17).
You are free (Galatians 5:1).
You have been redeemed (Ephesians 1:7).
You have been and will be restored (1 Peter 5:10, Colossians 1:13-14).
You have been and can be forgiven (Hebrews 10:17, 1 John 1:9).
That’s not all. Your God—the One Hebrews 13:8 tells us is forever unchanging—He not only names you, He pursues you and cares for you personally.
We see this pursuit in the book of Isaiah. And painful as it is to watch God’s people refuse Him, chapter after chapter, it is all the more astounding to watch as God loves them still. He “who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it”—He is the one who appointed a Savior to be “a covenant for the people and a light to the nations, in order to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon” (Isaiah 42:5-7).
That’s why, even in the midst of threat and uncertainty, God tells His people to do something extraordinary—He tells them to sing! “This is what I will do for them,” we read in the text (v.16). And then the words our approval-seeking hearts long to hear: “I will not forsake them.”
And He won’t. Scripture makes it clear.
He knew each of your days before you were conceived (Psalm 139:16).
He has your name written on the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16).
It is your name —yours!—which He has called “mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
It is your head on which He numbers each strand of hair, and your tears of which He keeps count (Matthew 10:29-31, Psalm 56:8).
It was for you He died while you were yet a sinner (Romans 5:8).
The world will label you all your life. Tall, short, smart, bossy, ugly, pretty, worth it, and not. But here is the only label that truly matters:
“Now this is what the Lᴏʀᴅ says—
the one who created you, Jacob,
and the one who formed you, Israel—
‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are mine.’”
- Isaiah 43:1