This post comes to us from Tim Rake:

Psalm 22.24, “For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him.”

Throughout our Christian life we pass through unhappy seasons when our loss of the image of God—the ugly, sinful wreck made of us—is on display.

Some major failure occurs or selfish decision is foolishly made or a humiliating loss is suffered, along with collateral damage to the people around us.

The attendant guilt that follows with its fear of God’s punishment (this is what the Law intends to do in our lives) leave us full of self-loathing.

We know we deserve the contempt of others because we have subjected them to the repulsive spectacle that we have become.

We reason if good people regard us that way surely God, whose goodness is far greater, despises us. Everything in the world and even our own conscience points the finger at us and says, “You are abhorrent to God. You will find no help or comfort from Him.”

We are left alone in the darkness and shut up to gnawing judgment.

That is until God speaks and acts for Himself. God spits out the words that those “good” humans put in His mouth and speaks a Word of grace. God’s goodness, it turns out, is so good that those ugly, detestable, deformed, and horrible people are beautiful in His sight.

Luther was quite correct when he said God does not love us because we are lovely, we are lovely because he loves us.

Whatever your affliction—of body, mind, soul, relations, or situation—making you feel damaged, defaced, worthless, unwanted, and despised, no matter how or by whom (including yourself) it has come about, and no matter if you can’t count how often you’ve found yourself in the “slough of despond,”God’s face is turned toward you and His ears are listening to you. You are beautiful in His sight and have the full attention of His love!

God’s comfort be yours.