rebelling against low expectations

Faithfulness When You Feel Inadequate


What has God called you to do?

If you’re a Christian, you know the first, great, overarching calling God’s given you: to know him, and to bring him glory. We’re to grow in our relationship with God by reading, studying and memorizing his word—and then we’re to make him known to the world through our words and actions.

Often, he also gives us specific ways to do that. Maybe he’s called you to write a book. To play guitar. To love your siblings. To start a Bible study. To raise money for a worthy cause. Sometimes he simply calls us to be faithful during a very difficult time.

But whatever the calling, it’s all too easy to feel inadequate.

For example, I believe God has called me to write. That belief has been confirmed in many ways—through the affirmation of my parents and others, through the invitation to become Managing Editor here at The Rebelution, and through the opportunity to write a book. I believe God has called me to inspire, encourage, and equip other teenagers to grow in their relationship with God.

And there are times I feel completely inadequate for that.

Who am I kidding? Why would I think I have anything to offer? Shouldn’t I sit back and let people who are more qualified than I am do the writing and the influencing? I don’t have the experience, the skill…

Do you ever feel like that?

If you do, you’re not alone. It’s all too easy to give in to these thoughts. But be encouraged: God has given us truth to combat the discouragement and lies.

We Aren’t Enough—But He Is

In 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, Paul talks about being a servant of the gospel.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Paul says that he isn’t sufficient—or adequate—in himself to claim that anything comes from him.

You might feel like you aren’t enough. Like you can’t do this. Like you just don’t have the strength or skill or experience you need to serve God well. And you know what? You’re right.

We aren’t enough. But God is.

We can never do this on our own. But we don’t have to.

Paul had an amazingly successful ministry. He led hundreds of people to the Lord. And what does he say? His confidence is through Christ. His sufficiency is from God.

The success of Paul’s ministry wasn’t because Paul was a great person. It wasn’t because of his extensive learning, his skill at public speaking, or even the depth of his experience. Yes, God used those things. But they weren’t the source of his success.

God was the one who made Paul adequate for ministry.

Whatever task God has called you to, he will give you what you need to complete it.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)

He will give you the humility, kindness, and patience to love that difficult family member.

He will give you the joy in Him you need to faithfully persevere in your schoolwork without complaining.

He will give you the faith to keep loving and trusting Him during that difficult season.

If he’s calling you to reach people with your writing or music or art, He will give your words or your melodies or your paintbrush the power to inspire and to glorify him. He will give you exactly the platform you need to reach the people that he wants to read or hear or see it.

Remember Who Called You

Let’s be honest: how often when we say we’re trying to glorify God are we really trying to glorify ourselves?

As a blogger and writer, it can be easy for me to say I want to encourage people with my writing—when what I really want is to get attention for myself.

But that’s not what God has called us to do.

He has called us, in everything we do, to glorify him. Whether you’re doing your schoolwork or publishing a book, the ultimate goal is the same: to make your God look great.

Maybe as you follow where he leads you’ll end up somewhere very different than you imagined.

And that’s okay.

Because he will give you everything you need to accomplish His purposes; and often those purposes are different from ours. But you know what? That’s okay. Because his purposes are also so much greater than ours and they lead to so much more joy.

What has God called you to do? Pray for his wisdom, follow His leading, but most of all, seek to glorify him. He will work in and through your inadequacy, giving you everything you need to do what he’s given you to do. And as you seek his glory above all else, you’ll find unparalleled joy.

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About the author

Katherine Forster

Katherine forster is a college student who serves as a regular writer for TheReb. She writes on the importance of serious Bible study for teens and is the author of "Transformed by Truth: Why and How to Study the Bible for Yourself as a Teen" (Crossway, 2019). You can find her writing at her website or on Instagram.


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  • Katherine, thank you for sharing, and for reminding us to seek to glorify Him in whatever we do.

    These words resonated with me so beautifully: “Sometimes he simply calls us to be faithful during a very difficult time. . . . He will give you the faith to keep loving and trusting Him during that difficult season.”

    God always knows what we need!

  • And for those of us who weren’t thinking much about their calling–who tend to see schoolwork, siblings, and the other parts of our everyday life as just drudgery, annoyance, or only preparation for some future calling, this article was a perspective-change and a challenge. Sounds a little weird to say reading the book sitting in front of me is something I’m called to do, but it’s part of school, and school’s a calling, so technically….

    But anyways, thanks for this, Katherine. 🙂 It really is a good challenge for me.

  • It sure is a privilege to exalt God in everything we do. Yet it’s definitely a challenge to step out of the water and do whatever God calls us to do in which oft’ times very different from what we have in mind. It’s daunting and scary. But when we focus upon the Lord, we learn that His sifficiency is all we need. Thank you, Katherine, for the encouragement.

  • Thanks, Katherine, I needed this today! ‘We aren’t enough, but He is’ and ‘Remember who called you’ – two points that remind me it’s not about me…it’s about God. I loved your closing sentences: “He will work in and through your inadequacy, giving you everything you need to do what he’s given you to do. And as you seek his glory above all else, you’ll find unparalleled joy.”

  • “We aren’t enough. He is.”
    I loved that so very much, and precisely what I needed to hear today. Thank you for being faithful to keep doing what He’s called you to, no matter what!

By Katherine Forster
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →